There are a number of places that tell you the NBA lockout is about “competitive balance”. Some of them include soundbites of grade A (but very believable) horseshit out of David Stern and Adam Silver’s mouths. But lockout’s are only about one thing: Money. This is about how the pie is divvied up, and no more or less.
I’ve asked this question to Eric Pincus last night on Twitter, I’ve asked it to others, and I’ve yet to get an answer that makes sense. It’s some jumble of rhetoric that comes back to: The Hard Cap will cure all ills’! Okay. I’m not going to fight that.
But this is the problem: How is the hard cap going to cure the ills? “Oh, the Lakers can’t spend as much money. That’s how!” Let me ask something: How did the Lakers spending money affect the Kings at all? (The answer is it didn’t, but we are living in rhetoric zone for a bit here so forgive me.) Apparently it kept the Kings from competing with the Lakers for a championship. At least that’s what you’re supposed to think. I think. No wait, the Kings just should have been more competitive. Umm, okay. What does that have to do with a team that was in a championship conversation, and a team that wasn’t? (Difference in talent? Stop making sense!)
I get this nonsense of the Lakers “spent their way to success”. Uh, no, they made moves and paid players as it made sense to do. That’s called intelligent management. Just because you probably hate the Lakers doesn’t mean they aren’t a very well run franchise (by far the best big market franchise and it’s not close) or that they didn’t pay their players that in no way really has many up in arms. If it were the Kings, many Kings fans would be upset at a cap that may make the team to force decisions based upon meeting this said hard cap. I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable in an environment where players have to make choices about being paid and believing the Kings come out on top. You get a million bucks to play in LA or Sacramento, which do you choose? Yeah, that’s what I thought. (And, no, I’m not implying Sac wins that.)
Big markets for the longest time have always had a lot of appeal to star players (which is why they have a big advantage in attaining them when & where possible) which is kind of a big deal. Since a NBA’s franchise fortune often depends on said star players, because a team often runs on the fortunes of said stud top 10 NBA player, that’s the way it goes.
I really enjoyed Tom Ziller’s piece a few days ago taking a full on squat on David Stern (who earned every bit of vitriolic displeasure displayed in that piece). Seth Pollack wrote a piece completely crapping all over Robert Sarver (the Suns owner who is almost as bad as Donald Sterling sadly) at SBN Arizona today. Andrew Sharp wrote this over at SBN.com. In case you don’t know, Pollack is a Suns fan and Sharp is a Wizards fan. They are not necessarily fans of the most successful or the best run franchises at all times. Yet, without fail, they have all come to the same conclusion: The lockout is about money. If you’re wondering where the whole competitive balance part comes in, that’s just it: It doesn’t!
And that’s just one network. Some other networks are treading lightly because, like in the case of NBA.com (which is basically TNT–which is owned by AOL Timewarner as is SI) & ESPN, they are broadcast partners. They have to tread lightly. (Although, I don’t know they’ve tread lightly. They just didn’t crap all over Stern the way others have.) I will give credit to David Aldridge for asking good and reasonable questions.
SI.com and CBS Sports have a numerous lot of writers who have not written pro-Stern rhetoric. Lowe, Amick & others @ SI and NBC Sports has Pro Basketball Talk which takes tactful shots at Stern. For instance, Ken Berger wrote this (which made me laugh–and I agree with him FWIW) a few days ago. Read his piece today too. Some thoughts from NFL guru Mike Freeman on whether the NBA can sustain a prolonged work stoppage. (Freeman surmises no.) Ben Golliver talks about Billy Hunter here. Read Marc Spears piece from Yahoo regarding Billy Hunter here.
I like what Mark Bartlestein said in Amick’s piece at SI:
“[The owners] don’t want to do pay-for-play the other way, when the 27th pick in the draft becomes a starter early in his career and then has a chance to get out of his contract after two years and get rewarded for being a major contributor to a team,” said Bartelstein, noting how rookies are locked into rookie-scale deals in which the first two years of salary are predetermined and guaranteed, the third and fourth are rookie-scale team options and the player becomes a restricted free agent in the fifth year. “They’re worried about having a competitive league, but they’re not worried about the players who are underpaid on their rookie contracts.
