David Stern, Commish of the NBA, has cancelled the first two weeks of the NBA season, and it doesn't look like any agreement is forthcoming soon. Will there even be a season? On TV last night Sir Charles said no while Reggie Miller said yes, but a shortened one. Both players agreed that the owners are determined to create a plan that improves the competitiveness of small market teams and lessens the chances of large market team gobbling up all the super-stars. Good for them. But hold on, lets examine this goal a little more closely. I find it curious that very little is being said by owners and players about revenue sharing, the most important factor in creating small market/large market equity.
As I've stated in a previous blog, in this year's CBA talks, the players need to make some serious concessions in order to keep many of the NBA teams solvent. Sorry guys, but that is the hard truth. If you take a fifty fifty split with owners, believe me, you won't suffer as much as some people (read agents) say you will. As for the hard cap vs soft cap argument, I suspect a soft cap would work as long as teams had a strong revenue sharing policy, which they don't at this moment. See Kristi Dosh's article in Forbes 8/9/2011 Want to Repair the NBA? Start with Revenue Sharing.
So, I need to back up. When I say players must make serious concessions to NBA owners, it's with this caveat: The players should refuse to negotiate with the owners on any subject until the owners agree to a far stronger and more equitable revenue sharing plan than the one they have in place now. The minute the owners do so, then the players must pony up, but they will be doing so knowing that the owners are serious about improving the financial condition of their small market teams.
How do the NBA owners improve their revenue sharing plan? They need to look no further than professional football and baseball for models, not that either of the two are a perfect fit for the NBA. But certainly these are useful models for the NBA to use in devising their own unique plan based on their own economic exigencies.
There seems to be such logic in creating a strong revenue sharing plan, that it's curious that the NBAPLA is not making revenue sharing a greater part of the negotiations.
Without an agreement that creates equity between small and large market franchises, the NBA is going to become a mess with rich franchises garnering most of the super stars. You think not? Really. Ask yourself if you were a player, where would you rather play, in New York or Milwaukee?
Do I think franchises will go broke and fold. I doubt it, not for awhile, at least. Before that happens, values of franchise will go down and there will be a bevy of fire sales to new owners, who might move the franchises to other cities, (Atlanta to Omaha, for example) but will eventually succumb to the same economic problems as the previous owners.
Let me repeat, the NBA will become a mess. So, get with it owners and players, stop being knuckleheads and get the job done.
Competition by Stephen Dunn
Because he played games seriously
and therefore knew grace
comes hard, rises through the cheap
in us, the petty, the entire history
of our defeats,
he looked for grace in his opponents,
found a few friends that way
and so many others
he could never drink with, talk to.
He learned early never to let up,
never to give
a weaker opponent a gift
because so many times he'd been
and knew the humiliation it it,
being pandered to, a bone for the sad
And because he remembered those times
after a loss when he'd failed
at grace -
stole from the victor
the pleasure of pure victory
about a small injury or the cold
he wasn't quite over - he loved
who'd shake hands and give credit,
save their true and bitter stories
for their lovers, later,
when all such lamentations are comic,
the sincere if onlys of grown men
in short pants.
Oh there were people who thought
all of it so childish; what to say
to them, how to agree,
ever, about dignity and fairness?
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.