“There’s No Crying in Basketball.”

Posted on November 17, 2011 by


Headline states “NBA Lockout Costs League $800 Million…. And Counting.”  The NBA Lockout has cost the league 26% of the regular seasons games resulting in this enormous figure, already.  The 2010-2011 season ranked in north of $3.8 billion.  The NBA players and owners are at war to negotiate a percentage of annual revenue that goes to the players and a percentage of the annual revenue that goes to the owners.  Before this debacle, the players received 57% and the owners received 43%.  The players rejected the 50-50 annual revenue split proposal and the first two weeks of regular season games have been cancelled.

According to CNBC, the average NBA player lost $220,000 as a result of the stalemate with the owners.

Tuesday, 11/15/11, was the day NBA players were to have received their first paychecks of the 2011-12 season. Obviously, since no games are being played and no collective bargaining agreement has been reached, no checks were disbursed. If there are not any games being played, and the players are not receiving their averaged $220,000 paychecks, I would assume that the ticket-takers, custodians, and concession stand workers, who, by my estimation, probably make around $8-$10 an hour, are not receiving their paychecks either.

If the players were to have agreed to the proposal of 50-50 annual revenue split, $270 million roughly would be transferred to the owners.  The median salary based on USA Today data from 2009-10 is $2.33 million per player.  Of course all players salaries are different depending on their contacts and how much of a well-known star they are.

With all this information I have provided, I don’t think the players nor the owners are hurting, to say the least, for money.  There is all this media attention on “Oh the poor players” or “Oh the poor owners.”  What about the employees that work for these venues and the restaurants and bars surrounding these venues that count on each NBA season to bring in profit?  I see where the players and owners are coming from and they want this money to be distributed in a fair manner, these people are discussing MILLIONS! But, I am guessing, the players are not too desperate for money since they already have not received their first paycheck.  I do think its fair to say that the employees of these venues are in desperate need of a paycheck.

Former NBA superstar, Shaquille O’Neal, was on The View recently and when asked about the NBA lockout, he quoted Barack Obama. “President Obama said it the best. He said it would be a shame that if billionaires and millionaires can’t come to some sort of agreement, and have regular people lose their jobs,” O’Neal said. “It’s a great, great business. Both sides make great points. … I just wish they would come to some sort of agreement.”

The big picture that needs to be on display is how is this Lockout going to affect the employees and the towns these venues are located in.  I understand that these players make the NBA, the players are who bring in the fans, and the fans are the ones spending their money to support “their” team.  Without the players there is no NBA basketball and then there are not the jobs the NBA provide and the profit it brings to outside businesses.  I think what we are getting away from here is sports are for entertainment and to bring enjoyment to people’s lives.  People watch basketball because they love the game and they can share the time with their friends and family.  These players are extremely talented and should be compensated for their work, but we are forgetting about the love for the game.  This game has turned into a greedy fest.  It is almost like there is just too much money involved and people are letting dollar signs get in the way.  We have millionaires and billionaires arguing over millions of dollars.

It’s estimated the city of Indianapolis alone will lose up to $55 million if Pacers games aren’t held to bring in tax revenue and business for local bars and restaurants.

The general employees that work for the venues and the employees of the local bars and restaurants are probably poor to middle class citizens.  My argument is for these hard-working people where every single paycheck is needed.  These employees have bills to pay and their own families to raise.  Our economy is not the greatest right now and every possible job available is a necessity.  I hope that the players and owners can come to a reasonable agreement soon or there is going to be a lot of crying in basketball.  On a positive note, lets bring the love of the game and the positive entertainment back into the lives of the NBA fans.