“There are a lot of rookies who absolutely outperform their contracts and have to wait five years before they can get into the free-agent market. … And for them to talk like they’ve given in on guaranteed contracts is as disingenuous as you can get” because players already had them previously.
Bartelstein, who has more than 30 clients, also disputes the notion that the current soft salary-cap system precludes parity.
“They say the system doesn’t allow every team to compete, and that’s just not true,” he said. “Sacramento, for years, was a vibrant, Western Conference championship-caliber team. … Orlando has been a high-level, competitive team that was like that. The argument just doesn’t hold up.
“It’s not about how much money you spend. It’s how you spend it and the choices you make. Any business you run, the No. 1 connection to the success should be the management of the business.”
The problem it’s one of those “greedy” agents making the claim so it’s automatically invalid.
I like what Gregg Doyle wrote here although I don’t totally agree with it.
Back to Doyle for a moment:
With a handful of obvious exceptions, mainly the franchise quarterbacks who have become filthy rich, NFL players have been mistreated over the years. They’ve had to sign contracts not worth the paper they’re printed on in the event that a professional athlete in the most violent team sport in the world has the nerve to get injured. When an NFL player gets hurt badly enough, his contract is terminated. His insurance goes away. Unless he has played long enough to build up the nest egg needed to cover his bills for the next 50 years — living bills, medical bills, all bills — he’s screwed. The only bright side? Most former NFL players don’t retire and then live 50 more years! So take that, owners!
Anyway, that was my takeaway from the NFL lockout: The players must win this thing, because lots of them have been, or will be, physically ruined before their career is over. And we’re sitting there, at the stadium or in a sports bar or on our couch, and we’re watching it happen. Terrible. Please win, NFL players. That was my thought during the NFL lockout: Please win, players.
Do the fans care about those players? No, they care about their team winning. That’s the motivation with the NBA too. Many fans, and I’m not one of them admittedly, define fandom by teams winning championships. I don’t follow the NBA for any reason other than I love basketball. That’s my reason. I don’t need another one. By definition, it’s only possible for 1 team out of 30 to win a ring every year. It’s not like championships are spread around the NFL like wildfire. MLB doesn’t have the same cap system, but, what do you know(!?!), the MLB seems to have teams make the World Series once in a blue moon. (The Chicago Cubs are the exception.) The Stanley Cup playoffs in the NHL? What do you know? The NHL seems to always have had champions come from anywhere.
But the big bad NBA doesn’t ever have teams compete for championships. Because everyone knows the Lakers have the unfair advantage with so many Finals appearances. (Wah Wah Wah.)
Since Jerry Buss has owned the Lakers in 1979, the Lakers have done the following:
1980: Won NBA Finals (Over Sixers 4-2)
1981: Bounced in 1st round (to Rockets 3-1)
1982: Won NBA Finals (Over Sixers 4-2)
1983: Lost NBA Finals (To Sixers 4-0)
1984: Lost NBA Finals (To Celtics 4-3)
1985: Won NBA Finals (Over Celtics 4-2)
1986: Lost in Western Conference Finals (To Rockets 3-2)
1987: Won NBA Finals (Over Celtics 4-2)
1988: Won NBA Finals (Over Pistons 4-3)
1989: Lost NBA Finals (to Pistons 4-0)
1990: Lost in 2nd round (to Suns 4-1)
1991: Lost in NBA Finals (to Bulls 4-1)
1992: Lost in 1st round (To Blazers 3-1)
1993: Lost in 1st (to Suns 3-2)
1994: Missed playoffs (Drafted Eddie Jones at 8th overall)
1995: Lost in 2nd round (to Spurs 4-2)
1996: Lost in 1st round (to Rockets 3-1)
1997: Lost in 2nd round (to Jazz 4-1)
1998: Lost in Western Conference Finals (to Jazz 4-0)
1999: Lost in 2nd round (to Spurs 4-0)
2000: Won NBA Finals (Over Pacers 4-2)
2001: Won NBA Finals (Over Sixers 4-1)
2002: Won NBA Finals (Over Nets 4-0)
2003: Lost in 2nd round (To Spurs 4-2)
2004: Lost in NBA Finals (To Pistons 4-1)
2005: Missed playoffs (drafted Andrew Bynum at 10th overall)
2006: Lost in 1st round (to Suns 4-3)
2007: Lost in 1st round (to Suns 4-1)
2008: Lost in NBA Finals (to Celtics 4-2)
