Blog Entry

Aldridge is fine missing the 2011-12 season

Posted on: August 24, 2011 4:18 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 4:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Ask a player, owner, commissioner or anyone affiliated with the NBA about the status of the 2011-12 season and you're going to get differing levels of optimism and pessimism. David Stern is optimistic. Dwyane Wade is optimistic.

But LaMarcus Aldridge? He's on the other end. Not just pessimistic, but extremely pessimistic. He told The Oregonian he doesn't see the 2011-12 starting on time and even worse, is completely willing to sit out the season to get a fair deal.

Aldridge, who is the Blazers’ player representative in the NBA Player’s Union, said he does not expect the season to start on time but does believe there will be a season eventually. That said, he is prepared to sit out all of 2011-12 if necessary.

“If that’s what it takes to get a fair deal done, then yes,” Aldridge said.

Bad news: In order to get what you think might be "fair," you're probably going to have to sit out 2011-12, LaMarcus. Because the owners seem pretty dug in.

As Ken Berger of reported recently, a new bargaining session is on the way in September and that one will go a long way in determining whether or not this season will start on time. If things go well and there's a little movement, then it's entirely possible that a deal could be struck in time for the season.

If not, then that's when you can start reconsidering those season tickets.

Thing is, every time I start feeling better about things, along comes someone like Aldridge to make me feel bad. It just seems like the two sides have to get a deal done. Too much is at stake right now. But if a lot of players are like-minded with Aldridge, then it could be a long winter.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:43 am

Aldridge is fine missing the 2011-12 season

ZionT, my true point is about this sad situation is this: I believe that the NBA canNOT sustain itself after it has a lockout. The sport just is not that popular. I know I am grasping for an exact amount, but it took baseball at least a decade to win back the fans. I would love to see a season happen after both sides sit down and work out a fair deal for all. But after the confusion and ugliness that happened in the NFL negotiations, I do not think sports fans will tolerate another set of brutal negotations, especially when their star players are going elsewhere to get paid. That's just my opinion.

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2011 12:07 pm

Aldridge is fine missing the 2011-12 season

not sure where you're from, but don't lump Cleveland into that group.  They have a great market and great fans. 

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2011 12:24 am

Aldridge is fine missing the 2011-12 season

I couldn't disagree more with you both.  I think it's funny that the public is quick to turn around and hate on the players for wanting "the same" deal they've had, instead of watching their paychecks get cut by 20% because of the owners mismanagement and poor negotiating (with players and cities alike). If it's true what the owners say, that more than 1/2 the owners lost money, then it's clear something does have to change...

If your boss came to you and said "cut your paycheck by 20% or leave", what would you do?  I would seriously consider going to another company (China, Israel, Turkey, France or other in these guys case).  In these guys case, they have a skill you don't, which is worth a market price.  They were paid that price by the market so the whole "they're millionaire's" argument is flawed and stupid.

In fact, the league has to make some serious changes to balance their books, but it's not cutting players salaries.

a) Contraction - 32 teams doesn't make sense, but 26 or 28 may.  This would also likely reinvigorate dwindling markets with new players coming in the form of a lottery.  Not to mention this would improve the product as a whole and add to the compelling story lines of a season.  Sorry New Orleans, Charlotte, Sacramento, Golden State, Toronto, Cleveland.  None of you have viable basketball markets... good bye, you're losing tons of money anyway, that won't change because your markets don't support your product.
b) Hard Salary Cap - this would create financial stability for the owners, would put a maximum on players costs and you wouldn't have to sacrifice current salaries of players to do it.  That's something the union might consider if the owners guaranteed the size of the rosters at, say 12 +3 inactives.
c) TV revenue sharing - Make it more equitable so that more money goes from the bigger clubs (who make tons), to the smaller clubs (who lose money, but you don't contract).
d) Renegotiate stadium deals - Get the cities to pay more for bad leases or threaten to close smaller market teams, period.  Force them to balance their books and keeping the jobs the people need.  Incentivize cities to negotiate by offering more, but lower paying jobs in the form of concessions, parking, and service personel.

So cry about the players all you like, it's the owners that need to right their own ships and do a better job managing their own product.

Since: Nov 28, 2006
Posted on: August 24, 2011 11:35 pm

Aldridge is fine missing the 2011-12 season

Mr. Aldridge, I would like  to point something out to you. The NFL was close to missing out on an entire season. Most of American males (and a good handful of females) would have been upset if there would not have been a football season. It has a strong following. Your sport of basketball does not have that strong of a following. If there is no season, you and your overinflated paycheck are going to suffer. Your sport of basketball may slip from second (I think) to third or fourth in popularity in America. I do speculate that if football would have not had a season, major implications would have followed. I do speculate that less and less people are going to show up and watch your sport of basketball, especially when your fellow teammates (or fellow opponents) are jumping like rats off a sinking ship to play in the international communities of basketball. There was not that option for football players. If there was, I do not think the NFL would still be around. So please, shush your mouth. Have a little class. Start talking to the owners before there is no longer an NBA.

Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: August 24, 2011 8:55 pm

Aldridge is fine missing the 2011-12 season

Give me a break.  Don't insult my intelligence by saying you are holding out for a "fair deal".   Clown, you aren't talking to your buddies; you are broadcasting to the public.   The players might get more sympathy if they just kept their mouths shut.

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