The Biggest Loser

Posted by By at 29 June, at 18 : 05 PM Print

The Biggest Loser

As we have been watching on ABC’s newest hit ‘Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition’, we see the difficulties and eventual triumphs people endure to find an end to the destructive path that has taken them to the point where the show was needed.  Reaching a boiling point of morbid obesity has forced them to participate in a televised docu-drama that chronicles their weight loss, and finds a ‘solution’ for them.

What we as fans of the NBA are witnessing with the current labor negotiations between the League and Players Association is a similar scenario.  Both parties are hard on their stance and are unwilling to budge enough to come to a mutual agreement.  Thus, a 3rd party (The Show in this example) will most likley be required to help mediate.

The League (Owners) and Players Association are still miles apart form settling in on a deal that will make both sides happy.  The bottom line and major issue has and forever will be money.  The Owners spend a ton of it in order to garner fan interest and to bring in players that will keep that interest high and the Players want to continue making top dollar’d salaries.  The competitive nature of sports has brought us to a point where an athlete can make over $20 million dollars a season (see Kobe Bryant).  By no means am I saying that players don’t deserve the right to earn a living, get paid enormous amounts of money and live lavish lifestyles.  They have earned it.  Their play, their effort and their determination is what brings teams revenues.  Without players there would be no league.  Conversely, without the Owners, there would be no teams to play in the league and no one to pay these salaries, whatever they may be.

And here lies the problem.  We have the Owners on one hand who want to take home more of the earnings their clubs make by limiting the amount of money teams can spend on their roster (Salary Cap, less Player contract exceptions) and on the other hand we have the Players who want to continue earning without limitations put on them (contract length and amount).

Much has been said about the postitive outlook between both sides recently as they continue to talk and meet working towards an end to a possible lockout on June 30th.  As fans, we see it another way.  The average price of a ticket to an NBA game is approximately $50.  Add into this price the fact that the United States is still pulling itself out of a recession and the equation results in tough times.  Yet through all the financial problems, the general public has managed to continue to support our favorite teams.  Attendance numbers have been fluctuating the past few years.  This past season we saw over half of the teams in the league sellout their home games.  The other half is where the problems begin.  These are teams that find it difficult to fill stadiums and have low fan support. 

This is the part that appears to be one of the major hurdles between the League and Players.  It’s very pricey to own an NBA team, and in order to properly compete in the NBA, Owners need to pay top dollars to lure in quality players (Miami Heat, LA Lakers).  Owners will dish out the money, players will earn the salaries and fans will show up.  It’s an easy formula that typically will lead to success.  The issue is that the other half of teams in the league that can’t afford to dish out big bucks for players are hurting at the gate and concessions as fan support is low.  It’s a cycle.  No premium tier-1 players in town (Raptors, Timberwolves) means the fans will stay home. 

Why pay top dollar for poor quality basketball?

So now comes the part where we as fans have to sit back and ask oursleves when all is said and done, who will end up being the biggest loser in all of this?

  1. Will it be the owners who will have to continue dishing out large contracts and bringing in minimal revenues?
  2. Will it be the players having to concede and accept a salary cap and smaller contracts
  3. Will it be the League as a whole, whose image will plummet if they choose to lockout the players

The true answer to this is the most obvious.  After an incredible season that saw the emergence of some new Stars (DRose, Blake Griffin) and an incredible run through the Playoffs for The Heat and Mavericks, fan support is at an incredible mark.  Fans, and only fans are going to be the biggest loser.  We will loathe the league for locking out the players.  We will resent the Players for asking too much and we will (just like baseball and hockey) take some time to accept the fact that they chose to not play rather than seriously work out a deal.

We, the fans do not deserve to suffer for the irresponsible behaviours of the NBA and it’s Players.  After all, without us, who would have watched Chris Bosh cry on the floor after The Heat lost to The Mavs in the Finals?

The Low Post

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One Comment

  1. DustyDustin, 6 years ago Reply

    Fans are 100% the biggest loser. Most agreed. These guys make crazy money and we sit at home and watch on tv. Who’s the loser now?


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