In one corner we have the NBA owners; a steely eyed group that believes an owner should be able to decide how much they pay their employees. In the other corner are the players, steadfast in their belief that without their spectacular talent, there is no NBA. Fans are lining up on both sides ready to voice their opinion about who is right and who is wrong. Like everyone else I have my opinion.
If I was an owner I wouldn’t like my employees telling me how much of my profits I had to fork over. To the owners, owning a sports franchise is all about business. They aim to maximize profits just like the rest of the for-profit companies in this country.
Players want to maximize how much money they can make before their bodies can no longer do what the new stud out of college can. Players also have to worry about their own player’s union. Every time a new contract is signed it sets the bar for the next contract on the table. If they don’t ask for the sky, the union puts pressure on them until they do.
What gets me are players, making millions of dollars, crying about how underpaid they are. I can see an infomercial airing on late night TV. Billy Hunter is making the rounds checking on his players. Paul Pierce has taken a night job at a Southie bowling alley. Derrick Rose is making pizzas in Northern Chicago. Our own Willie Green has been forced to collect ticket stubs at a movie theater in South Philly. Life is rough for our NBA millionaires. Without a substantial increase in revenue’s they might not make ends meet. We will hear about NBA players car pooling or riding public transportation.
I don’t see villainous robber barons like at the end of the 19th century. NBA players are not subjected to sweat shops, nor are they forced to play before they turn 19. As far as I can see, life as an NBA player is pretty good.
Assuming the players can not bear to live with a contract more like the NFL, we will have to live without watching our aerial show for some time period. Luckily there are other places to look for our sports entertainment. I hear we have a pretty good baseball team in town. The Eagles are always competitive with a justifiable reason for hope. And we now even have a pro soccer team in town.
At some point the owners might call upon the NBDL to man our teams. I will cheer on the Sixers no matter who is on the floor. The Philadelphia 76ers is my team, even if it is made up of ex-players from Temple, St. Joe’s and Drexel that couldn’t quite make it in the NBA. They might even play a little defense for us.
Until new contracts have been signed, it’s quite possible that the bragging rights this for the year in jeopardy will go to the most talented picket line. I hear Lebron James can show some mad skills carrying a picket sign.