Thursday, October 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Fans Turned Off By NBA Owners & Players

Neither side will gain the support from the public.

Fans Turned Off By NBA Owners & Players

"I´m resigned to the potential damage to our league," NBA commissioner David Stern has said of the lockout. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
"I'm resigned to the potential damage to our league," NBA commissioner David Stern has said of the lockout. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

The NBA and the Players Association appear miles apart and never was that more evident than when the league on Tuesday filed two claims against the Players Association. The NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York.

According to a release sent out by the NBA – “The unfair labor practice charge asserts that the Players Association has failed to bargain in good faith by virtue of its unlawful threats to commence a sham ‘decertification’ and an antitrust lawsuit challenging the NBA’s lockout.

"The federal lawsuit seeks to establish, among other things, that the NBA's lockout does not violate federal antitrust laws and that if the Players Association's ‘decertification’ were found to be lawful, all existing player contracts would become void and unenforceable."

Doesn’t sound too friendly does it?

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Here is one thing that both sides should know.

Nobody is going to feel sorry for either.

And with the NFL back, the NBA faces the prospect of becoming a true afterthought if there is no basketball this year, which more than a few people are forecasting.

One NBA agent we talked to says he told his players to prepare for not having basketball the entire year.

“In the end I hope we can have half a year and even at that I say it’s 50-50,” said the agent who requested anonymity. “…I think the owners are willing to give up whatever equity they gained over the last season and they feel the fans will come back when the game does.”

It is strange that so many teams lost money in one of the NBA’s best seasons. Although as the sale of the Golden State Warriors and the impending sale of the Sixers shows, the franchise values continue to skyrocket.

Even though the system needs an overhaul, the owners were the ones who gave out the bad contracts.

“They don’t want any more deals when they pay a guy like Tracy McGrady $23 million a year when he’s no longer productive,” the agent said.

Again, nobody forced the owners to make those mistakes.

And the fans don’t want to hear about players making an average of more than $5 million a year who don’t want to take a pay cut.

Not in this economy or in any economy.

So right now, things are awfully grim.

And the public at this point has more distaste for both sides, with each increasing lawsuit.

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Reach Sports at jquinn@phillynews.com.

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