Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 15, 2011

Thoughts and feelings post-Lockout-Rant

Last night, yeah, I was pretty pissed. At the owners, at the players less so (if only because I wonder how any can negotiate with someone who is trying to decapitate you), and well fans, I pretty much expect that reactions.

* Love Henry Abbott’s piece today at True Hoop:

On Friday, a role player for a middling team got a surprise phone call, from just about the biggest name in the sport — somebody who had never called him before. The message: Hold firm at 53. We’re not caving. Hang in there. It wasn’t the only call of its kind, and when you talk to players now there is religious fervor, around the number 53, and around not giving owners any freebies on the other issues.

Owners are indignant that they have endured dreadful losses that must be righted. Players, meanwhile, are indignant that compared to the old CBA every concession to date has come from them. The issues are sounding more religious than ever, and it’s doubtful that, at the moment, anyway, either Hunter or Stern is capable of rallying his followers to build a bridge to the other side.

And if it’s driven by players’ blossoming and deep-rooted self-determination, then they can’t be expected to budge. I just hope, for the NBA’s sake, that they chose the correct line to draw in the sand.

Marc Stein has a reasonable FAQ on ESPN.com.

There are a number of good points that Larry Coon wrote about the Prisoners dillemma and the relationship to the NBA lockout.

Dennis Rodman has a good point:

“It’s not the players’ fault, it’s the owners’ fault and I think (the players) should give a little bit,” the Hall of Famer said. “And that way, things will move on.”

“Most players don’t give a damn about the game,” he said. “They want the money and all of a sudden they want unity. I’m not taking the owners’ side. I think the players should look at themselves.”

And so much for not ripping the ESPN front page.

Apparently Ed Stefanski and Jeff Bower are duking it out for the Toronto Raptors job. (If left to my own devices I’d point out how little I think of Stefanski. Bower’s time as the New Orleans Hornets GM has strong and weak points, but he will always be remembered as the guy who drafted Chris Paul.)

Hoopshype has a Twitter page for players in case you want to find one’s you’re interested in.

I saw this Billy Hunter “contraction” and Sacramento Kings thing. I rolled my eyes and kept reading the piece by JA Adande and Dave McMenamin. (Forgot about this in my ESPN link up.) But since I’m still dickriding ESPN here, I might as well link to Simmons and Wilbon while I’m at it.

JaVale McGee is not the brighest bulb of the NBA Player bunch.

A nice CBA oriented writeup from Jared Wade of 8points9Seconds.

Sam Amick has a new Billy Hunter focused piece up at SI.

Speaking of SI, there is also a poll that you can vote anonymously on your feelings regarding the lockout.

A fellow named Storyteller has long been a noted underground guru of CBA related items on BlazersEdge and elsewhere (for those who know). He has a nice piece on the recent Hunter/Stern talking points you probably (probably being an euphemism for “you should do so unless you wish to run your mouth with the man’s rhetoric”) should read.

An Economics Point of View about the NBA lockout.

And last but not least, it looks like the early loser of the 2011 draft could be Terrence Jones. Jones opted to go back to Kentucky for whatever reason, and it may end up costing him dearly if he decides to come out in 2012.

******

I forgot to post this yesterday from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo in quote form, so here it is:

For better or worse, NBA players will never win public sympathy. They have every right to this labor fight, but it is their fight and their fight alone. It isn’t shared with the fans, the arena workers, no one. The sooner they understand that, the easier this will go for them. Forget the PR fight – just win the fight.

* One thought about the NBA lockout and how it relates to competitive balance: Why is it the 2011 CBA is the first time that competitive balance has been such a huge issue brought forth by the NBA as a league and David Stern as a commissioner? Didn’t owners in 2005, 1999, 1995, and 1984 want their teams to win too? Didn’t they want to profit off their franchises?

I’m confused.

* From Amick’s piece linked earlier:

“As they want to inflict these self-inflicted wounds, the gash is only going to get bigger, franchise values are going to decimate,” Evans said. “Best-case scenario — when we ran the numbers — 2023 is when they would recover [financially] and get back to where we are with BRI (basketball-related income) if we lost an entire season. So continuing to threaten that it’s a season and that it’s two years is only going to further damage your business. Again, that’s not even speaking for individual owners and what they stand to lose. Not every owner would be able to, again, come out of this lockout. There would be some contraction, potentially, if they want to lock us out for a year or longer.”

Here’s the reality of contraction. It’s idle when Maurice Evans and Billy Hunter discuss it, but, at the same time, it’s a real problem for NBA teams. Kings fans get jumpy when you start to first utter the syllables “contrac….”

I think the players are determined to extract some flesh from the NBA owners if they are getting taken to the cleaners. Which is the problem here. The NBA players won’t win this fight, but also drastically increase the chances that the NBA’s stability is forever threatened because rich billionaire owners know that young 20 something black guys determine their league in a way that white QB’s in the NFL never can.

That isn’t soothing for the owners, and, ironically, Michael Jordan too. (Although Jordan’s issue is money in reality. As is it is for a number of owners.)

Again, as I said last night, why is competitive balance even being addressed? Because the NBA Leadership and Owners know Fans want to hear those very words and want to believe that a hard cap can rectify the ill’s. And like I said last night, this is a pointless merry-go-round. I’m not convincing you or vice versa. I’m squarely in “show me and shut the fuck up while you do.” I’ve had enough of Stern’s mouth to last me for a lifetime these last 4 months.

* Why do the NBA owners think they are unique in claiming ineptitude means they should profit?

* I’m not convinced that the future NBA Brand will take years to recover because of the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Dwight Howard/Derrick Rose/Kevin Durant etc etc factors. When the NBA had a similar lockout, their brightest stars were not necessarily in their prime (or anyone other than Shaq/Kobe really).

This time around you have younger more appealing stars than Allen Iverson in the NBA that makes a potential lockout easier to rebound from. By more appealing, I mean more reach across the board than the niche crowd Iverson was so popular with. I’m 100% convinced this is one reason the owners are so insistent on pushing the hard stance behind Stern.

* In case you’re wondering,

Kevin Johnson’s name is on that letter from US Mayors to the NBA & NBPA to bring back basketball to every city.

******

Not actually NBA or Lockout related, this is to pass along the terrific anti-NCAA article by Taylor Branch in Atlantic Monthly that’s been out at least a month. If you’ve not read it, and hate the NCAA, you’ll appreciate it. If you believe in the hypocrisy the NCAA sells you, well, you won’t like it.

Okay. Have a good weekend. And pray that Stern/Owners/Players aren’t stupid enough to think the NBA can’t be forgotten at some point.

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