I haven’t written in awhile for a couple of reasons. One is I’m tired of talking about the same shit repeatedly, coming to the same conclusion, and no deal because 2 sets of delusional assclowns have to be the biggest swinging dick in the room. Two, I’m tired of repeating this repeatedly. (Music here.)
But, since Thursday, the NBA has (not surprisingly) put the season, and an actual season, on the players by saying take this deal and you’ll get games.
Read this piece by Etan Thomas and a superb response by Matt Moore (of the Hardwood Paroxysm and CBS Sports variety) at Basketball Talk. But, but, but butt butttttttttt, who cares right? Just give us our fucking games already!
That’s how most fans feel. They don’t care about who wins the CBA; these fans just want their team to win and that’s about it. Then you have the pro-owner and anti-owner fans. In no way have I described a pro-player sentiment in any of this. Why? There really isn’t any. I don’t feel sorry for them, and I’m as anti-owner as you will find anywhere.
That’s not what this is about.
I’m of the opinion that a number of fans feel that the players have to be screwed to be taught a couple of things. One, is to know their place. Players play; organizations run things. That’s how many fans feel comfortable with things, and that’s the blind truth of it. On the other hand, you have people like myself who could care less about who has the power because I’m not one of those people. If there is anything that is 100% true, it’s that I care about me, myself and I. I follow the NBA because I like basketball and I like watching the best basketball in the world. Yes, it comes with drawbacks like black players getting paid large sums of money and asshole billionaires holding up seasons to cover the interest payments that they bought their franchises with. At least pro sports is honest; they may be douchebags but they are OUR douchebags. We enable these asshead clowns who claim they can’t make money on their business by allowing them to say things like “we can’t help ourselves; save us from us!” And we buy this shit. We fall for this horseshit illogical business principle because we want to believe our team will be better off for it down the road. (Or some fans do giving owners of franchises the arrogance to believe they can hold up a sports league with little to no effect. They rely on us to have a short term memory.) That, though, is only part of the story.
The flip side is, what happens if the players end up taking the deal on the table? Will it help them in the long run? Possibly, but only if they embrace it now. If they take that they were going to lose this round (something a number of them like Durant aren’t prepared to do yet) and lose this in a way that’s going to make too many fans cheer.
What if, 6 years from now, the NBA owners can’t do this again? The NBA owners can only do this so many times before fans see through the bullshit. And Adam Silver, with all due respect to Silver, is not David Stern.
Here is the reality: Players can always decertify, but it’s not likely to help them much. For one thing, it will shut down the rest of the 2011-12 season which will hurt the players a great deal in of itself. Two, it’s not likely to get a better CBA negotiated by the ownership who will be even more stubborn and entrenched than these idiot assholes have already been. Frankly, as worthless as these owners really are, these players don’t get that decertification means a lot of things that most of them are not prepared for. For one, it will burn down the NBA as we know it. It will mean, for the players to decertify, starting an entirely new league, like the ABA, and then making it fly. What are the chances do you think that these players with less resources and built in structures are going to do that successfully? If these “billionaire can’t run these franchises appropriately and need to be saved from themselves” can’t run franchises the right way, do players will roll with the punches differently or, gasp, more effectively? Do players think they will have the ability to run their franchises any better than the numerous amount of ornery ridiculously large net worth of predominantly white men, titans in an outside business (whether they did it fairly I won’t argue), and so forth? Get real. You’ve gotten raped here NBA players. (In the metaphorical money sense. Definitely not in the Jerry Sandusky sense.) You’ve gotten held up by the Glock with a degree from Colombia; the country, not the Ivy League school.
There is a better alternative however. Revenge is a dish best served cold. And I would suggest dishing out revenge in such a manner rather than taking disingenuous arguments like Nazr Mohammed’s (although I don’t really care one way or the other personally; I don’t think it’s a big deal) for instance. How? Take this deal. Yes, I know. The players are screwed. Well guess what? They were always going to lose this CBA. The question was of how much.
There’s a flip side to this. Say the players take the deal that is currently on the table, and leave it at that. The NBA comes back. Well, guess what happens the next CBA? The owners are going to make the same argument in 6 years (or whenever the first out the players get to negotiate a new CBA). Which means one thing if you’re a NBA player. You’re going to have to live with a bad CBA for a few years in the current schematic, and decide down the road if you want if you want to keep getting screwed by inscrutable people with little to no desire for anything else other than their pocketbooks. There is also a side benefit to all this too.
