Friday, July 1, 2011
12:01am Eastern Time on July 1st, 2011 has come and gone, just like clockwork. And with that, the National Basketball Association has officially locked out it's players, making that two of the country's big 4 professional sports leagues currently amassed in a work stoppage. While optimism reigns supreme that a deal will get done in the NFL, it is the exact opposite with the NBA. In fact, many people believe that most of, if not all of the 2011-12 season could be lost due to the lockout. What a shame for a sport that has had every opportunity this past year to capitalize on an enormous circumstance by way of professional football. While the NFL was embroiled in it's own mess, basketball had taken center stage and put on a wonderful show. Never had it been more popular or ratings been higher than this past season. With the advent of social media, mixed in with all of the storylines from LeBron and the Miami Heat, to Dirk winning finally winning his first championship, the Association's popularity was at an all time high. None of that seems to matter now. David Stern and the owners are stating that 22 of the 30 teams are operating in the red, and that the current system is flawed beyond repair. With the players receiving almost 60% of basketball related income in the old system, the owners are determined to flip that percentage in their favor. Billy Hunter and the Players Association refuse to settle for that and so now it has come to this. 1998 all over again. If they really want an indication of the future to come, one need look no further than the National Hockey League. They are still trying to recover from lockout that completely cancelled the 2004-05 season. Fans were so turned off by the entire situation, billionaires fighting with millionaires on the sole basis of money and greed, that they completely walked away from hockey altogether. The NHL still hasn't recovered. All David Stern needs to do is give Gary Bettman a phone call. One quick phone call and one simple question. "Was it worth it?"