For my final post, I want to discuss the hottest topic currently in sports, the NBA lockout. The league has officially been in a lockout since July 1st, due to the owners and players not being able to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). What this is, is basically how the various forms of revenue the league accrues is divided between the players and the owners. What this means is that there are 3 sides that one can assign blame to; the players, the owners, or the commissioner. The main argument that people bring up with the players is that they are being greedy. The minimum salary for an NBA player is almost $500,o00 and only increases with the more years you have been in the NBA. On average, players are getting over $5 million annually. Is a few dollars out of their pockets really going to hurt them? Some players are making more in a year than most people do in a lifetime. The same can be said when making arguments about the owners. If you think the players are rich, wait until you see the bank account of one of the 30 owners. They aren’t as inclined to get the season going though. The NBA market hasn’t been doing too well in recent seasons, meaning some of the owners have actually been losing money. They could actually lose less money if there was no season. Finally comes the commissioner, David Stern. He is widely viewed as an enemy, due to his arrogance, and the overall bullying of the players he does. Some even go as far to say that both sides are being greedier in spite of Stern. Stern is supposed to be in the middle of bringing both sides together, but just seems to tear them apart. As the lockout continues, we will be able to see who is truly at fault for the lack of success in the negotiations.
I was recently reading another blog and came across a very interesting article they wrote. They were talking about how not only is media rapidly changing but the effect it is having on sports fans. They provided many interesting examples that compelled me to write about it, because I agree with them 100%. The first example they used involved the NBA playoffs from last year. TNT changed the way that basketball fans could watch the game. They allowed fans to watch the games online from different camera angles. People could choose if they wanted to follow one player, or if they wanted to watch the game from a baseline camera, giving them the feel that they were actually in the stadium. To me, this is revolutionary. I have never seen such a real-life experience, that you could experience from your couch. They then go on to talk about fantasy sports. I am a huge fan of fantasy football, so I could relate to this very much. They explain how it allows fans to connect more with individual athletes, as opposed to teams. People feel like they are more associated with the athlete because he is the star on their fantasy team. I admit that sometimes I am actually guilty of this, but I feel like fantasy football has taken a lot away from the game. I like how times used to be, when people would have their favorite team to follow. This is still the case for the true fans, but there are many people who don’t even care how the Washington Redskins because they were just happy that Tony Romo gave them 30 fantasy points, even though he is on the rivaling team. While the technology provides more entertainment for the fans and allows them to feel closer to individual athletes, it takes away from the true passion of the game that fans use to experience.