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Blog Entry

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: October 11, 2011 1:18 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young



I'm on the players' side. Let me get that out there first.

I see their position as more reasonable than the owners'. I've never liked the idea of the owners trying to guarantee themselves profits. I've never liked the reality that they are probably negotiating without the intention to really get a deal done before games are lost. I don't like the idea that they are asking for so much -- salary cuts, grand system changes and major revenue concessions from the players.

If I was drawing a line in the sand, I'm going to stand on the players' side.

That said, I really wish they would shut up.

After David Stern announced the first two weeks of the NBA were canceled because a deal couldn't be made in the eleventh hour, the players climbed atop their soap box and went to work. They started tweeting. Steve Nash tweeted, "Genuinely sorry to all the employees in and around NBA arenas losing work." Andrew Bogut tweeted, "Ticket ushers, local bars/clubs/food, police officers, security, in arena food and drink, hotels,local small businesses,should I keep going? We understand owners have to make $ and that is what its all come down too. We just want to play. The following ppl are the 1s who get hurt."

And if you followed along Monday, the players started a little social media campaign declaring "LET US PLAY!" much like the NFL players did during their lockout. The players want to play. They're trying to make that clear.

But they're also using some slimy PR to do so. "Let us play" and all the tweets following Stern's announcing about "just wanting to play ball" try and make it seem like the players have no hand in what's going on. They're trying to put out a message that it's entirely the league and entirely the owners preventing them from putting on their uniforms and shooting a round ball through a hoop. They're begging -- "please, PLEASE let us play!" --  as if they have no control over anything. As if for no good reason, the owners put locks on the arena doors and are keeping them out.

Here it is, plain and simple: You really want to play? You really want to put these ticket takers and security guards you supposedly feel so awful for back to work? Put your money where your tweets are. Prove it. Make a deal.

I tweeted this same sentiment last night and Kevin Durant tweeted back, "u want us to take that 47/53 deal huh? U kno that's bogus." Yeah, it is but honestly, I don't really care what you take. I just want basketball. And if you REALLY do too, you'll take a few thousand less a year in order to play. 

Now I know: The owners' 47 percent BRI split isn't exactly a fair deal. And neither is asking for salary rollbacks, a hard cap or whatever else. I'm with you. I get it. I'd feel inclined to tell the owners to shove it too. You want a deal that's fair to you and to future players. If the league's going to experience billions in revenue, you want your rightful cut. Especially since those billions come mainly as a result of you. Again, I understand. What's fair is fair.

But don't treat me like I'm an idiot (though I very well may be). "Let us play" isn't an honest representation of the players' situation. We're not stupid. We're fully capable of grasping why there's a lockout and why the NBA will be missing games. You want your money and the owners want theirs. There's a lot to split up and you want to make sure you get a fair shake of it.

But let's not sugarcoat this crap anymore. You're a millionaire because you play basketball well enough that someone will pay you for it. You make a really good living doing that job. And regardless of whatever deal you agree to, you're still going to make a crapton of money doing that job. Is it fair? Maybe not. But go ahead and feel sorry for yourself while you sleep on a mattress filled with money.

If you want to play, you can. All you have to do is say yes. I understand why you haven't and I don't blame you for it. But don't try and make us think that all you want to do is play basketball. Don't try and trick fans into feeling sorry for you.

Be honest: You want to play but you want your cut too. And that's why those ticket takers and security guards and parking garage attendants won't have work for a couple weeks at least. Don't act like there's not blood on your hands too. It's insulting.

Forget trying to gain sympathy from fans. We're not dumb. We know why the league canceled games. We know why you're not allowed to play. Billionaires and millionaires couldn't agree about money. And we feel so sorry for you about that.
Comments

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:36 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

I don't wish to take a side because these fools don't care about the fans.  I view this impasse to be the same as when Iraq and Iran were at war in the 80s.  I really don't care who wins, but let's make sure they keep fighting.  The owners should maintain their 50/50 BRI proposal and the players should maintain their 53/47 BRI.  The players and owners should meet once a week with the owners presenting their 50/50 split and the players their 53/47 split.  After eight hours of rehashing the same proposals over and over again, each side can face the microphones and tell how the other side won't budge and then Commissioner Stern can cancel another two weeks.  They can keep this up so by Christmas, they will give us the present we really want, a cancelled 2011-12 season. HO HO HO!!  Merry Christmas!



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 6:26 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

There is a misrepresentaion out there, predominant among players, that they are somehow PARTNERS in the NBA.  They AREN'T, because they don't have any INVESTMENT in the business of basketball...in winning OR making a profit.

Taxpayers, fans and bankers are more partners than players are, but they don't get a voice in this issue.


Players and owners need to insure the FIRST rule of successful business before anything else- the business has to make a PROFIT.  Owners are at least addressing that issue, players are NOT.


