NBA Owners Are Not Aware Of How The NBA Actually Works

I sat in front of my laptop a little while ago to write up an update on Team USA.  David Aldridge had written a piece on NBA players very likely playing in the 2012 Olympics.  Fellow editor Jeff Garcia had passed it along and I thought it would be a decent little update.  

That is, until I kept on reading.  And I saw this quote:

“A source who deals with owners on a regular basis said that they remain determined to, if not break the union, break its current salary structure. The source said owners frequently speak of “being tired of making these guys rich” and are even contemplating asking for more, such as including income the players receive from their commercial endorsements and sponsorship money into the BRI pot — the theory being the players wouldn’t become famous and able to make such deals if not for the NBA infrastructure that puts them on television and other media.”

Yeah, Benny, that’s my reaction too. 

Then it hit me.  NBA owners might not be aware of how the sport actually works.  

When I lay down my cash to get a ticket or buy a cable package, I’m doing so to watch some of the most amazing athletes in the world partake in a sport that I absolutely love to watch.  I watch even the players I personally can’t stomach because they are virtuosos on the hardwood.  

Yes, owners are important.  They need to be willing to spend the money the product makes back on the product to some degree and not hoard it all for themselves.  They need to cheer from the sidelines and not stand over the GM’s shoulder.  And… well… that’s where it ends.  

For owners to be so self-important as to think they bestow these millions on the players out of the kindness of their hearts is, perhaps, the most asinine concept I’ve heard of in sports.  To think that a league would exist without players, THESE players, is moronic.  And the only proof I need is one simple example. 

Let’s say the NBA disbanded and every NBA player joined a new league.  Meanwhile, at the same time, every current NBA owner fielded 30 new teams with 15 new players on each team.  Which league would people watch?  Which league would sponsors and TV networks negotiate with?  Which league would survive? 

Don’t wrack your brains, owners.  You’re clearly not thinking straight anyway.  Of course the players’ new league would be what we all watch.  Because these are the best players in the world.  And that’s what we want to see.  

It’s becoming clear that money isn’t even the reason why we’re in a lockout now.  It’s stupidity.  Rampant, unbridled, stupidity and a failure to grasp the simplest concept behind why this is a multi-billion dollar sport.  Until these guys figure out a concept that is within the mental grasp of a grade-schooler, we’re going nowhere.