There are many things in this life that I am unsure of. At 34, I’m still not secure yet in what I want to be when I grow up. I also haven’t figured out how to make my 8-year-old twin sons to do my bidding without questioning my authority or immediately ratting me out to my wife. Nor have I figured out how to best choose my numbers for the PowerBall.
That said there are at least two things I am sure of in this life:
1.) There are more differences between an oral and a rectal thermometer than just the taste.
2.) In war, the side that fights on a second front against dissension is the side that loses.
While I cannot apply item one to sports, I certainly can point to item two as a lesson that the leadership of the NBA Players’ Association has yet to learn. If they had, they would realize that while they bicker amongst themselves, they are essentially handing the owners exactly what they want; a broken union without strong leadership which will eventually bow underneath the overwhelming weight of straw on their backs.
At this stage of the NBA lock-out, we are no longer in a stalemate. We are at the stage where Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher no longer know who to trust between them, nor if they themselves can be trusted. Instead of working to present their case, they are backpedaling to the media like Herman Cain at a restaurant convention. All of this while Paul Allen wrings his hands in triumph.
The war is over and now the union just needs to accept its loss. They’ll have to pack up and go back to the players with a mere 50% split of revenue instead of the desired 52.5% and they’ll have to like it. And the players won’t like it, so they’ll call for decertification of the union because they won’t feel that they are being fairly represented, costing the league the entire season over 2%.
So it comes as no surprise that the owners are now giving the players just four days to accept the current offer on the table or the offer drops from 50% to 47% and a harsher cap. The owners know that they have the players backed into a corner and that the mass majority of them won’t run the route of playing in Europe this winter.
The players are misreading their position in this matter. They is the point that the owners have to spread their half of the revenues into operating costs with the arenas, up to and including the thousands of staff involved in making everything go as planned for the 48 minutes that the self-righteous players step onto the court. They have absolutely no understanding of how this looks to you and me, struggling to get by on the pittance of a salary we can scrounge out of our employers, if we’re lucky to have one.
So while all the hippies in the world are inventing reason after reason in order to get free camping in the city parks around the world, I say they move their love fests indoors. Why not Occupy Boston Garden or Occupy LA Forum? Why not set up stake on the front lawn of LeBron James? I hear South Beach is quite a bit warmer than Central Park this time of year.
It’s time for these one-and-done college drop-outs to suck it up and find a way to live off of $8 million instead of $10 million. It’s time for them to realize a good thing when they see it and accept the career path they chose and are lucky enough to have.
Or better yet, it’s time for them to learn how to say “I was fouled” in Serbian so that they can continue to realize the dream of playing ball for a living.