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NBA Reaches A New Labor Deal: 1. Good News is it May Set Precedent For Future Dynasties 2. Bad News is Players and Owners Still Make Too Much $$ – Part 1

November 27th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
It has been a five-month ordeal that has culminated in some form of agreement; it’s a deal which will bring professional basketball back beginning on December 25 (yes Christmas Day) of this year. The NBA plans on nationally televising three games so we can lie on the couch all day and into the evening, drink beer, bet on the games, and maybe sneak in a nap or two while pretending to watch all 3 games this Christmas.
The NBA season will be shortened from 82 to 66 regular season games, which in my opinion is more than enough since unlike baseball, and very much like hockey, the post-season is interminable. All the papers, the internet, and other news sources have declared that the owners have come out on top in the negotiations and are clearly the big winners over the players. What makes the deal so attractive to the owners is the fact that the NBA is already a $4 billion dollar a year industry and now with this agreement, the owners have slashed player salaries by 300 million dollars. Included in the plan are new restrictions on contracts and team payrolls. What this means in plain English is the owners will have gained 3 billion dollars over the life of the 10-year agreement.  BUT – don’t feel sorry for the players, they will have their millions of dollars – they will earn more $$ than 99% of any of us hard-working middle class folks. What the news neglected to mention is the the consumer or fan. I was utterly shocked and appalled that there was no mention of the obscene cost to see a basketball game. Sure one can buy a ticket and get into Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks play for a little less than $100 but you will literally be seated in the last row. Believe me, you’re better off watching the game on TV; watching a basketball game is only good if you have front row seats (not unlike boxing or MMA) and unless you’re willing to pay $2,000 – $3,000 you can forget it. (Tomorrow I will blog about what we fans, the average American citizen, can do to strike back against the spoiled overly privileged athletes and the unspeakably filthy rich owners.Incidentally basketball is not the only sport that overcharges. Football tickets cost hundreds of dollars and even baseball tickets are alarmingly high-priced. )
Also as part of the agreement, the league will allow the best teams (& invariably the richest teams – I know there are exceptions but…) to keep their superstars and even acquire new talent. This is actually good for everyone: fans, players and owners. Everyone wants parity and the league to afford an opportunity for a small market team to make it to the “Big Dance.” However, fans love dynasties! When sports fans talk sports they always reminisce about the great sports dynasties, no matter what sport it is, e.g. the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan from 1989 – 1998, the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe and Shaq from 1999 – 2004, and in baseball, love ‘em or hate ‘em, the New York Yankees from 1996 – 2003, etc. (In another blog[s] I will write at length on the topic of sports dynasties).
So yes, the NBA was smart in being ever so mindful of the fans love for dynasties. The problem with football now, is the fact that there is just too much parity. When a football team becomes great, ultimately it must be broken up because as logic follows the stars demand more money and the team is unable to keep every key player because the franchise will go over the salary cap. How many super bowls do you think the Dallas Cowboys would have won in the 1990’s if there were no salary cap? Dallas went on to win 3 Super Bowls with Aikman, Irvin, and Smith but as we all know, football is a team sport and though the Cowboys were able to keep the three aforementioned superstars, they lost most of their unsung heroes. My guess is that if the Dallas Cowboys were not burdened by a salary cap, they may very well have won the big game every year in the ‘90s. (I know the Patriots won 3 Super Bowls with the cap, which makes their success all the more remarkable). So who knows, maybe this bit of wisdom about dynasties may migrate from the NBA to the NFL.
So whaDaYaThink ? What do you Think ? Do you side more with the players or with the owners? I personally stand by the fans and I think both the athletes and the owners ought to be ashamed of themselves; making obscene amounts of money in this dreadful economy. The headlines ought to have read something akin to “Players and Owners Reach Deal: Owners Will Make More Money Than Ever and the Players Will Still Make Tens of Millions of $$; The Cost Will Be Passed On to The Fans As Usual” It’s time for the fans to strike back and boycott most spectator sports (not all, i.e. MMA fighters literally risk life and limb for a fraction of what A-Rod makes). I know this is and always has been an issue of supply and demand , however, with the pinch of this economy and the shrinking middle class, it seems as though only celebrities and the affluent can see the games in person See you tomorrow.
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6 Responses to “NBA Reaches A New Labor Deal: 1. Good News is it May Set Precedent For Future Dynasties 2. Bad News is Players and Owners Still Make Too Much $$ – Part 1”

  1. le duke de fromage Says:

    Mr. Tabor, Basketball fact ,Miami Heat ticket cost ,$235, Beer $8,hotdog $7, parking $30, for a family of 4 the total cost is ,$1280. As a confirmed pro basketball detractor I am appauled by the latest pro contract. How can anyone defend a game that is geared only to an elite group ,television money, and apparel endorsements. Explain how an average fan can justify that cost against his own daily struggle to survive? The greed, attitude, and total disregard for the average fan continues to amaze me. In a continuing shrinking fan base these owners and players have no concept as to how the average person views them. As to confirm their greed they choose Christmas Day to open their season, it just happens to be their biggest t.v. day of the year. Wow, won’t all those sponsers be happy. On Christmas day lets all do ourselves a favor and watch Its a Wonderful Life, or even better enjoy your family.

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Le Duke de fromage – $1,280 for one regular season game – simply outrageous ! And I’m sure you’re not front row & seated next to Jack Nicholson, Spike Lee, Ben Stiller, Woody Allen, etc…. You have said it all: greed, total disregard for the average fans, salaries continue to rise as fan base shrinks…… Good advice -watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the 100th time rather than support the NBA. Great input !

  3. rick Says:

    In the NFL teams are not filling their stadiums. The Bucs have been blocked out because unlike some other markets in the NFL the owners are not buying out the rest of the tickets. The costs are high, but so are the salaries, owner takes and cost of a simple hotdog. Since these sports games are more popular then say an avaerage music concert. The avaerage fan should be able to see at least 1 game a year. Not bad considering your seeing so many superstars at their profession.

  4. Michael Tabor Says:

    Hey Rick – It’s just so sad to see these ticket prices just soar. Spectator sports used to be entertainment and an outlet for the poor and middle-class. It’s just not fair ! Sure, I believe basketball players are perhaps the most incredible athletes on the planet & furthermore it’s nice to see a Lebron James break out of poverty & leave the hood. (sadly, many pro basketball players seemed inclined to have an entourage which moronically includers their gangster friends who will invariably bring him down). I have a friend who is the biggest New York Giants (football) fan in the world but can’t afford to dish out the $120.00 ticket price. I wish we, the fans, had a union & maybe we could go on strike.

  5. Son of Walt Says:

    In the old days, before there was TV or radio , the only way to watch a game was to go to the game and watch it live. I wonder what the price of a ticket would be today if you no longer had the choice of watching the game on TV for free. I bet the price of a ticket would be a lot more than $120. Bottom line is, it’s all about supply and demand and if people are willing to pay $120 a ticket, the owners are willing to charge. Lucky for us, they don’t charge to watch the game on TV. Unless of course if you subscribe to the NFL package with DirecTV, but that’s your choice.

  6. Michael Tabor Says:

    Good point – it’s all about money – suppy & demand. If people are stupid enough to pay that kind of $$ then they have nobody to blame but themselves.

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