Every morning I go to ESPN’s NBA page and check the headlines section, half expecting there to be a resolution to the lockout. I don’t know why I do it, maybe because I can’t believe greedy millionaires are fighting between themselves about who can make that extra million, and hurting the fans in the process. It’s a simpleton opinion, but in essence it is true. Owners are millionaires, players are millionaires, and yet they’re not content with their riches and refuse to come to a reasonable agreement. Once the lockout does get resolved, we’ll be bombarded with NBA promotions like “NBA Cares” and expect to act like nothing ever happened. Business as usual.

I’m fickle, most fans are fickle, we’ll all soon forget that there was a thing called a lockout, and resume spending our time and money on the NBA, ignoring that these owners and players do not give a rat’s ass about missing games. The quotes coming out of both camps is that the season is there to be sacrificed, like it was nothing at all. It’s being branded as a necessary evil for the long-term health of the league, when anyone with a sense of thought knows that there is absolutely no reason why this lockout should last more than two weeks. This might have started as a negotiation about money, but it’s turned into a question of pride, and once pride is involved, the volume of reason is lowered.

If I had to pick between the owners and players, I’d pick the players. Why? Because I can tune in to players playing basketball, I can’t watch owners doing whatever the hell owners do. So with that in mind, I’m rooting for the Vegas league:

Rosters are still being assembled, but Impact has relationships with many notable players, which means this league has the potential to be very entertaining.

Chauncey Billups, John Wall, Paul Pierce, Al Harrington, Corey Maggette, Kyle Lowry, Paul George, J.J. Hickson, Austin Daye, Jared Dudley, Dahntay Jones, Jermaine O’Neal, Craig Brackins, Marreese Speights, Eric Bledsoe, Matt Barnes and Manny Harris are among the players that have worked out at Impact’s two locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles this summer.

They might play in the league, along with other veterans that have been training at Impact for years such as Kevin Garnett, Rudy Gay, Baron Davis, Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans, Mo Williams, Josh Smith, Ron Artest, Yi Jianlian, Glen Davis, Sebastian Telfair, Al Thornton and many others.

Some of the rookies that worked out in Las Vegas during the pre-draft process could also return including Alec Burks, Kawhi Leonard, Jordan Williams, Josh Selby, Darius Morris, Isaiah Thomas, Malcolm Lee, Greg Smith, Xavier Silas and Jon Diebler.

Other players who haven’t trained at Impact in the past will also be invited to compete. Many players have already started communicating with their teammates and friends around the NBA, which means entire NBA squads could play if they so desire. With so many teams meeting up for workouts and minicamps this summer, this league could be a way for teammates to stay sharp and on the same page.

Read more NBA news and insight: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=20643#ixzz1Vun3BY2c

It’s only a two-week league, with two games being played every day, but I hope it catches on like wildfire and makes David Stern think twice. Obviously, a short fortnight in Vegas does not a league make, but it could be the success of something this small that might spark something big. If this is even half-decent, all they need to do is promote it a bit more and come back in November when basketball fans will be wondering what’s missing in the air. Throw in a TV contract and suddenly you can promote Paul Pierce vs. Rudy Gay matchups on cable TV. Of course, the casual basketball fan is going to miss out, until of course ESPN catches wind of this thing and will have airtime to fill between NFL Sundays. They’re not going to show hockey highlights for more than 5 minutes on Sportscenter, and there’s only so much you can do with NASCAR.

If the players want to drive the owners’ asking price down, just create a source of revenue not named the NBA.

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  • Hmk

    Good luck to the players if they entertain the idea that any new revenue source can provide what the NBA owners are offering. If they go this route then it really will be all about pride, the players’ pride, and not at all about reaching a reasonable settlement.

  • Milesboyer

    Malcolm Gladwell wrote an interesting piece for ESPN – the psychic benefits of owning an NBA franchise.  He essential states that owning a team is a passion more than a business and his best example is that Forbes assigns monetary values to teams but when they are actually sold they will go for $80-$100 million over what their “business worth”  is listed at.  That points to the fact that owners are buying into something very different than your average money making venture, and according to Gladwell, they should be okay with that.  I kind of agree.

    • albertan10

      doesn’t mean they don’t want to make money though.  it may not be the typical money venture but it’s still an investment they’d like to get a return on.

    • brother

      Hmmmm. Not about making money, but going into it they know that the business will eventually sell 80-100 million above whatever sky high valuation Forbes assigns to it anyway. You make money on sports teams by buying them and then reselling them to some other guy who has even more billions than you for a price 2 to 3 times what you paid for it 10 years ago. Not sure I buy the passion argument. Triple my money in 10 years? You’re right, that isn’t an average money making venture.

      • Aaron

        So an owner buys a team for 400 million and on average that NBA team loses 4-10 million a season do you think its going to hold that 400 million value?  Even if they can get a CBA that allows teams to average 5 million a year which would make the nba on whole make over 150 million this is a terrible investment. A 5 year gic pays 3 % which would guarentee that 400 million investment 12 million a year and is a better investment then an nba team (with a new cba)  


      Do you have a link to this article?

  • Daniel

    The NBA lock-out is a symptom of the entitlement mentality that engulfed the West. I’m not surprised that leftists side with the players. Just think for a moment: employees making millions of dollars are part of an “union” that carries no risks and only rewards. The job creators are demonized as greedy and selfish. The Vegas League has no union and no owners: how does that work  for the players?
    It is no different than what’s happening on a larger scale: larger and larger interest groups have taken a hold of the taxpayers’ money and don’t want to give anything back. The end result: the whole society is close to a “lock-out” due to crushing debts. There is nothing left (no pun intended) to re-distribute, folks.  

