Sometimes it is ok to change your opinion on something. That is what makes opinions, thoughts and even arguments about sports so fun.
I have changed my mind in past few days about how the NBA lockout will affect college basketball.
I now do not think it will HELP. I previously thought it might be good for college basketball, but after thinking it through, I have allowed myself to change my mind.
In some cases college basketball does not need help. Many places it is at the peak of popularity, impossible to get tickets and teams are on TV every time they play. Other schools need a big shot in the arm and programs are a disaster, any help would improve things.
Anything that is bad for basketball, is bad for all of basketball. Basketball is basketball no matter what the level and an NBA lockout will sour fans on the game, not only just the NBA, but the game of basketball as a whole. No one wins in any lockout/strike, period.
There are many schools of thought out there that the college game and the NBA have a completely different set of fans, I do not totally buy into that theory. I do think there is a large group of college/NBA fans who publicly like to pooh-pooh the game, but privately are watching it every night on TV. Much bigger crossover than people would think, otherwise the NBA would never get the TV ratings it does and be as popular worldwide as it is.
While I was kind of shocked and even disturbed as to an NBA lockout and in denial, I have now come to realization it is for real and even worse, lots of people I respect and are insiders who know their stuff regarding the NBA, are telling me there will not be one game played and the entire 2011-12 season will be LOST.
Of course we will survive and about a year past, nearly everyone will forgive and things will be back to normal. But for some people if there is not an NBA season or even half a season, there lives will not be normal.
The owners, top level front office people, coaches and players will hardly will feel hardly a dent economically, but as you go further down the pecking order, the economics of an NBA lockout for many people will be an economic disaster.
Many teams are starting to slowly eliminate employees from their work force and it is only going to get worse. The Charlotte Bobcats just cut a lot of their employees off their payroll, including their longtime radio broadcaster. As we all know the NBA office staff was just decreased by 11 percent. Of course, as in most firings or layoffs, it is the people who can afford it the least, who are the first to get cut.
I am not worried about the loss of games, but I am worried about the many people who will lose their jobs in this mess. Unemployment is high even, it does not need to increase because of stupidity and bright minds not being able to solve this lockout. We always think about wins and losses, but we seldom think about the impact sports has on the economy, it is much greater than even most projections have it and it is a large part of the big piece of the world economy.
My complaining, ranting, writing, more than likely is not going to help, but at least I want to do my part to offer a suggestion to solve the lockout.
What would be wrong with eliminating the entire economic model at present, I mean wiping out the whole thing and starting fresh.
How about going to a sliding scale, where there is guaranteed base pay for all players depending on their abilities, but any additional monies to players would be based on how much profit your team makes and the accounting would be solely done by an independent audit, no cooking the books. It would force teams to manage their business like a business, you would see a much more competitive league and it is the ultimate of capitalism. It can work, it just takes some people who care on both sides to make it happen. Greed never wins, smart business decisions always do.
It is a simple formula, but one that would work. The businesses that succeed are the ones that keep it simple and smart. Profit is only gained by smart economics and solid business model, at this time the entire NBA business model is broken beyond repair.
Once again it is fair to ask, why do I care? I care because an NBA lockout is bad for basketball, not just the NBA, but all of basketball, I care because really good people in many cases are going to lose their jobs for a long period of time and I care because any work stoppage in any sport is bad for the economy and it affects every American, not just people who love the game, but even people who could care less about sports.
I am even of the thinking to commiting the ultimate "sin", politicians and even the President need to get involved in solving this huge mess. Why not, they do it with other areas of the economy and sports is no different when it comes to the end game.
And I might add, would love to see David Stern and Adam Silver, announce today that they are reducing their own pay to $1.00 until this pathetic situation resolved. It would be the fair and honorable thing to do, but these two guys have not stood the test of time and actually need to resign and ride off into the sunset with the millions they have garnered from their often ineptness of running the NBA.
For the love of the college game and the love of basketball, we can only hope the NBA lockout is solved, but I am not optimistic and I feel for the "little" people and the impact this will have on their lives. I know I am not the only one who feels this way, I just wish the greedy, selfish, spoiled people who can solve this, felt the same way, but it is obvious they could care less.