Did NBA commissioner David Stern really send a photocopy of his middle finger to the players union? Of course not.
But reportedly, the owners’ proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement garnered about that kind of reaction from the union.
As Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski writes, both sides seems to be heading toward a 2011 lockout.
That begs the questions: Could the NBA and NFL have simultaneous lockouts that year?
What’s all the arguing about? The usual, of course. The owners want more of the pot than thety got in the recent CBAs. The players have no interest in relinquishing that.
Who’s right? Nobody, really. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the NHL’s current state, it’s that a lockout is not the answer.
Forget about the players’ strike in Major League Baseball in 1994. Canceled World Series aside, that league recovered at a much quicker pace than the NHL did from their last work stoppage. In fact, in my opinion the NHL has not recovered.
Pro hockey was completely canceled in the 2004-05 scheduled season. Commissioner Gary Bettman wanted a system that tied league revenue to players’ salaries with a salary cap. Competitive balance is a noble cause, after all. But the players did not. The sides couldn’t come to an agreement, and poof! There goes the season.
Prior to the lockout, I considered the NHL to be one of the "Big Four" major sports in this country. But since, there’s no doubt it’s fallen beneath pro golf and NASCAR on the average sports fan’s radar. Sure, regionally, people love the Minnesota Wild. But look at the state of the league as a whole. Multiple teams – mostly in the southern part of this country - are failing.
I might be linking things that aren’t connected. But maybe if there is no lockout, some of these teams are experiencing financial bliss. And maybe the NHL and ESPN agree to a TV deal, rather than having the sport played on a second-rate sports network. Who knows?
But the NFL and especially the NBA should look to the NHL as a lesson that continues to be learned from.