It's so bad right now here at The Dream Shake that I'M the one breaking the silence and writing. Seriously, it has to get pretty bad for that to happen, right? I mean, only OAL coming out of nowhere and writing something would be more surprising, right?
I know that BD34, (our resident love him or hate him addition to the team, because no one loves Dave) already broke down the Owners vs. Players scenario, but I quickly have to get this off my chest. I am pro-players.
There, I said it. Ok, I've said it in other words before, but it's true. I'm not 100% on their side, clearly there are teams losing money, that's really not arguable. The question I have is, whose fault is that? To me, there is no way we can blame that on the players. No one makes a the Pacers pay 10.5 million on Mike Dunleavy. They did that all on their own. As did the Bobcats in giving Boris Diaw 9 million. The Maloofs pay Samuel Dalembert 12.5 million? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay are max players? Also smashing decisions. And what's worse, all of those were terrible decisions at the time of the contracts, not just in retrospect. Am I really able to blame the players for accepting those contracts? I would have too, and so would you.
Fans ripping the players for striking is ridiculous. First of all, the players didn't strike, the owners locked them out. There is a big difference. I've even seen our own commenters ripping Kevin Durant for this comment:
Durant says "no matter how long the lockout's going to take, we're going to stand up. We're not going to give in."
What exactly in that comment is bad? Do you expect him to say: "we're going to cave and let the owners have everything they want"? That would be stupid. You don't like the sentiment that they aren't going to give in? I'm fine with that, but I can't in good conscience agree with your line of thinking. The players are behind the 8 ball. The NBA has a ton of leverage because, frankly, a lot of NBA players are as smart with their money as Frank McCourt has been with the Dodgers money.
So is that the deal? Those strictly on the owners side think that the players make too much money so they should just suck it up? Then where do you think that money will go if the players don't get it? To charity? To workers on the team? Because the answer is neither, unless an owners tax burden gets too high and they need a write off. They're good at those, especially depreciating players like they are old milk cows and then saying those are real losses. And they are good at taking operating expenses and players salaries and finding ways to deduct them from the bottom line twice.
That's, again, not to say that some teams aren't losing money. But the answer there is contraction. The league has no business being in multiple of the cities it's in. The product is watered down by 2-4 too many teams as are the books. If they want to contract and leave salaries where they are, I think that would be a logical move. If you are losing money because you are stupid, then I have no sympathy for you. If you are losing money because you simply can't compete in your market, well, isn't that a form of stupidity too? Contraction would allow the NBA to truly build the NBDL up like it should as well.
This argument is about money. Isn't every argument? And the owners have made bad decisions with their money. Instead of changing those decisions, they are trying to regulate the game to protect them from themselves.
And to everyone saying that players shouldn't go overseas. Frankly, I think you are wrong. It's one of the easiest, and fastest ways they have to gain immediate leverage. No, they shouldn't go to certain places, but there are plenty of countries where they are safe and there are plenty of insurance companies ready to write policies for them. Go make a few million, grow the game outside of the country and let the NBA know that they cannot simply make up numbers and come to a negotiation.
Here's the last thing I have: If you believe the owners are right, then make them open their books 100%. There is nothing to hide if they are truly losing money and the books are kept, so it should literally be as simple as producing them from the year before. Oh, some are committing fraud on their taxes? Wait, some are taking out the expense of purchasing the team and calling that a loss? Some are saying that building a new building is a basketball loss? Great, so they're lying. That's pretty much the point. And if they aren't, they have no reason to keep the books closed or only partially open.
And Yao just retired too? I have no nice words for that event. For Yao I have plenty, but for his feet and legs forsaking such a good person I have none.