2009: Won NBA Finals (Over Magic 4-1)
2010: Won NBA Finals (Over Celtics 4-3)
2011: Lost in 2nd round (to Mavericks 4-0)
Now. That’s a long list. 2 missed playoff appearances that, for whatever reason, resulted in drafting Eddie Jones and Andrew Bynum. (Who are both quality players but not great players.) There are 16 Finals appearances since Jerry Buss has owned the team. Some of that has been incredible once in a lifetime luck. (Drafting Magic, Drafting James Worthy and Byron Scott 3 out of 5 years namely.) But, I tend to think of the Lakers as I remember them coming up as a NBA fan: A middle of the road NBA team. People didn’t hate them because they weren’t the top dog. Which is why I shrug when I think about the 16 Finals appearances. That’s great if you’re a Lakers fan no doubt, but if you only care about championships (and like I’ve said I don’t really care about them) then it’s going to leave you feeling a bit empty yes? And if you’re a Laker hater, well, you’re going to obsess about the Lakers far more than I ever care to wish to think about them. The world does not revolve around the Los Angeles Lakers or their payroll.
That’s exactly the NBA’s (and hard cap enthusiasts everywhere) argument that this type of disparity is created by the larger markets having greater advantages to pick on the itty bitty markets like Sacramento, Portland, Utah, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Memphis and uh, oh yeah, not really.
I can point out to the Knicks level of ridiculously awful decision to point out how little it matters about market. Without the top decision makers calling the shots, big markets aren’t everything. The Lakers have a tremendous advantage BECAUSE Jerry Buss is, arguably, the most important owner in the NBA history. Just read this. And then this. (Actually not. This link doesn’t work due to the stupid lockout. Al/kjql;ejkv; lakeujrpaljiel;jk;a_ Just read this : http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/100719_buss_hof_career.html — and remember it won’t work until the lockout is lifted.)
Read this piece by Lowe (linked up there with the links in this text–I will do you solid and provide those links):
Stern told both Francesa and Aldridge that even the league’s final proposal would have seen the average player salary rise from $5.5 million to $7 million. As Steve Aschburner of NBA.com reported over the summer, the use of the phrase “average” there is a slight bit of cherry-picking. It represents the mean player salary, a number skewed by the colossal salaries the stars earn. The median salary of all NBA players last season was $2.33 million, Aschburner reported. Stern does not mentions this, and never does. (Update: As my pal Tim Donahue pointed out on Twitter, the old CBA actually defined “average salary” using a formula that yields a number slightly different from the mean; that number worked out to about $5.8 million last season, a higher number than the $5.5 million figure Stern uses).
So. This was the Lakers salary last season. Kobe Bryant has been signed up in one deal or another since 1996 for the Lakers. Pau Gasol just signed an extension on his deal. (And he had an expensive contract from Memphis that was extended.) Lamar Odom inked a new deal in 2009 (that was for 3 years). Andrew Bynum, after 4 years on the rookie scale, had a big extension kick in. Everyone else is being paid Mid Level Salary (Ron Artest) or less. Luke Walton and Steve Blake are mentioned as bad contracts, but the Lakers chose to sign them. That’s not either Walton or Blake’s fault that the Lakers chose to do that. Or, for that matter, the players, the Lakers, or the rest of the league’s fault either. If you’re going to argue competitive balance is based on having Bryant, Odom, Gasol and Bynum as a top 4, okay. But, Odom and Gasol were both traded for, and Bynum was drafted with the 10th pick in the 2005 draft.
Are you saying that competitive balance is that you can’t allow trades? Okay….but that’s an exceptionally slippery slope. The problem is that ignores that the Grizzlies received Marc Gasol, a damn good player in his own right (and better than any player Chicago was “supposedly” willing to give up), in that trade and 2 late 1st round picks. (The Grizz also had a late 1st in 2009 from the Magic.) And, to that end, you might as well as forget the Zach Randolph trade in ’09 that has paid dividends for the Grizzlies as well.
