6/30/11

On The Eve Of Doomsday

Well here we are sitting on the edge of lockout abyss for the NBA. If you consider yourself an optimistic person you will be encouraged by the fact the NFL appears to be on the verge of solving their labour issues. But to compare the two disputes is a little misleading. The NBA is in much worse shape overall than the NFL. The NBA is much more in a position similar to the NHL prior to their lockout that took away an entire season. Which ultimately never solved the issues. At the time it appeared the NHL Owners had landed a major victory. They got a salary cap put in place. A 15% rollback on salaries and all seemed good. But at the start of that new agreement the NHL Cap was 39 million and the cap floor was in the low 20 million range. Fast forward to today and that floor is now 48 million dollars. The major issue for the NHL has been the rise of the Canadian Dollar and that has made the NHL an even more profitable league as a result based on it's 6 Canadian franchises(Soon To Be 7). Now obviously the NBA is different and only has the Raptors here in Canada. The impact of the Canadian dollar is helpful for the Raptors but really has little impact on the league as a whole.

Why I bring up the NHL example is that if the NBA is going to go down this road they have chosen they better get it right. I think you can list a number of reasons why this lockout needs to happen in terms of the NBA Owners. While interest in the NBA has grown thanks to those 3 guys down in Miami. So has a growing issue of players control of the league. Sure it is great if you live in certain cities the way the NBA is currently constructed. But for small market teams and a team like the Raptors it is not exactly a great setup. While the Raptors can survive the fact that they basically are playing at a disadvantage there are other teams in this league that can not survive that over the long haul. Not to mention the whole idea of competitive balance which is fading fast under the current CBA.

While the impact of this lockout on myself and others like me could have a major impact. I mean for the last few years I have tried to eek out a living in covering Raptors and the NBA. So this lockout is no doubt devastating for me and others that try to do the same. But as a fan of the game I can understand why this is happening. If after all is said and done the NBA is better off I will be happy. However if this ends up similar to the NHL result in which nothing is actually solved I will be less than thrilled. I make it no secret that I have not been a fan of the NHL or Hockey for quite some time. The fact they blew an entire season away and basically stuck up their middle finger to the fans of their sport is part of why. Most of Canada has long forgotten that lockout and support the sport and league with very little consequence. But in the U.S the story is different for the NHL. The league dropped off the map and is not really on level with other major sports. Now the NBA will not have this happen but it will be a blow to the league should they let a season go away.

The outlook is far from optimistic for this lockout but I have a lot more faith in David Stern than I would in Gary Bettman who once upon a time worked under Stern in the NBA. It is vital for the league that he does. But it is going to be a long road to get there and you only need to look at how long it has taken the NFL to finally gain some momentum towards a deal. The issues in the NFL are far less and then is far more money to be made. The NBA issues are much more complex and not easily solved. How do you create a CBA that ensures teams some kind of security that players will not just stay with a team and then bolt at the first opportunity to do so. Players on the high end of the NBA pay scale make far to much money that is the major issue. Chris Bosh and Lebron James already were going to be loaded for life before they made the choice to head south. In the past greed was always the secret weapon for owners in CBA's. If a player could make more money playing somewhere it was always more likely that team had a great chance to retain that player.

Here at the Dino Nation Blog we will try to fight and stay alive during this lockout. It is not going to be easy but I have not given almost 4 years of my life to this to let it just be taken away. More than ever we will count on you folks that read and support the blog to help in that. What will happen during this lockout and how it will impact on us is unclear. But I urge you all to stick with us and support the DNB. I will do my best to keep things rolling along some how. It will likely mean less blogs and having to be very creative but I will do my best to keep this thing rolling along.

How long will this last is uncertain but it would seem highly unlikely we are talking about an NBA season getting started at the end of October. Things are always a little slower in the summer but with no off-season at all that will make it very different. It is hard not to be some what emotional about all of this. I have worked extremely hard to get everything I have with the DNB. Although this is something that is out of my control and really out of all fans of the NBA's hands. Still I refuse to give up and pray that we will all be better for this on the other side.

It is always a pleasure doing this blog and I will miss doing it as often and speaking with you on a more frequent basis. For now we will wait and see how things play out and once things have settled in likely take a break and come up with a plan for how we move forward from here. I thank you all that have supported the Dino Nation Blog and together with your help we will keep it alive through these difficult times for all of us.

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