Remember all that talk about competitive balance? In 5 years, we will talk about what’s changed. Which, most likely, nothing has. In that case, for all the people who wanted a new owner friendly CBA because the players didn’t know their place, and have seen the owners make the same arguments they always did, may be helpful. If nothing else, it will expose some fans ignorance on the topic or that these fans (also?) are dick sucking billionaire ass kissers. (If you’re confused on how you do both…….? Me too. Somehow they manage.) There isn’t much room between the two as far as I can tell. You can’t argue that the NBA, and make it stick (there is the element of the unknown), will benefit from competitive balance with a new CBA when there is no competitive balance. Which there won’t be but we’ll talk about this again in 5 years. These discussions are always best had with a large data sample and time to discuss them.
If you are a player, the way you win a new CBA is by winning it today. You don’t start planning to beat the owners 6 years from now; you do it today. How do you think these owners are so determined to wait you out? They’ve sat back for years and observed your behaviors. They know they can push you into a bad deal because you don’t have the real werewithal to start your own league, tie up the NBA in years long litigation, and in general scare billionaires to the nth degree that the hundreds of millions of debt they have on their franchises will be worthless unless they negotiate in good faith for a change.
Will the players do that? Of course not. These players have shown throughout the lockout they lack real foresight as a group (although not all are that stupid), and that’s that. We’ve learned that the owners aren’t afraid of the players because the players don’t have the ability to grab power that isn’t included as a bi-product of the overall NBA structure. The only way to scare the owners (and this would be what I would vote to do if I was a player; but I’m not a player so this is entirely moot in the grand scheme of things) is to take the deal, and start planning on building my own league at the end of the new CBA. Or, get a significantly better deal that will illustrate the players monetary and power worth. One of the two. Don’t compromise. Get even. But like I said at the beginning of this paragraph, the players are too short-sighted. They don’t get it.
We get to a new CBA (and it’s my opinion the players are dragging and bitching in the way you know you’re beaten and they are dragging this out because their pride won’t let them do this otherwise) and the example trotted out from this absolutely ridiculously ass kicking of these NBA players is that the NBA owners only care about their money. At the end of the day, that’s all that really will ever matter to these owners.
Guess what? Next time the new CBA comes around, either the players learn how to wield their power that doesn’t include the NBA in any way shape or form, or give in to the owners and the demands of a ridiculously rarely penalized group of individuals who have literally allowed themselves to be above the law in every segment of life. Power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely. That’s what we’ve learned from this CBA, and hopefully the players won’t waste time on keeping an union that can’t simply gain any leverage with NBA ownership that has no willingness to negotiate that doesn’t come with absolutely destroying the union in the process. You can’t negotiate with someone trying to chop your head off. (On a side note, this Stern rhetoric about blaming agents is priceless.)
“No one talks about the rise in compensation under the deal, no one talks about the amount of money being spent,” Stern said. “I just think that the players aren’t getting the information, the true information from their agents, who are banding together, sort of the coalition of the greedy and the mendacious, to do whatever they can not to have fewer opportunities for the agents to make money.”
“Yes, I am worried,” Stern said, “because they’re talking up this thing called decertification which is not a winning strategy on the one hand. On the second hand, it’ll take three months to teach them it’s not a winning strategy, which would not augur well for the season.”
Like I said, these quotes are priceless. The ultimate pauper is mad at the Jester’s because they are the product and his asshole ownership is not. The same assholes that are stamping their feet because they aren’t seen as the power brokers. Who want the public to see them as that. (You don’t get style points from me for owning a sports team. For any reason. Which is why if the Maloofs sell, to whomever, you won’t get anything other than “let your basketball people run the team and spend the money necessary” bit from this space. I don’t glorify excessively high net worth people doing something for their own ego and self aggrandize the purchase of a sports team as if these people have somehow graced me with their presence. Hell no. As far as I’m concerned, they are the lucky one’s. I don’t need them; they need me.)
The irony of course is that these players, these players who can’t, and shouldn’t, wield power are the one’s who will save the season. In an environment where some fans and media, and I’ll never understand why, prefer the players are generally pawns in an overall scheme where only the few have real power. It’s ironic that the peasants are the one’s who will save the delusions of grandeur that remain with the otherwise crumbling castle. You know, the crumbling castle that the lord of the manor is too busy to care about or put any effort into, and the crumbling castle the lord gets to profit off based on the labor of these peasants. Yes, these players aren’t peasants, but it’s striking how many fans prefer that. Yet it’ll be the peasants, not the lord of the manor, that we will root for, wear jersey’s with names on it, and so forth. I don’t remember an owner ever taking heat for a team losing games. (That’s the head coaches fault.) Many people only seem to get mad, ironically, when owners don’t spend money on players to win games. Hmmm.
The NBA lockout should be referred to as the “Complete Compendium of Perfect Pitch Hypocrisy”. Or, CCoPPH. In fact, that is how it shall be referred to in the future in this space. Good day.