The Grizzlies haven’t been bad because they are in a small market. They have been bad because they have questionable ownership and management. It’s really not any more simple or complicated than that.
I don’t even want to talk about the Utah Jazz. Stockton & Malone is all you need to know. Hall of Famers matter. Or the Blazers, Kings, Spurs or anyone else. At least not in this respect anyway.
Let me open with Berger’s piece here before nosediving into the final stanza’s of this nonsense:
But here’s the thing: Unlike Jordan, unlike the current stars of Stern’s league for whom cutthroat annihilation is part of the job description, Stern has a higher purpose here — a duty to seek common ground, not scorched Earth. He’s the master of the message, the ultimate closer, a skilled negotiator who has taken his case to a public that doesn’t know what to believe and thus will embrace the most skillfully crafted closing argument available.
Stern’s wax statue at Madame Tussaud’s will have a void where the heart belongs and a fork-shaped tongue. But his legacy will be equally disfigured if he doesn’t lift his foot off the players’ throats and put style points aside to achieve a victory that, while not a blowout, will be far more meaningful.
Barring federal mediator George Cohen — a former outside labor counsel for the NBPA — undressing Stern in the negotiating room next week, or barring a miracle from the National Labor Relations Board, it will be up to Stern to see reason and compromise. Just days after cutting out Hunter’s legs on radio and TV, it will be up to Stern to throw his longtime foe and negotiating partner the life raft that could save the season — and save both men’s legacies.
For all of Stern’s masterful manipulation Thursday, the reality is this: the players have offered to surrender more than $1 billion of their previous salaries, have offered shorter contracts, smaller raises, more restrictions on big-market spending, and have dug in only on the issues of a technical hard salary cap and guaranteed contracts. Stern’s negotiation position has made it seem like a victory that the players have managed to preserve even that much, while somehow thwarting the owners’ quest to re-open previously signed contracts and suck money out of them, too.
Read the whole piece, but really, this is my point. Stern is running up the score on the players not because he needs to, but because he can. Stern knows full well that many fans see players as thugs because of hairstyles and tattoo’s (although many MLB players do incriminating things and conveniently avoid the “thug” label), and because of the color of skin. And, more importantly, it’s the fans of the demographic that the NBA cares most about: The demographic with lots of disposable income. That demographic is not young, black, or flush with unique hairstyles or body ink. I don’t care, but I’m a poor white guy and thus nobody in the NBA front office gives a shit what I think. I don’t spend enough money on their product for them to ever care about me on any real level. Besides, I don’t fit their narrative which means they would conveniently ignore me despite asking me for my opinion. (Funny how that works isn’t it?) The point is that the NBA isn’t just setting the stage for settling the lockout (which will happen sooner or later), but for the next CBA too.
This lockout has been a few things essentially. It’s been about driving a wedge in the NBPA (nearly done), severely reducing player compensation (the players have reduced their own shares leaving Stern all the time in the world to be a snarling douchebag), convincing the public that “league wide competitiveness” is possible (with the beautiful caveat of well run franchises happening) and that the league just needs a reset of the financial button. Yeah, all that in one CBA. I’ll believe it when I see it Massiah David. (When this is over, I think the networks should figure out a way to get a reality show about sneering irritating argumentative public figures–are there any other kind?–like David Stern, Michelle Bachmann, and Al Sharpton. That would be something worth watching. The benefit? They all get eaten by crocodiles after the show is over so everybody wins! And change we can all believe in…..Yadda Yadda. You get it.)
Here’s the deal. I didn’t become a Kings fan because I expect championships every other year or something. I don’t live in La-La land (pun intended naturally), and I don’t maintain this intellectual horseshit conceit that watching your beloved Celtics makes you miss a championship more than a fan whose never had the “joy” of experiencing such. The reality is if the Kings win a title, it won’t change my life one iota. You’ll read horseshit narrative about how our lives are enriched, but horseshit enriches our lives by giving us better fertilizer which helps crops grows which gives us veggies, fruits and the like that make our lives better. Why not write 8 bajillion word essays about the joy of fertilizer?
