October 11, 2011

Missing games could be good for NBA

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Ice Hockey

This really should have come as a surprise to no one. In fact, if it had gone differently, then people would have been in a state of shock. But, honestly, cancelling the first two weeks of the regular season might actually be good for the league.

There’s a reason the NBA commissioner is using terms like “miles apart” when referring to negotiations between the league and the players union – he’s not trying to foster hope for a season starting soon. It’s because these two groups have legitimate problems.

Both sides have their arguments. The owners mainly want a bigger split of the shared revenue and the players want to continue raking in the dough from the contracts that the same owners signed them to. You would think that there’s a halfway point where the sides can meet, but apparently not.

The only way that this lockout was going to be settled was for the league to miss games and for the players to – sadly – miss some paycheques. Once some of the lesser names and guys who managed their money poorly are losing their livelihood, maybe then we’ll see some real progress.

I, like many others, think that there will be a season – just a severely shortened one. I would guess the sides would work out a deal around Christmas time, and the league will be back in late January. Sure, the league will lose a lot of casual fans – ones that were earned with the recent boom of talent and last spring’s fabulous playoffs – but in the long run, everyone will benefit.

The NBA was living with a system that was inherently deeply broken. It needs to be fixed for the NBA to be a viable money-making machine like every other major professional sport in North America is. Look at the NHL right now. Ice hockey sat out an entire year, but is currently starting to boom again.

The NHL is another example of how installing a hard cap isn’t the worst thing in the world. Since 2005, it has gone up every year and has jumped from the original $39 million to a whopping $64.3 million this year.

But, of course, now the NHL has their CBA running and the word on everyone’s lips – sadly – is “lockout.”

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