So I've been reading the 5 on 5's, looking at ESPN snippets discussing who is to blame, and listening to people employe by the NBA work like Nazi propagandists in a effort to make this look like something inevitable. If there is one thing we CAN say about the lockout, it is that this was most certainly inevitable, and that the writing has been on the wall for some time.
There are plenty of reasons why we're here at this juncture at this time: crazy player salaries, stingy owners, poor management by the NBA, crazy acts of negotiations by players, rigging the league so big markets have more success and the list goes on.
So who is most to blame in getting to this point; the lockout to end all lockouts?5. The agents...
The agents are the satan-on-the-shoulder that whispers in the ear of every young, impressionable, naive player who has just finished a college career with no degree and a desire to "cash in". Long gone are the days when a Patrick-Ewing-type would stay, get his degree, and know that coming out the other side he'd still be ok.
Now-a-days players think in "drive thru" terms: gotta get paid and gotta get paid now. Talk about short-sighted and self-indulgent, saying things like "my window is closing", "I have to try now or it'll never happen" and half the guys saying it are 19 years old... Sorry but they're getting these "scripts" from very artful directors - their agents. Agents used to provide conscience, counsel, and legitimate protection for their clients. Now, player advocacy has become completely ludricrous - like a union demanding a pay increase because another union just got one; the problem is a snowball and it's been gaining momentum since BEFORE the last lockout. Also remember, the NBA makes a cut from the agents... but we'll get onto that later.4. The superstars and hacks who manage to get paid like superstars.
Ridiculous contracts, refusing to play, pure unprofessionalism, Mariah Carey diva-like behaviour. This is your modern NBA superstar.
The superstars have created a situation where they can issue demands knowing that as long as they go to the correct market, the NBA won't stand in their way. See Anthony, Carmelo; James, LeBron; Bosh, Chris; Stoudemire, Amare for examples. Whilst everyone has aspirations and dreams (see Allen, Ray returning home to Massachusets) players still have a professional obligation to meet: they are an employee of a company and have to be professional. Otherwise, if we are serious, the company should be able to fire them, terminate the contract, and sue for damages. See Curry, Eddy and the inability to go on a diet.
I'm surprised that, in such a litigious society as the US, this hasn't happened already.
But either way, if the league is to rise from the ashes, the players have to be on the same page and want to play regardless of where it is. Plain and simple.3. The owners and Billy Hunter.
I asked a friend last night at Basketball "Who is Billy Hunter?" "No idea... What's this in reference too, Biochemistry?"
An avid basketball fan, yet even he doesn't know who Billy Hunter is, and what he's currently doing. Because of Billy we have an almost unprecedented mess where we will soon see the "rookies" choosing to litigate against someone and that may actually turn out to be the NBAPA... seriously.
These guys signed deals, are dead broke and it's all because Mr Hunter was representing the top 5% not the other 95%. Makes me think we need an "Occupy the NBAPA" movement because as many players have stated, and then been hushed up or shot down, most players just want to play!
The owners on the other hand are to blame for the protraction; they needed to meet and organise between themselves sooner. They also need to realise that they're not all regulars on entourage, and this means that concessions must be made by the bigger markets. Yes it is a business but the business model is flawed and you dont need an MBA to realise that.2. The NBAPA.
As mentioned earlier they are starting to get just plain unreasonable. Jason Kidd is pretty much done now. Rookies are now unable to pay back loans they took out thinking they would be paid soon. Windows of opportunity are closing for veterans... and the NBAPA needs to be more democratic and realise that although a stand was needed, this process is now resembling a fake ultimatum that will actually harm the bargaining power of the players long term.
Fact is, if they were serious deadlines and decertification would have come in July or June - not now when the season should have already started. Do you seriously think a snake like Stern doesn't see right through this? Let's also consider that now the NBAPA has openend itself up to a counter-claim for unnecessary protraction - which one would expect the NBA would win. So either way the solution will be... more mediation!!!!!! #%#@%@#%@!!1. David Stern.
Supposed to have stepped down - hasn't. 2 lockouts now - say what?
Stern is a great money winner; the problem is his methodology is entirely unethical and immoral and he'll kill anyone he has too in that beautiful passive aggressive manner in order to get what he wants. Stern could have talked the owners around by this time; he could have also talked around the players.
The problem is, he's not being the Commissioner he's supposed to be; he's behaving like someone with their own interests at heart. Many things will come out of this new period we're entering; one should be Stern finally stepping aside. My only concern is for whoever steps in - the league is in ruin and in need of a complete overhaul. Heck, the NBA actually OWNS one of the franchises... that's never happened before. Meanwhile Stern sticks to his big markets, and makes sure that the money rolls in BUT only via certain avenues.
If all the people before are to blame then they are merely lunatics - Stern is the Joker pulling all the strings.