The NFL lockout lasted 132 days, affected a few weeks of preseason play, but ultimately did very little damage to the league's public perception and to the fans' willingness to spend millions to watch their favorite sport. Today, as NBA owners and players union officials meet yet again to continue what has been called slight progress from yesterday's meeting, we celebrate the 133rd day of the NBA lockout. In case you haven't been paying attention, the NBA lockout has lasted through what would have been the league's training camps, preseason games, and now the first two weeks of the season. Throughout it all, commissioner David Stern has threatened to cancel the games through Christmas, as well as the entire month of December, but he has backed off of nearly every threat that he has made.
The current threat from the man who believes he is the best commissioner in sports is that the owners will not budge from a 53-47 percent split in the basketball related income, after they have been so generous in offering a 50-50 split for the past month or so. To put that into perspective, the players enjoyed a 57-43 split in the last CBA, so now the owners are demanding a complete reversal, with a few incentives included to make it look like they're really being generous. Meanwhile, the players claimed that they would not budge from their demand of 52-48; however, there are new rumors that they've closed in on accepting the 50-50 split. Basically, the owners are getting everything they want - as I and many others predicted from the moment this lockout started - at the expense of the players and the fans. All in the name of protecting their own asses from their own inept decisions.
But nothing is settled yet despite optimism that a deal may be within reach. Thankfully, we have Nike to keep us inspired as a group of 30 billionaires wrestles with a group of 450 millionaires over billions of dollars with the reminder that "Basketball Never Stops." And it's true, because from the hardwood of our favorite colleges to the inner city streets lined with the dreams of children, basketball still lives. But I just can't help thinking that Nike could be a little more honest with us right now. Somebody has to. So I came up with some suggestions for some better basketball ads.
(That's union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, by the way. He's the one who tried to push the personal lawsuits of Tom Brady, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins to keep the NFL lockout going because he makes something like $1,500 an hour off of "helping" the athlete unions. He also just compared the way the owners treat the players to plantation workers, so remember that the next time you see a guy making $5 million a year as he's forced to pick cotton.)