This is the first of a few posts we’ll have on the NBA lockout. The lockout has already cost the NBA the beginning of its season and many would say that the cancellations have just begun. As bad as the NFL lockout seemed to be, the general consensus is that the NBA is much further away from a resolution and the whole season could be in jeopardy. The players and owners have made little progress and stand very far away on a lot of issues. Bill Simmons breaks some of those down in this article. The owners say they are losing money and that the players have too big a share of revenue, team revenue sharing is an issue, small market teams are suffering, the salary cap is broken, and the length and guaranteed nature of contracts is a problem among others. A federal mediator has been brought in to oversee negotiations, but no end is in sight. There are more than simply two factions in the negotiations. The superstar players have one standpoint, while lesser players have another. Agents want to make sure they keep their piece of the pie, and some owners with smaller market teams and smaller budgets aren’t on the same page as the owners with the deepest pockets. All this leads up to a big mess and all sides (including the fans) will suffer accordingly.
The lockout touches on a lot of issues we’ve discussed in past posts and some key figures like Sarver loom large. The lockout demonstrates that sports at its core is just a business and that greed can drive this business. Is it ethical the way both sides are handling the lockout? Public posturing, leaking information, and failing to compromise? We’ll have more on this issue in the coming week.