7/28/11

DNB Lockout Journal- NFL is Back, NBA Is Not.

Fans of the NFL finally got to see their league come back to life. Basketball fans are no where close to that. In fact the two sides have not even spoken since June 30th. Well that is expected to change next week. This is not exactly reason to start a parade. If you followed the NFL Lockout at all there was lots of talking without a lot of success. One thing that was mentioned in the post lockout chatter was the fact that the NFL deal never got much accomplished until they got the lawyers out of the room. Well David Stern was a lawyer so good luck with that in the NBA. But to be serious just as in a divorce the one thing that is a certainty is the lawyers on both sides always win. Lawyers make a lot of money out of these labour disagreements.

As for all this players rumoured to be and some going to Europe if you think that is a real concern for the NBA think again. This contracts for any major players would all have opt outs to return to the NBA when a new CBA is in place. So about the only concern would be for individual teams that a player could be injured not unlike when players play internationally. But the idea of players going to Europe or China as being a real threat is laughable. If players have issues with playing in Canada which is as close to the U.S as you can get. I can't imagine to many NBA players being happy in Europe or elsewhere for the long term.

In addition if you believe the NBA and 20 teams are losing money, then there is zero motivation to come back and play ball. At least not with the agreement they have now. Those 20 teams losing money if no season is played are not going to lose that money. Sure they won't make any either. They will also face winning back fans and corporate support. But under this system they claim to be losing money so it is worth the risk.

Now if the NBA wants to worry about something it might have nothing to do with their own issues. The NFL now has 10 years of guaranteed labour peace. Which in terms of corporate sponsorship makes them a much more attractive option and a safer one. While the NBA if they lost an entire season would face the challenge of trying to win those corporate partners back and likely will not end up with the same kind of security that the NFL now has.

The other problem is NBA Players as a collective group make far more money and unlike their fellow pro athletes in the NFL are not as motivated to have to get out on the floor and play. Also as we mentioned earlier their are other options to play if you really want too. The NFL is not the same really all that is out there for players is the Arena League and CFL in terms of football jobs and they come at a significant pay cut. A top player in the CFL makes about 200 thousand dollars and most far less than that. The Arena League is even a little worse in terms of pay. Both leagues are also different rules wise than the NFL. That would be case for NBA players as well in Europe.

So talks next week are a step in the right direction. Talking is better than not talking. But back in the last lockout that produced a 50 game season that did not start till the following year they talked in the summer as well. While there is not to much similar between the NFL Lockout and the NBA Lockout the one thing that is the same it the same in any labour issue. Things tend not to move or have progress until both sides are pressed against a deadline. For the NBA that will not be when the season is suppose to start. It will be when we no longer can have a season at all.

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