Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: Dear NBA — Take a cue from Reagan and fire the players

By Sean McCaffrey     Nov 2, 2011 in Sports
In 1981, President Reagan fired nearly 12,000 illegally-striking air traffic controllers—the 85-percent of government workers who, after being told their strike was in violation of law, still refused to go back to work. The NBA needs to follow suit.
Twenty years later, a much smaller, but much, much more affluent group of people is refusing to go to go to work unless they continue making more money than the owners of the companies they work for. Mind you, most of these individuals make so much money, 26 of the 30 companies they work for lost money last year.
The news media likes to spin this as a battle of wills between millionaires and billionaires, but they are missing the big picture. It is a battle of wills between people making money on basketball (the players) and people losing money on basketball (the team owners).
Admittedly, most of these players get paid more per game than my entire net worth. But I posit this: If I was to pay someone millions of dollars per year to throw a rubber ball through a metal hoop, he ought to be able to do it more than 40-percent of the time. Most of these players demanding bigger shares of the take from owners not making a profit can’t even do that. In school 40-percent is a failing grade. It ought to be in basketball, too, methinks.
Obviously, I neither play basketball nor own a team. But my suggestion is this: institute performance based pay in basketball (and all professional sports), as we ought to consider doing more widely in everything from teaching to Congress to company CEOs…
…or fire the lot of them, and start holding tryouts for whatever can be salvaged of the season.
I’d much prefer watching college basketball to the NBA any day, as those kids play to win. It seems to me that were several hundred vacancies to open up tomorrow, there would be more than enough eager talent ready to hustle up and down the court for a fraction of the salary today’s NBA player salivates over making.
Back in the day, I grew up watching the NBA finals of the 80s and 90s with my dad, often historic clashes between the Celtics and Lakers. Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird. They were historic battles I’ll never forget. I didn’t know anyone’s salary then (or now). I only knew they were playing to win.
Fire all the players today. The ones who show up for try-outs are the ones who still love the game.
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, Basketball, Business, Labor, Strike
More news from
Sports Video
Latest News
Top News