It would make sense for players to insure continued success of the NBA, in case they might want to be making milliions in 5 or 10 years too.  If that means that teams can only afford 1 or 2 mega-paid stars, or 3 that are willing to make less money, and they can "only" make $15 mil a year, and the average player "only" makes $5 mil...and owners and players split 50/50 on the PROFIT, instead of the riskless MAJORITY of INCOME players are asking for, and players get to keep ALL their endorsement money, how would THAT be UNFAIR ?  

  Sounds like more of a partnerssip to me than the one players want- owners pay all the bills, and players make all the money.     


  



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:13 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

It's about how to split up PROFIT. Thousands of companies going out of business in America and they are not playing because they can't agree on how much profit they deserve. 
No, it is not....the players are wanting 53% of REVENUE, not PROFIT.  The players want 53% off the top, leaving the owners to pay all of the expenses of the league before there is any profit for the owners.  And that is the problem, with the players at 57% last year the owners LOST $300 million total, there was no PROFIT.  If the players want to split the PROFIT, and take the risk therefore that there is a loss and they make nothing, that is a completely different negotiation.



Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

Good artcile. Kind of buried the lead a bit though. "But let's not sugarcoat this crap anymore. You're a millionaire because you play basketball well enough that someone will pay you for it."

I agree with Daily Thunder's point and even his positions. But I think Durant could reasonably say that he signed a multiyear contract last summer to play basketball for an NBA owner in exchanged for his millionare salary. He is ready and willing to continue his obligation to play but that NBA owner is not allowing him to and is not paying him what that contract says he is to be paid. In other words I think there is truth to this sentiment "Let Us Play" in that the players want to play under the terms that existed when they signed their contracts with the owners locking them out.

The flip side of course is that every last player with a signed contract signed it knowing full well there was an expiring collective bargaining agreement and if they want the benefits of collective bargaing then they also get the downsides as well. 

But my point is just that I think Daily Thunder misrepresents a bit of the spirit behind the Let Us Play mentality when he fails to mention that everyone who is not a free agent has a contract to play basketball in the NBA and they are not being allowed to fulfill that contract by the owners. But I am with Daily Thunder in that it will be a cold day in San Diego before I shed a tear for any player in the league. 



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

Ticket ushers, local bars/clubs/food, police officers, security, in arena food and drink, hotels,local small businesses,should I keep going? We understand owners have to make $ and that is what its all come down too. We just want to play. The following ppl are the 1s who get hurt."
Right, because its not like the players are trying to maximize the money they make or anything right?  Please, how dumb do they think we are.  Whether you agree with the players or the owners BRI split (I happen to think 50/50 is more than fair considering the financial investment/risk in owning and operating an NBA team) we ALL know that neither side really cares about the fans, ticket takers, waiters, etc than the other....the owners and the NBPA are looking out for themselves and themselves only, I would not expect any different. But, if the players want to play so desparately and help out all the people liste by Bogut then simply take the deal offered by the owners -- you still make millions of dollars a year (just a few less millions---5 instead of 9, 15 instead of 20 and, gasp, maybe you have to earn the money each year rather than playing out long guaranteed contracts regardless of performance) to play a game you "love" and the "local bars/clubs/food, police officers, security, in arena food and drink...." get their business back in the door.  Problem, from the player's perspective, solved!



Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid

You know who the big winners are in this? Hockey owners. Football by and large sells out anyway so they are not really benefitting other than possibly the fans who were a little mad during the lockout not having another sport to run to. Hockey had their lockout, most fans have forgotten about it, and now there is no basketball and hockey has the stage all to itself during the week. Right now the baseball post season is going on and taking it's fair share of the sports viewing, but come the end of the month after the WS, if basketball is not back to work, it will be all NHL all week except Sunday afternoon.

The thing is there are 5 or 6 owners at least that own both, and they know in the long run they were better off losing 1 season for the long term health of the franchises. The owners can always book a concert or event to tide them over. They have already done it once. The rich and star players will not have any problems either. But the rookies and fringe players that make up at least 2/3 of every team will not have it so easy. 50/50 looks pretty good after not getting paid at all. It even looks pretty good compared to 47-53. And if the union decertifies it opens the door for replacement players. It's not like football where you need a lot of people. Its 8-10 guys per team and it's doable. The players and agents know it and so do the owners. I don't think it would happen the first year unless too many players go somewhere else and play. What's good for the goose is good for the gander and if the players can play for another league then the owners should be able to hire other players. 




Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Hey players: Quit treating us like we're stupid



I think this is a great, well written article that is right on point.  A little repetitious maybe, but very valid.  It's about how to split up PROFIT. Thousands of companies going out of business in America and they are not playing because they can't agree on how much profit they deserve.  Who is investing the money?  If Mark Cuban or some other owner buys an NBA team they are risking their own millions.  If that team loses money, they lose money.  The players don;t share in that investment.  They invest TIME.  Playing a game.  So they play a game for a living and make millions, yet it's not enough because the owners who are actually investing their own money and could potentially lose it all aren't giving them more than half the profits?  Give me a break.  Go get a real job or shut the hell up and play ball.
 


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