Years ago, Stern stressed the importance of globalization of the NBA and how the league would stand to benefit. Now he’s mired in what looks to be the second labor stoppage in twelve years that will cause games to be missed and we as fans are faced with questioning whether our cable provider carries stations that show Chinese, Turkish, and other foreign leagues to see our favorite stars.
If Deron Williams signing with Besiktas of Turkey awoke David Stern and his owners then hearing that Kobe Bryant has entertained foreign offers over the past two months, and that Kevin Durant is now negotiating with a Turkish team should bring about insomnia. This lockout is real and unlike the 1999 stoppage, players have passport infused options. Even Carlos Boozer is contemplating robbing a foreign squad, that is assuming none of the foreign owners were tuned in to the NBA this past season.
Sure, NBA players are overpaid and in most cases don’t live up to the humongous contracts they are given, but it is the owners doing the giving. I could see a reason for a lockout if NBA owners weren’t the ones passing out the ridiculous contracts. That’s the equivalent of me not wanting my niece or nephew to visit because I keep buying them toys. The logic in this lockout is lacking.
If NBA owners and fans are looking to the NFL lockout as inspiration for a quick resolution, then both are wasting their time. NBA players as a whole are better off financially and have options in overseas basketball that football players didn’t have thus forcing them to succumb to NFL owner and commissioner demands.
I suggest that David Stern and his band of owners give in to the concessions that the players are willing to make because unlike the 1999 stoppage, the game has completely went global. Unfortunately for the NBA, it’s players soon will too.