If you tuned in to SportsCenter on the morning of November 2nd, 2011, you may have noticed that a familiar image was missing on the ESPN highlight reel. No NBA basketball games were played the night before the regular season was supposed to start because the NBA has cancelled all of its games through the end of November.
An NBA lockout has been in effect since July 1, having already forced the cancellation of the preseason and all of the games through the end of the month.
The motive behind all this is simple: money. Early this year, the league claimed that it was losing about $300 million a year, so it wanted to reduce the players’ salary by 40% and insert a salary cap of $45 million per team. This did not sit well with the players’ union, which strongly rejected the league’s proposal.
As it stands right now, the players make 57% of basketball-related income (BRI). The league wants that number to be reduced to 39% so that the league can take home 61% of the income.
The problem is that players want to make more than the owners and the league. In that respect, that are being selfish. Do these men need to make more money than our doctors? The players’ union is refusing to go below 52% and the owners are unwilling to work with that.
The lockout is hurting more than just the players and owners. It is also hurting the fans.
Many players have already signed contracts to play overseas for various teams. Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets made the biggest splash with his announcement that he was going to play for a team in Turkey. At present, more than 70 players have signed with foreign teams during the lockout.
The game’s biggest stars, such as Kevin Durant, John Wall, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, among others, have traveled around the country and played in different exhibition games, both for fans’ pleasure and to keep their skills up to par.
“It’s a shame that such a great game has been taken away from the fans and the players just for money,” sophomore Andrew Definando said.
Many fans have not been able to see their favorite athletes in action because of the conflicts between the players and the owners.
“I am going to miss watching John Wall play,” senior Carrie Smith said.
Hopefully, the players and owners can get their act together soon so that the NBA can join ESPN highlights again and entertain NBA lovers.