Home > Uncategorized > Hello, Lockout. So We Meet Again, Eh?

Hello, Lockout. So We Meet Again, Eh?

Yep, it's the same art I used for my NFL lockout post on March 11. I'm not creative in that way

Lockout, part deux. And like most sequels, this one isn’t as “good” as the year’s original.

When the NFL established its lockout in March, the owners and the players were worlds apart when discussing how to split up the league’s revenue, but there was some optimism that they would act in time to save the entire season. That optimism seems to have grown in the past few weeks.

The two sides in the NBA’s negotiations seem even further separated right now. While some say the league won’t lose games because both players and owners will start to cave under when the prospects of lost checks start looming in September and October, there is a popular belief that some hardline owners — those in smaller markets and losing the most money — are willing to lose some or all of a season to reshape the league’s financial landscape.

That is scary. And I’m not talking about that 66-word sentence.

For now, there’s no reason to pay attention to anything said by either side. No one will make concessions in July or August, when the regular season still looks like something that resides in a land far, far away. When the NBA’s calendar turns to September, much where we are now with the NFL in late June, important people will begin to think about their immediate bottom line shrinking if something isn’t hammered out soon. It’s at that time when we will see the true colors of the players and the owners.

I’m a bit on the owner’s side in this drama, if only because of the words “hard cap.”  This past season, the league’s salary cap was set at about $58 million. But because the NBA works with a soft cap, teams such as the Mavericks and Lakers were allowed to work near or above $90 million.

I SAY NO MORE! And get that $62 million flex cap crap out of here. HARD CAP! HARD CAP! HARD CAP! HARD CAP!

Why am I pressing that issue with so much enthusiasm? Because I’m a little bit of an evil prick.

You see, the Miami Heat’s Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is due to make a combined $47 million next season. The owners’ proposed hard cap would set the limit at $45 million. You can see the problem there. And more trouble for the Heat means more happy times for me. I’m still not off of that haterade yet. Much like this lockout, I’ll probably be drinking it well into the new year.

A friend of mine pointed out that I should curb my hard-cap giddiness because my main horse in the NBA’s race for the ring is in the same boat. The Los Angeles Lakers are slated owe Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum a combined amount of nearly $63 million next season. That is assuming the Lakers pick up Bynum’s team option, which it will.

Yet, I’m not fretting. Maybe it makes me a bad fan, but currently, I’ve got the same attitude toward the Lakers that has become a cliché description of how most people in Southern California act toward things.

Meh, whatever.

Right now, the Lakers are coming off a disheartening playoff appearance. It was tough to watch to say the least. Right now, unless the Lakers make the changes they need, I’m not really looking forward to their 2012 with full anticipation. Plus, the Lakers did win back-to-back championships in 2008 and 2009. Again, this all makes me sound like an awful, fair-weather fan, but I’m sated by that success for the time being. I’ll contradict that claim when the Lakers are fighting once again in the playoffs next year. But for now, I’m good.

The more attractive option than having my hair fall out and being forced to visit a cardiologist due to worrying about the Lakers for another eight months is spending my time hoping for nothing but the worse for the Miami Heat. To me, it’s still fun and a lot less stressful.

So, yeah. Hard cap.

I guess that’s it for now. Enjoy your summer without basketball like every summer without basketball. Then wring your hands viciously if we reach October with no progress in the negotiations evident.

And hey, NHL: carpe diem, man. Looks like you’ll be the only pro sports show in town on weekdays this winter after the NFL’s regular season ends. Let’s see what you can provide us with these clean streets. I mean, the sports-watching public will want something to occupy their time this winter. NBA basketball probably won’t be an option.

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