Lockout threatens to cancel entire 2011/2012 NBA season
On Nov. 1, myself and many other NBA fans could have been on our way to the Staples Center to watch Kobe Bryant take on Kevin Durant in the Lakers’ first home game for the 2011/12 NBA season. After the Lakers’ painful elimination from last year’s playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks, this was the one game that all Lakers fans have been waiting for all summer.
Instead, I was at home watching ESPN reruns of NBA games from the ‘90s.
What could have been a deal-breaker at the Oct. 28 meeting between NBA owners and the Players association, turned out to be a cancellation of all November games according to NBA commissioner David Stern at a press conference post meeting, and so, the lockout continues.
With one month’s worth of games cancelled, it seems as if the next meetings are going to focus on making up the millions of dollars in revenue lost during the month of November.
As an NBA and Lakers fan, it’s not only the owners and players who are affected by the lockout, but we the fans as well. We are the ones who pay part of what the two sides can’t agree on - the revenues.
The players are asking for 52.5 percent while the owners are willing to negotiate a 50-50 split.
A 50-50 split sounds pretty fair to me, but as the lockout continues to drag on, I’m starting to sympathize with the players, only because the owners already make so much money off these players, and throughout this lockout the owners look greedier and greedier.
In addition to fans being affected by the lockout, so are franchises, sponsors, and sports bars.
The baseball season recently wrapped up, leaving NFL to be the moneymaker for many bars.
Many sports bars will be hit with a revenue loss once the NFL season is over in early 2012.
Jahmal Gillespie, chef at South sports bar in Santa Monica said that, “off-days are killing us. Tuesdays are supposed to be NBA game nights and they are dead.”
Although bars are hurting, not all sponsors are in the same boat.
One West Bank has been a Lakers’ sponsor since the end of last season and their partnership with the Lakers is not all waste.
Art Bikidjian, manager at One West Bank said, “We’re not losing anything. We sponsor the Lakers by having Lakers debit and credit cards, and vice versa.”
The Staples Center has reserved Dec. 13, for an additional Jay-Z and Kanye West ‘Watch The Throne’ concert, a day according to Lakers website is suppose to be a home game against Toronto Raptors.
Of course, arenas and fields connected to the NBA must come up with a ‘plan B’ in order to stay on top, but is there something that these people know that the rest of us don’t? Perhaps.
It seems as if everyone is throwing in their towel early and has completely abandoned the idea of possibly having an NBA season.
As a fan, the idea has struck my mind a few times, but as much as I dislike the NBA lockout, I’m not throwing in the towel until Stern says it’s time to.
If the owners and players can come to an agreement soon, it will not only save the NBA’s reputation, but it will also save us fans from watching players marry reality stars in order to pay for their rent.