NBA: It’s Been Nice Knowing You

The NBA Players Association reject the latest proposal from the owners, and is moving towards decertification.

All I have is one thing to say to the NBA: it’s been real.  If the NBA thought the fan backlash to the 1999 lockout was bad, it hasn’t seen anything yet.

Fans are already having a hard time relating to NBA players.  First let’s be real about something: most fans are white and are at the very least middle-class and most of the players are tatted-up brothers from the wrong side of the train tracks.  It’s kinda easy to see why those fans do not exactly identify with those players.

Fans do not like the perceived entitled attitudes of players.  Most players are among the highest paid athletes in the world.  Most fans feel that the players are only in it for the money and do not give their best unless they are in a contract year.

Fans were turned off from “The Malice in the Palace” episode where nutjob Ron Artest (who now goes by “Metta World Peace”, again NUTJOB) set off a riot by going into the stands swinging on fans during a timeout.  Fans like to label NBA players “thugs” and “hoodrats”, solely based upon the players’ appearance.  Most players are not helping eradicate that perception by being tatted-up to the point of being walking works of art.

What I am trying to say is the NBA is not the NFL.  The NFL is king in this country.

The fans get NFL players, and the players tend to fan friendlier and is more marketable than average NBA players.  That’s not entirely the NBA’s fault, but it goes back to the perception issue it has with its fans.

And fans seeing NBA players and owners bicker over billions of dollars in what has been a down economy only adds to the negative perception.  As a result, the average casual NBA fan is turned off to the point of becoming indifferent.

Not many fans care if there is an NBA season or not.  Hell, I bet there are some sports fans who HOPE there is not NBA season and that it causes the league sustainable financial damage.

I’ll say this: if the NBA does cancel the regular season, if can forget about being in the sporting landscape’s conscious for a long time.  Ask the National Hockey League how life is being televised on obscure networks (Versus).

Bottom line: the NBA owners and its players need to exercise some common sense and make a deal NOW.  The NHL cannot believe how stupid the NBA is acting.

Categories: NBA, sports story

Tags: , ,

8 replies

  1. Agreed – The NBA is hurting itself by not getting back on the courts. Ever since the NHL lockout, it has barely been a second-tier sport. I mean, I’ve seen soccer get more coverage than the NHL on ESPN in recent years.

    I just wrote my blog about how the fans and businesses are getting screwed over from the NBA lockout:

    Keep up the great blogging. I followed your blog and on Twitter.

  2. This season is dead before it can even begin. With the players dissolving the union, this won’t see the inside of a court room for months. The owners are hunkered down for a long drawn out fight and the players are too disorganized to move swiftly. Both sides have done their best to make themselves appear like the “bad guys” in this situation, leaving nobody for the average fan to root for. If they ever come to a resolution, they may find there’s nobody left who cares. The NHL and MLS really appreciate the fans they’re driving away though.

    My thoughts on the lockout:

  3. Who cares about the NBA? I certainly don’t. I was talking to other people today and they all hoped the league would disappear.

    The owners have the players by the balls and the players are stupid to think otherwise. Let them dissolve the union. That’s what the owners want.

    1 year gone and the deal will be 40/60 in favor of the owners.

    As far as fan base… I don’t think you are correct on this one. Not too many of the people I run into on a daily bases, in the business world, could give a rats ass about me giving them tickets to see a NBA game. It’s not a white/black/brown/yellow issue. It’s about the thugs that are currently playing the game… Let the league die and let’s see what happens.

    • A lot of people are turned off by the players’ lifestyle and demeanor on the court. It’s too bad because a lot of the players are charitable and are actually good citizens. Unfortunately due to those players being tatted up and appearing like thugs, fans are unable to see that – and the players have only themselves to blame for that…

  4. very amateurish piece…

  5. I’ve lost some respect for the players. They’re letting the owners dictate the terms of the lockout and have done nothing to gain any leverage. November games are not profitable for owners anyway so they have a big advantage.

    Players should have gone on strike in March. They would have gotten most of their money and put the owners in a bind because they need that network TV and playoff money.

    What are players doing? Have they made a serious attempt to organize a barnstorming league? Did they follow through on their threats to play overseas? No. They’re just sitting by their pools or in their vacation homes, waiting for the owners to make a good offer.

    That’s not how it works. You always negotiate from a position of strength. Players must do something to make owners think, “Oh, S**t! These guys aren’t fooling around. We need to make them a serious offer”.

    Organizing a credible barnstorming league would take a great deal of effort. Venues must be procured, TV contracts have to be worked out, you need security, refs, insurance, etc. etc. etc. Playing overseas is also a pain. If players don’t want this hassle, I understand. Then take the offer on the table and go back to work.

Leave a Reply