Intent, Invest, Income
“Intentions, Investments, Income”
Remember watching the show Family Feud? If a question was asked of 100 people about why we have a NBA lockout, I would bet every single person being questioned would answer that it is caused by the overpaid players wanting more money. Which is exactly the perception NBA owners want to maintain, while they hide behind that exact facade to get further ahead in following their intentions, investments, and multiplying their income.
Perhaps we need Phil Jackson to come back – No, not to coach, but to get people to work with each other. After all, that is Phil Jackson’s specialty, to have players of many personalities come together for one cause. Whether that cause is for the love of the game, love for competition, or even to make money, the bottom line result is all about playing together. It may seem like it is the Players who have been jousting with NBA owners over labor salaries and such, but let’s look at it from another angle.
Let’s put the owners under a microscope for the sake of this discussion – Does the NBA have Owners such as Robert Kraft of the NFL New England Patriots, who came out and lead all owners to a final conclusion which allowed for the NFL 2011-12 season, even though his wife was ailing sick of Cancer (RIP – Myra Kraft) Absolutely not, because first off, no collaboration exist among NBA owners, secondly, not all NBA owners share the same financial interests as others, therefore it is hard for anyone to assume the position of a true NBA Owners Leader. You may think of Commissioner David Stern is the owners leader, but he himself got his own interests that he needs to look out for, such as the NBA owned team the New Orlean Hornets, which makes him as much of an owner as the rest of the owners.
Let’s take a minute to discover the owners interests. In the NBA you have big market owners and small market owners. Big markets for example are the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, while the small markets are the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves. All other teams just rank differently according to the merchandise they sell and the demographics they are within. The money a small market owner loses during a lockout varies differently than a big market owner. A small market owner usually consist of one major player, for example Minnesota Timberwolves, which is owned by one person, Glen Taylor, being a small market in Minnesota, they do not have other owners involved, which makes decision making easy. But when you have markets like Los Angeles Lakers, owned by Jerry Buss, who has to compete with the likes of USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Anaheim Angels, also the NHL Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, and last but not least, the Los Angeles Clippers. Jerry Buss may just be one sole owner, but I am sure he has other invested owners that are concerned about the malnourished flow of incoming revenue and the competition among other sport entertainment outlets in Southern California. So as you can see Team owners have different problems associated with a lockout, and until the owners can’t get on the same page, then they will never be able to offer a legitimate offer to players and meet CBA requirements.
Every obstacle creates a new opportunity, for both players and owners. For example, players such as Deron Williams of New Jersey Nets has elected to play overseas in Turkey. Bucks star point guard, which is ecstatically fun to watch has been dominating in the 2011 NC Pro-Am. Miami Heat players are actually doing some good for the community by setting up a charity game as opposed to predicting how many championships they will win, not 1, not 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, well you get the Lebron James pun!!!
You wonder what various owners are doing during this time since they are not all on the same page? Like any big shot with money in hand, they are looking to invest. Such as Jay-Z, part owner of the New Jersey Nets has come out and announced that in 2012-2013 season, the Nets will officially be the Brooklyn Nets. Brooooooooklyn!!! Furthermore, owners such as the Cleveland Cavaliers owner George Gund, Gordon Gund, have been investing into buying a D-League team and other owners who already own a D-League have been investing more into it to help with growth of the D-League and to also ensure they don’t lose players overseas by paying them more than the bare minimum D-League salary of $30,000 a year.
Now let’s make things interesting here, NBA players that make a fine substantial amount of money are now being approached to not only play overseas, but to be part owners. Players such as Kobe Bryant, are highly motivated to play on an Italian team, does he care about the overseas competition, or is it the possible residual income that he is actually investing in if he eventually becomes an owner of one of the overseas teams? Perhaps, he is doing it to stay in shape physically, I personally believe he is looking at it as a long term financial growth. You can be the judge of that. In the meantime, this lockout is about Owners vs. Owners. Players are not to be judged or ridiculed for not playing. That is exactly what the owners want the general public and avid basketball viewers to think, which will eventually pay more dividends in the owners personal bank account.