No more cheers from NBA fans
"Dear Owners and Players: Write When You Find Work."
As everyone said it would in an operatic two-year run-up, the NBA lockout arrived at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Friday. In the question of the day, "W-w-w-what now?"
Life will go on exactly as it would have. No one will even notice but the participants and crazed media outlets acting as if the tripods from "War of the Worlds" were advancing on the White House.
Since the NBA wasn't playing any games this summer, no worries, at least for the rest of us! It's true, the owners and players have issues, but they're their issues. We have no role in this, even if each side tries to mobilize us against the other, so let them worry about it.
The participants themselves haven't begun to worry, or do anything but put on show talks. Despite a month of meetings, often two a day, they haven't begun bargaining in earnest ... and won't for another two or three months.
They are near agreement on a 55 percent-45 percent split of basketball revenue ... but each has the other taking the short end. There's only one question, which won't be answered for months: Is the NBA in such bad shape that owners would sacrifice games or even a season, as the NHL did in 2004-05?
Or is there a deal to be made? Personally, I think if the players go from 57 percent to 50-52 percent of revenue and the owners increase revenue sharing among teams from $45 million to $200 million, they'll be fine. Not that it would cover the $300 million in annual losses Commissioner David Stern cites, counting payments on loans to buy the teams.
However it turns out, it'll be decided between the owners and players. For the rest of us, nothing we say, write or think means anything. This isn't about fairness. It's not a debate or a plebiscite, but collective bargaining. If both sides play for sympathy, it's essentially just to kill time until September.
Public opinion means zip.
— Mark Heisler, McClatchy News Services