Kurt Helin of PBT takes on my hard cap small market thing: “Which is to say, the NBA’s middle class will go away. What drives up the Lakers payroll is less Kobe and more Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest. They can afford to go over the cap and pay to keep good role players around their stars. But those days will end, it will be the high priced stars and the cheap guys around them. And some smaller teams that draft well will have to break up that core because they will bump up against the hard cap. It’s one reason I think in the end you will still see a soft cap — one with far fewer exceptions but one that lets teams keep their cores together. Because what we want to see is good basketball, and drafting a team that can grow together is one of the best ways to get that.”
David Aldridge to the players: “Stop whining about how you can’t possibly agree to a 50-50 split of revenues. No group of professional athletes has ever, collectively, made as much money as you’re making today. You made the last of this money in the midst of the worst economic downturn in eight decades. Nobody wants to take a pay cut. But you have jobs, and tens of millions of Americans do not. They would kill to be able to take a pay cut to keep what they once had. Yes, owners have to be responsible for the decisions they make. But if they chose not to make them, to save their money and go the cheap route, you would be on the first microphone available screaming collusion.”
John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News: “Something is going to have to change for the NBA owners to end this lockout. And that something is ultimately going to come out of the players’ side of the agreement. I don’t care about the numbers. You’ve got multimillionaire players fighting with multibillionaire owners over how to equitably divide billions of dollars in profits. With the majority of Americans struggling to enjoy the basic necessities of life and maybe have an occasional indulgence, like a family vacation, I couldn’t care less who wins this fight.
Jenni Carlson on NBA sites not having any players: “Check out any team’s website, including the Thunder’s, and you’ll see that dance teams have taken over. Tryouts. Camps. Trips. All of it is front-page news these days. And the teams that don’t have their dance teams front and center instead feature mascots or coaches or stoic pictures of NBA Commissioner David Stern. I mean, I love mascots as much as the next gal, but is this the kind of NBA world we want to live in?”
Israel Gutierrez of The Miami Herald: “Arison, Mark Cuban and the rest of the more successful owners would be just fine with making their fellow owners more money by making several adjustments to the collective bargaining agreement. But not at the risk of an entire season. The extreme approach doesn’t work for them (it actually also wouldn’t work for Stern, who could ruin his legacy by allowing next season to be lost). Especially not for Arison. If next season goes by the wayside, that means he has only two more seasons guaranteed with the Big?3 under contract. What could happen after that is too scary to even consider right now. Put yourself in Arison’s shoes, and you would be walking to the negotiating table right now to make sure a deal gets done in time.”