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article imageOp-Ed: NBA cancels first two weeks of regular season

By Austin Tyler     Oct 12, 2011 in Sports
As fans we knew the lockout was coming, and we figured that the preseason would be part of the casualty, but now the regular season is in jeopardy. Both sides seem to be further away than expected, and the fans look like the ones that will suffer.
With the NBA season rapidly approaching it seems like one side is waiting for the other to fold. Owners are waiting to see how players are going to react once they begin to start missing checks, and the players are saying we have been saving for years with knowledge of this day coming.
The question that most reporters and fans are asking is, what about the little guys? What about the players that don’t have the names like a Kobe Bryant, LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony? What about the rookies that left school to realize their dream, but right now are dealing with a nightmare?
Those questions are being asked and the answer the players are giving is, “we are a united front.” As the owners seem as if all they are worried about is getting some money back, and keeping it in their pocket during this time of recession.
Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter believes that canceling games and forcing NBA players to miss checks has been the owners' intent for months. I'm convinced that this is all just part of the plan. I think everybody's waiting for the players to cave. They figure that once a player misses a check or two, it's all over. I'm saying ... that would be a horrible mistake if they think that's going to happen, because it's not going to happen. The players are all going to hang in.
If you are real basketball fan, but don’t know the business side of the sport then you do not understand words like revenue sharing, luxury tax, tax threshold or collective bargaining agreement. I will tell you the truth I love basketball and don’t understand it either. All I understand is that I want basketball and I want it to start now.
This is the 102 day of the NBA lockout and with both sides far apart it looks like there will be no end in sight. This past Friday we was told that if there was no deal by Monday, then the first 2-weeks of the season would be scrapped.
Commissioner David Stern had this to say after announcing the cancelation of the first two weeks. We think that we made very fair proposals. I'm sure the players think the same thing, but the gap is so significant that we just can't bridge it at this time.
Owners are pushing for contract limits of four years for free agents re-signing with their current teams and three years for free agents joining new teams. The union is proposing five years and four years, respectively for free-agents. The league is also continuing to push for tax-paying teams to be denied the use of their Larry Bird and mid-level exceptions and is still pushing for the mid-level exception to be reduced from a maximum of $5.8 million annually over five years in the previous CBA to a two- or three-year maximum contract that can't exceed $3 million annually.
As of right now these are just the minor problems that are masking the bigger problems. Players are also talking about the owners wanting a ‘hard cap’, and owners are saying that is not the case. With fans not really knowing the business side of the situation and only going on what is reported to us, we are out of luck.
Fans are stuck between a rock and a hard place as we don’t know who to blame or what side to jump on. As fans we see the players on the daily basis when they are playing games, or we follow them on Facebook or Twitter. The only time we usually see a owner is when something big happens they have to damage control or fly off the handle like Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert did over LeBron James.
The problem right now for the fans is no further negotiating sessions has been scheduled and none are expected before next week. With no meeting being scheduled it seems like they don’t care about the fans right now. The only people that seem to care about the fans are the players as they are going around doing exhibition games for the fans.
Personally I believe the season is in jeopardy, but today on ESPN First Take Amare Stoudemire said that he sees the season starting after Nov. 15 of this year. Hunter does not believe the season will be scrapped as he had this to say.
I think it would be foolish for them to kill the season, we're coming off the best season in the history of the NBA. I'm not so sure, in this kind of economy, that if there is a protracted lockout whether the league will recover.
He also brought up the 1998 lockout with this comment
It took us a while to recover from the '98 lockout, and I think it will take us even longer to recover this time around.
As of right now this will be the worst mistake the NBA as a whole will make if the season is canceled and the fans are stuck without their teams and players to follow. We would really have to settle for watching games from overseas which will be horrible as the players will all not be in the same league. As a fan the only thing we can do right now is sit and wait as both sides seem to just be okay with the way things are going.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about nba lockout, nba cancel first two weeks, NBA, Basketball, David stern
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