Because we don’t enjoy the essentials, which is one of the greatest negative impacts of an opulent culture, as much as we should. Which is the short answer and I’ll leave anthropology for the anthropologists who have a longer degree than this piece to give the detailed explanation.
We want to believe our hobbies matter. We want to believe our intellectual conceits have great importance. If not, why have them? Why waste our time on inconsequential wholly irrelevant important assclown horseshit? That is personally why I believe so many fans wish to watch their teams win a championship. It’s that “reward” for time, money and more mental energy than the hamsters rowing in the Geico energy use.
I don’t consider that a reward at all. I don’t even care about it. I’d rather see the Kings build their team from the ground up (as they’ve been doing), make smart and reasonable trades (Dalembert and Thornton both qualify) and spend money wisely. It’s a lot easier said than done. Before Stern who has trotted the Kings miniscule payroll as a reason they aren’t competitive (Tyreke Evans having plantar fasciitis didn’t happen eh Commish?) as if the Kings had been in the bottom of payroll every year (they weren’t), or before fans waxed the Maloofs for being too cheap to build a winner in Sacramento so they could take the team to Anaheim. (I got news for you: The Maloofs were going to Anaheim if they spent big in Free Agency in 2010 or spent relatively little. If you don’t believe that, well, you got problems.)
Now, I understand why the hard cap is alluring. The NFL benefits because the hard cap (which is so funny to hear Stern mention the NFL so often–he wishes his league could gross 9 billion in revenue) makes it more significantly difficult than just spending money to win in the NFL consistently. Yet, teams still manage to do so. Think there’s a common element here? Yep, you guessed it, well run organizations.
Well run organizations in small, mid, large, Pluto or Saturn (or big) markets matter. Well run is well run. Sure the Spurs have less margin for error than the Lakers do, but is that the Lakers fault? That’s the nature of the beast. You say it should be a fair fight, but what fight is fair? The first time will be, well, the first time. No fight is ever fair for a reason; that’s the way of the world in otherwords.
This is why Stern’s go to competitive imbalance example, “the Lakers spend twice as much as the Kings” is so disingenuous. As Tom Ziller (and yours truly–TZ & I might have been the only one’s to point this out–read this link please if you haven’t already) has repeatedly pointed out, the Kings’ salary was $45M last season because there was absolutely no reason for it to be any higher. The Kings are rebuilding, and with 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans along with the most talented center to enter the NBA in some time DeMarcus Cousins, who’s to say that the Kings aren’t the next Thunder? If Evans and Cousins turn out to be great, let’s wait and see what the Kings’ team salary looks like when they re-sign them both before we decree that the current system is hopelessly broken.
As Perrin notes:
The NBA is a superstar-driven league. And while the last four NBA champs all had a luxury tax bill, they also had something more important – an MVP on their roster. In fact, for 20 of the last 21 seasons in the NBA, the champion has had an in their prime MVP on the team – only the 2004 Pistons managed to win a ring without one.
Moreover, three-fourths of those title teams had superstar players they actually drafted – only the Celtics (Kevin Garnett), the Heat (Shaquille O’Neal) and the Lakers (O’Neal again) acquired their MVP level talent via trade or free agency; of course those guys were matched with some pretty solid home grown talent in Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant.
NBA General Managers are not all as dumb as they are sometimes portrayed. They know what wins in the NBA. You can make the playoffs, maybe even win a series or two, with a team of solid players. But if you hope to win it all, you have to have that next level guy, that super-maga-star, first team all NBA, legit MVP candidate in his prime. And if you don’t have that, you might as well still be rebuilding.
One of the many reasons I love Perrin’s work is in this type of piece he writes. While these pieces are not always brimming with 100% accuracy (who is perfect?) , he manages to always sketch in the complete picture nonetheless. That’s an art, and Steve Perrin has perfected it. Along with Dave Deckard of BEdge as well. I digress, my bad.
At any rate, what Perrin says is nonetheless completely true: The NBA owners are upset they don’t all have Superstars. Guess what? Not everybody can have them. That’s just the nature of the beast.
