Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 31, 2011

The NBA lockout brought to you by Andrew Sharp and Greg Wissinger

I’m amazed that literally within minutes I read two astounding pieces of work by 2 excellent writers. But such is life. Normally I don’t dedicate an entire post to two pieces of work such as this, but these are different times. Exceptions probably should must be made.

Andrew Sharp of

The combination of greed and deception makes a Wall Street parallel pretty tempting, but I’m not going to let David Stern turn me into some goddamn hippie. I will say this, though: If an owner’s worth a billion dollars and his team lost $5 million in 2011, that’s equivalent to someone who makes $40,000-a-year losing $200. Or, about what it costs to buy a lower-level ticket to an NBA game.

We make that sacrifice over and over again, even though the tickets we lose money on today won’t be 80 percent more valuable in 10 years. We sacrifice financial sanity because we love basketball. The players have already sacrificed $2.2 billion, too. But the owners aren’t willing to lose a goddamn dime without asking the players to pay for it. So forget basketball: Here’s to hoping the lockout drags on for another week. Another month, the whole year, whatever. Whatever it takes.

For now, Stern’s plan is working. He’s got everyone convinced. Today at, David Aldridge writes that “The players aren’t going to get 52, or 51, or 50.5, or 50.000001, and if they hold out for those numbers, they’re not going to have a season.” But I don’t buy it.

Same to everyone who believes the players should cave because the owners have all the leverage. Come on. Owners have all the leverage in any labor stand-off. It always looks bad. It’s always a game of chicken. But the bottom line is what’s happening to the players isn’t necessary for NBA owners to survive and thrive. It’s all about a number of bruised egos trying to make a point.

I did link to this over @ StR for a reason, and am relinking to it here in the hopes that at least 3 or 4 people who might not otherwise see it will.

Greg Wissinger of Sactown Royalty:

In 1998 I moved to Colorado. In Sacramento, the playground was all about basketball. My friends and I played basketball during every lunch hour and every recess. This was not the case in Colorado. Football was the sport of choice, followed by hockey ad baseball in some order. The Nuggets were not a draw in any sense of the word. In my first year in Colorado I was able to buy a ticket package for floor level tickets for the Nuggets (starring LaPhonso Ellis) against the lowly Golden State Warriors (featuring Muggsy Bogues). The package also included hot dogs and soda. The tickets were $12.

The 1998-1999 NBA lockout began the following offseason. I didn’t care. I thought it was ridiculous. I thought of it in terms of player greed and whining millionaires. I was completely checked out. When the lockout ended, I remained checked out. None of my new friends were die hard basketball fans and there was no reason for me to care. The Kings were no longer what I had known them as. Richmond was gone, traded for a guy who didn’t want to go to Sacramento.

It was only when I visited family members in Sacramento that I learned the Kings suddenly had a fun and exciting team again. As bad as it sounds, that’s why I came back when I did. I fell in love with the game all over again. Over the next several seasons I grew to appreciate the team and the game in ways I hadn’t before. I became hooked.

But what if the Kings hadn’t become exciting?

What if, instead of Webber and Vlade and J-Will, we had another lousy year? I would have been gone. I might have watched the NBA from time to time, but there would have been no impetus for me to return as a fan. I remained an NBA fan, and grew as a fan, as a matter of lucky circumstance.

This 2 big blurbs are some of the excellence in both pieces. Sharp’s piece is significantly longer than Wissinger’s, but nonetheless, read both. You won’t spend a better 15 minutes of time if you’re a NBA fan. Or even if you’re not.

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