I guess I won’t get to see what the Knicks with Amare and Carmelo would like like when they had a whole offseason and preseason to work out the kinks. As you’ve probably heard by now, the NBA players Union rejected the owner’s latest proposal and have opted to disband. While it saddens me that there might not be a basketball season, I’m not mad at the players. They made plenty of concessions to the owners to address the financial woes the NBA are claiming but it was never enough. It’s like when you have someone beat but you want them to kneel and admit defeat for your own ego.
A couple of prevalent things that I’ve seen over the course of this lockout have bothered me though:
- The idea that the players should be sensitive to the hard economic times that the fans are going through. Um, that money they are giving up isn’t going back to you. It’s going to the billionaire owners. Just because they entertain us doesn’t mean that they should accept less money than they deserve.
- I follow a large number of NBA reporters/beat writers on Twitter so I could be kept up-to-date on the lockout news. I spend more hours than I should reading pieces by Henry Abbott, Zach Lowe and J.A. Adande. When it started, the tone was pretty split between how culpable each side was in the mess the league found itself in but as soon as we started to lose games and maybe the season, the majority of the writers turned on the players. Not because they thought that the owners were right but because they thought that the players were the ones who were going to have to cave. These writers could not influence the owners into bettering their deal but they knew they could influence the 450 members of the union into wanting to end this lockout. They no longer cared that the owners were trying to squeeze the players for every last penny, they just wanted to see basketball again.
We laud these players for their competitive fire on the court1. I don’t know why anyone is surprised that they didn’t cave to ultimatums and being painted into a corner by Stern. Even if they might not win (let’s be real, they won’t), I’m not going to fault them for fighting to the bitter end.
1. Insert Lebron James 4th quarter joke here