CHICAGO — The NBA and both it’s poor and successful owners are beginning to see what this work stoppage is doing to their image: making the whole lot look like foolish children fighting over gets to brag about winning.
Bill Simmons recently went on a twitter rampage scolding all involved in the Lockout debacle. As usual, Simmons is hard to disagree with both for his points and his passion. I have to agree with basically all of what Simmons said.
The lockout is both the fault of poor owners trying to be good owners and the agents of players seeing an opportunity to profit and pouncing. Much of the blame goes to as he so kindly put it, poor owners such as James Dolan (New York Knicks), Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavilers), Robert Sarver (Phoenix Suns) and Glen Taylor (Minnesota Timberwolves).
“Note to NBA players: Nobody except diehard junkies will care that the NBA isn’t around in Oct/Nov/Dec. Everyone will be watching football.”-@sportsguy33, Bill Simmons
When these names are bunched together it makes great sense what they all have in common: stupidity as owners and poor teams.
What makes these names embody NBA stupidity is the fact none of them have a winning product and haven’t for sometime. Another thing is most of the new NBA owners overpaid for their teams and then tried to recover their losses by taking it out of the teams they purchased.
Gilbert has spent the past decade overpaying for his players to surround his most overpaid player with a championship caliber cast of sidekicks. The only problem is, none of the teams he put together were championship caliber and his overpaid player went to a warmer place to be overpaid.
Simmons points this out and it makes a great deal of sense: had LeBron stayed in Cleveland, do you really think Dan Gilbert would have much to say about anything not LeBron related? Gilbert had nothing negative to say about the NBA’s system until AFTER he lost his cash cow meal ticket and the overpaying began to take its toll and cripple the Cav’s and the rest of the NBA.
Suns owner James Sarver is cited by Simmons as another reason the Lockout is so painstaking. Sarver also overpaid for his NBA team and then spent the next few seasons cutting his losses out of the team’s payroll and budget. Stars like Steve Nash suffered from this because he saw what actually was a championship caliber team disintegrate to just him and a bunch of ringers. Amare went to New York (and to another owner without a clue), Marion went to Dallas and actually won a championship (for an owner who is bug-nut crazy but smart). They were clueless children running in a china shop and now are pointing the finger and whining now that everything is broken.
Simmons does state that he’s not siding with the owners or the players. This is a hard statement to disagree with as both sides are making themselves look like fools. The recent idea to bring in DeMaurice Smith, the head of the NFLPA, to tutor the players on what they are doing wrong, has drawn even more comparisons to the NFL Lockout. But the two couldn’t be further apart.
The NFL has hard-lined but intellectual people in charge. The NBA has hard-headed ignorant heads who are bringing down the ship they feel has wronged them — despite the fact they punched the holes in the hull which caused the initial sinking.
However, it is seeming more and more unlikely the players will win like they are hoping out of all this. The only people who will be truly upset at missed games are the die-hard fans and even some of them will fall under the spell of the NFL every Sunday like the rest of the world will be.
No one will care if the NBA misses game. That’s the hard truth of the matter that niether side in this mess is getting.
The players are holding out and will lose paychecks when games are missed. The owners won’t care because they are saving that money by having the players not play. It’s not a permanent solution, but it’s a deadly temporary that will rear its ugly head eventually.
Finally, Simmons punches home a point I’ve been making from the start of this whole thing: the agents are the x-factor to blame here. They’re leeches on the player’s wallets that are concerned only with making sure their paychecks don’t stop.
“7 And on the other side, you have the 5 best agents trying to pull a fast one on Billy Hunter and bump him out. What an f-ing mess. The end.”-sportsguy33, Bill Simmons