I lied. There’s more. The CBA is this: It’s a financial document for a 4+ billion dollar grossing revenue league that dictates how money is divvied up among the primary participants (players & owners). The owners have complained that they take too much of the infastructure on for too little a share, and the players are saying without us you have nothing to sell doinkus! Thing is both sides are right. Which is why the solution was always A) reduce the players share of the BRI to somewhere in the 50-52% range and B) beef up your revenue sharing.
Every fan I know who understands what this lockout has been about has mentioned something to that effect. It’s not the system, but the people using it that are the issue. No hard cap can rectify the fact you took Hasheem Thabeet 2nd overall. No hard cap can rectify your desire to satisfy Dwight Howard by increasing the talent around him. (And for all the crap Rashard Lewis takes, he was arguably the 2nd best player–or 3rd best player–on a team that went to the Finals and Eastern Conference Finals back to back years. Overpaid? Yeah, he was. So badly that he’s in the same group as Gilbert Arenas and Eddy Curry? Not even close.) No hard cap can rectify not understanding that kissing a douchebag’s ass repeatedly is not necessarily going to equate to LeBron James resigning in Cleveland. (Which Bron Bronze should have done. But I digress.)
No, this lockout (we know what it’s about from the owners end) is about fans intellectual conceit who believe the NBA is structurally flawed (even though it’s not) and believe that a financial system can rectify the ills that “ail” the sport. Eh, not likely. The NBA in it’s current format has been always a league that is driven by having that unreplacable superstar level player you can build your roster around. The NBA is a 5 man 2-way game that requires 5 players complementing each other on 2 ends of the court. No other sport comes close to having that requirement and thus, that all important coveted superstar, players matter so much more. The NBA is a game of balancing the individual with the team construct of support to make that individual appear more effective. Got that?
If you feel like you’ve been hit over the head with bricks, that’s what David Stern wants. He wants you to cover your ears and scream, “Make this shit stop you retarded assholes!” Stern, and the owners, rely on the fact that the players are not only the product, but much of the media related content, too. The players, rightfully so, are not only the product, but they also have to answer to the media (for the most part–there are exceptions) as well. The owners can make bad decision after bad decision and then hide out in their luxury boxes utilizing the “deep throat source” method of knocking players around in the public eye. It’s effective, and it works because the NBA expects, no fuck that, Stern and the owners/cronies are RELYING on you to eat their rhetoric up as it’s going to be the new Formula 51. They know you want to believe it, and all it takes is a bit of shaping and the right timing to make it work. You gotta have big up’s to market it!
You either think the hard cap will work, or you’re skeptical. I didn’t link to anything that resembles my opinion to illustrate that are others that think something in the same realm I do; I did it to illustrate there are other fans and/or media for a variety of reasons who are skeptical that a new “cap” changes much with regards to the fabric of the NBA. As a fan, why do I care about franchise value or how much it costs to run a team? How is that my problem? Do I get a share of the profit if a team wins more or makes a few dollars more than expected? Do I somehow gain in the form of lower ticket prices or, more beneficial in my particular case, lower prices on national Broadband and/or League Pass? No. The NBA or teams aren’t lowering any of those things anytime soon either. I don’t see a dime either way. Why should I care about a stupid petty fight that A) doesn’t likely offer league dominance for the almighty Sacramento Kings, B) doesn’t benefit me financially or C) is mostly filled with irritating half truthed rhetoric? What’s in it for me? Do you think I give a shit that the NFL is a 9 billion gross revenue league? Do you think I admire that? The answer is 100% no.
We can debate a new system all you want, and I understand why. It’s hard watching your team not having a chance at a championship. In the NFL, only 12 teams get that chance every season. Yet, without fail, most fans will tell you your NFL team has a better chance at winning a championship. In the NBA, 16 teams have a chance at winning a championship. Only 1 team ends up winning a championship, but that’s true regardless of the sport. Don’t tell me teams like the Saints have the opportunity to be good pretty quickly. That was always true but poor management didn’t always allow for the exploitation of said opportunity. Don’t tell me the Green Bay Packers is a successful small market franchise; they’ve won more NFL championships than any other NFL franchise. That’s a pretty successful way of defining success, yes? While I’m perfectly aware only 8 of the teams (if we’re lucky) are considered real NBA contenders at any point, 8 out of 30 is not nearly as miniscule as a percentage (26.6%) as the NFL playoff format–for all 12 teams–is about 37.5%. I calculated every playoff team in the NFL, and only half for the NBA. Yet, does it matter?
