You would think that the NBA would take a look at the NFL, and see that they are going to have to do the same thing. Compromise, which is the only way that this will get settled. The NFL was headed in the exact same direction, until they both started compromising. The problem is that while the disputes seem similar, they are also very different. The players union is arranged differently, the NBA did not have to immediately decertify, whereas the NFLPA had to, or risk not being able to decertify. This allows them to way their options a lot longer, before deciding whether to pursue ant-trust litigation or not. It’s good for the players, but bad for the fans. If they wait until after the season should have started to even start the legal battle, we could be looking at a long, draw out, contentious battle, which makes the NFL lockout look amicable.
The prospect of playing overseas also further complicates the situation. Although I view it in the owners favor, much more so than the players. If I were the owner’s I would encourage them to go overseas and pay. It’s really only the superstars that have this opportunity; they don’t so much exist for the journeymen of the NBA. The overseas leagues don’t pay as well either, not nearly as well. They don’t offer the same lavish lifestyles, that the LBJ’s of the NBA have become accustomed. No entourages, no 5-star hotel suites, no adoring fans. It would be a different and most likely humbling experience for some of the NBA’s elite. I would love to see LBJ, and Kobe go take a trip down the eastern bloc basketball league. Of course, for a lot of the foreign born players they can return home, and play, and live better than they could have, had they not played NBA ball.
It will be interesting to see how Deron Williams handles playing ball internationally, he will be the measuring stick for the other superstars, maybe he will lead them all over the world, but I doubt it. He might succeed, but he is different than the average superstar, and thus is better prepared to deal with the differences.
It’s the Kyrie Irving’s of the world, NBA rookies, who will really suffer; they have not made millions of dollars, and really don’t have anything to fall back on. They also run greater risk if they attempt to go overseas they don’t have contracts. If they get hurt playing for peanuts, they will never make the millions they have worked, and sweated, and practiced so hard to earn. They have little say, they have little clout, yet they also have the most to lose, and the least to gain. You start to see why so many elite college players, stayed for another year, as there is no guarantee of a NBA paycheck this year.
Its millionaires vs. billionaires and the billionaires seem content to let the season go, without a single game taking places. They believe they will lose less money by not playing, than by playing. Which if it is true, virtually guarantee’s they have no incentive to negotiate. The player are going to have to make the first concession, if they want to continue being millionaires, because unlike the NFL, these billionaires really don’t have much to lose.