Lockout: So Far Apart

Posted by By at 2 August, at 16 : 55 PM Print

Lockout: So Far Apart

If anyone has been reading the recent news there have been ridiculous rumors which amount to posturing by the NBA and the NBPA.  The NBA has lashed out saying that the lockout is proved legal and the NBPA decertifies then the contracts of all players will be voided.  This “DISTRACTION” from reality is to get people to pick and choose sides onto which side would be best.  The problem here is it is not working.  People know the divisive issues and the sides.  The problem now is where will all the open NBA money go.

I should first explain what I mean about ‘open NBA money’.  Everyone knows how marketable the NBA is.  The players transcend teams while certain teams’ brand are global.  If there is no NBA where will the money fans spent on the NBA go?  I can basically guarantee it will not go to FIBA basketball.  The NBA is unique in that it was a league that has helped other leagues grow all over the world.  NBA presence is felt globally and it began to show with the drafting of players such as Yao Ming and others.  The way FIBA stands right now they cannot afford to sign every single marquee player in the NBA.  Executives at ESPN/ABC and TNT know this.  You could have a ‘dream team’ of all the best NBA players and still they would not be marketable because it is the NBA brand that sells.  If you were to look up stats on years when the Olympic Jersey and the NBA Jersey of a player were sold, I have to believe the NBA Jersey outsold the USA jersey easily.  You will not see hundreds of Beksitas Deron Williams Jersey sold in the US.  FIBA would gain more notoriety; however, the European brand will not sell well in the USA, because it’s not the USA brand.

So the question is where will the money go.  Let’s be honest, the NFL has been stealing the market share between Oct -Feb.  With their lockout done and everyone singing the praises of the NFL, people could concentrate their money towards the NFL.  It is the penultimate USA brand right now and with the NBA locked out, they could look to capitalize on the open market.

The next area that it could to is College Basketball.  ‘March Madness’ is one of the most exciting phenomenons in all of sports.  It is fun to watch because there is something about kids playing these sports.  The exposure some of these guys get will be more than they will all their lives.  It could even lead to them becoming professional ball players (i.e Patty Mills).  Also, it showcases some of the premier ‘next level’ talent to come to the NBA.  With guys like Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, and Austin Rivers still in the league it could make for a very exciting year.  College basketball could look to capitalize on the fact that their players are playing for pride and for their school; a concept many people like.

The final sport to me that seems to me that could take a large chunk of market share is hockey.  I know what everyone thinks about hockey, but the amount of hoopla around the Stanley Cup finals was larger than usual.  You have exciting players like Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, and there is a strong mix of regular grind it out guys who make the game great to watch.  Their season mirrors the NBA season and unlike the NBA there is no lockout.  People might not like hockey, but with goal scoring, fights, and amazing speed to the game, they could make a run at the NBA.

It would be a shame for the NBA to miss part of the season.  The last time it happened it negatively affected the image of the NBA.  This time if the NBA were to miss games, it could mean the end of the NBA as we know it.  If you listen to both sides of the argument neither seems like it is going to let down their guard.  David Stern with his 23 mil a year and Billy Hunter with his 10 plus mil need to find common ground soon, or fans might be leaving the NBA for something with less lockout potential.

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