Don’t tell me a hard cap changes things. Show me. Don’t run your rhetoric, NBA–aka David Stern– and expect me to believe you wholesale. You can insult other fans intelligence all you wish; you’re not allowed to insult mine. You can shovel your horseshit where you are allowed, but you are not allowed to do so here. At the end of the day, I don’t care if you’re one of those fans who believes a hard cap will change things. But you’re fooling yourself if you don’t think your opinion is a pawn, along with many, being used by the NBA to push a silly and regretful agenda that is mostly about being the biggest swinging dick in the room, and little else. If you think the NBA wants you to know how it conducts it’s 4 billion dollar business, it doesn’t. What business would? What need would owners have with David Stern if somebody could do Commish Stern’s job for 200K? This lockout has been showing how intrinsically valuable Stern, and his puppet Adam Silver, are to the NBA in pushing it’s lockout rhetoric to the hilt. They’ve mastered it true. They’ve convinced the world will end when they say so, even though people will just say fuck it and move on. Me included. I may come back quickly or I may not. It really depends on how busy I am with school and how much other things I have going on that take precedence.
With the NBA showing it’s priorities (Me!Me!Me!), I’m curious as to why I shouldn’t do the same. Why I should bother wasting my time, money and energy on a product that not only see’s me as silly inconsequential fodder for a group of assclowns that can’t effectively run to their business to a profit so they must run a silly and awful set of Tea-Partyish slogans that sound as stupid upon impact as they do when you start stripping away at them for meaning. You’re telling me I should feel badly for a group of people that, because they have, as a group, mismanaged their business so badly that they need to be saved from themselves? That because said assclowns can’t effectively do their own jobs as the players they are blaming their lack of profit on, it’s somehow the players fault? I’m not fond of the players own arrogant position, but it’s to be expected. You don’t take the silver spoon out of somebody’s mouth and not expect whining. It’s just a given.
That’s just it really. This whole lockout has been knocking back, say, oh I don’t know, 40 years of progress the players have made in having a say in how their league is run. This whole lockout has to been show that when Stern is pulling the strings, you’re the puppet. Except nobody cares. A group of billionaires, some of whom have managed their outside Fortune 500′s as badly as their actual teams they “own”, can’t effectively get sports ownership right? So you’re telling me we need to listen to a bunch of droning on mission statements that make Gary Cole nauseous? You’re telling me you’re doing this for the good of the game? You’re telling me that people who are more spoiled and as oblivious to the realities of life as the players are are suddenly the good guys? Eh? What? These bastard assclowns are lucky they have bought into a sport that I happen to love. Which is their luck, and not the other way around. The owners are spending this lockout complaining nobody appreciates them. Guess what? You’re goddamn right I don’t give a shit about the lot of you. In fact, all this lockout has done one thing: I fucking hate each and every one of you useless scumbag sumbitches complaining pissant fucktard clowns.
Whew! Now I feel better. (Actually not.) That last paragraph was meant to make me feel better. Yes these owners are worthless scum parasites, true, but it’s not like there won’t be worthless sack of shit scum parasites to replace them once these one’s depart. The useless sack of shit scum parasite you know is better than the one you don’t? (I guess.)
While I don’t side with a bunch of lazy and clueless players living the high life, I don’t see how anyone can side with inconsequential stupid idiots who can’t be bothered to run their business effectively. I don’t get it. And I never will. While I can write the same shit over & over, that’s the bottom line. You can get rid of Francisco Garcia, but that doesn’t make his replacement any more valuable if that replacement isn’t a better player. Smaller dollar signs for players don’t equate to more trade value, but to more profit for owners.
This is the deal. I’ll give the hard cap (assuming there is one–or what is effectively one) a chance. Let’s come back in 5 years to discuss how “effective” the new cap has made the NBA and what’s changed. Fair? Okay. Now I’m done. And, yes, fuck the owners.