    • ovrproof

      You can substitute owners for players in your statement, and it would make the equally valid claim the owners are to blame. The point is, the owners are the ones with the power and vision to build teams and brands. Most of them suck at it, and their business hurts as a result. Just like in business, the larger firms (Boston, LA, NY, Chicago) are dominant over small ones (Indiana, Milwaukee, etc) and dictate where resources (players) go. Other teams, don’t want to spend on players which limits people wanting to tune in or visit the stadium. Their bad business decisions therefore affects the employees, who are entitled to negotiate a contract through collective bargaining based upon their self interest. It is a right of labour, which I agree gets skewed when the employees are all millionaires. But the principle remains the same.

      I would add that the NBA lock-out is a symptom of the entitlement mentality that engulfed CEO’s and big business in the West. Accept our demands or get outsourced to China. Hey, it might happen.

    • Raps Loyalist

      The largest “interest groups” are by far Transnational Corporations.  They make their money in the West then hide it around the world in tax-havens so it isn’t taxed.  Western governments allow this to happen because the politicians are elected because of the money these corporations “donate.”  This is patronage not democracy.  The decline of the West will be because our political institutions were allowed to be hijacked by the ultra wealthy not because of unions or social benefits.  Just look at the U.S. they can spend billions upon billions on wars of choice in Afghanistan and Iraq and on having a military bigger than that of the rest of the world combined for “security” NOPE! It is because massive transnational corporations in the U.S. make billions off this foolish policy while poor and middle income Americans see their wages stagnate and their education and infrastructure crumble around them.  There is nothing “left” or “right” about this…just the facts. PS. I vote for the Cons

      I support the owners in this struggle because the NBA model is broken.  Only a few teams can afford compete to win a championship (small markets have a Hail Mary chance at assembling a championship team in this era) and average to above average players like Jose and Hedo get paid $4 million less a year than the best player on the planet. Too may high paid players (Lewis, Curry and Arenas) get long contracts then don’t perform.

      The problem with the Gladwell article’s conclusion was that sports franchise values when purchased pay a premium for future potential value.  Just like Skype, which hasn’t made any money, getting bought for $8.5 billion.  Does Gladwell think tech companies are bought for psychic benefits?

      The NBA needs a hard cap at around $60 million a year and contracts that last a max of 4 years.

  • albertan10

    “it’s turned into a question of pride, and once pride is involved, the volume of reason is lowered.”  I liked this quote.

    I am hoping the owners win because if the players do then we’ll see more and more of this big 3 crap.  I’m sick of seeing the super stars run the league and force their teams hand. (see Cavaliers 2009-2010).  If the owners win they the system should be set up to make things more competitive across the league.  Making money is just a result that will come from it.  Placing a hard cap into the system, among other things will make owners more money and keep teams competitive.  Nothing will work perfectly because you still have people like Kahn running organizations, but you will see smaller markets emerge. 

  • hatelosing

    This is going to continue until the owners get their way becasue the vast majority of them would lose money by going back without getting what they came for. I doesn’t matter what the players do, they are up against men who are good enough business people to have enought money to own a sports franchise and those people are not going to go back until they think they can make money. This lockout will end once the players miss their first couple checks becasue that is the only time that someone will have leverage here.

  • Overkill

    “They’re not going to show hockey highlights for more than 5 minutes on Sportscenter, and there’s only so much you can do with NASCAR.”
    LOL’d at this, they show so much hockey on sportscenter… it makes you hate the sport.  They’ll spend 3 minutes on highlights of a leaf game, but only 30 seconds on a raptors game. 

    • Arsenalist

      Sportscenter as in the US kind, not SportscentRE.

    • Sheptor

      Yes I agree, Sportscentre usually dedicates 40 mins to hockey and  crams every other sports in for the last 20 mins. They’ll show basketball highlights and won’t even put the teams records up. At least they wouldn’t in the past. The best highlights in Canada come from The Score and they best overall network is Sportsnet.

      • Statement

        That’s part of the reason that I’m a basketball (and baseball) fan.

      • Statement

        It’s annoying but somebody has to pimp the NHL, cause lord knows the States isn’t gonna do it.

      • Juicey

        Hmm… I agree on the Score, but still think TSN is better than Sportsnet.  In the summer Sportsnet is solid as they have all of the Jays games, but in the winter it’s another thing.  If Sportscentre spends a minute on the Raps, Sporsnet News spends 15 seconds.  It’s better now that they broadcast the games, but it still isn’t great.  They also, find ways to cram in hockey coverage when it’s just unnecesary, and they generally use weaker analysts.

        Anyways maybe we shouldn’t be debating TSN vs. Sportsnet, but rather TSN2 vs. Sportsnet 1, as that’s where they are pushing us poor Raptor fans.  Can’t imagine what we’ll have to do if they lose even more popularity with a lockout.  We all might just be streaming the games.

        • Guest

          TSN/SPORTSNET/TSN2/SPORTSNET1…..all suck..the only thing good on TSN is JAY ONRAIT!!! THE SCORE use to ROCK until they lost CABBIE!!

    • albertan10

      if only they’d do 30 seconds. we’re lucky if it’s half that

  • AngryShane

    I miss the days when The Score covered like 70 games……good ole swirsky commentating