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Schmeelk: Dark Days Ahead For NBA

(credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

(credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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By John Schmeelk
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I should have been watching an NBA preseason game last night. In three weeks, I should be watching the Knicks start their season against the Miami Heat.

That’s not going to happen.

Why? Because egos have won out over logic.

Over the past couple of days, article after article has been written about how NBA owners are being unreasonable and their refusal to move off their demands is forcing the work stoppage. It is a lockout, and not a strike, so it’s hard to argue that point. The concessions the owners have offered were from proposals of their own creation, making them false. The players have moved a little bit further than the owners in terms of BRI.

All true. But none of it matters.

The reality is this: no one will ever know exactly how many NBA owners are losing money and how much they are losing. No one will ever know how necessary a drastic change really is. Numbers may not lie but the people reporting them do. Owners and players can look at the same exact number and draw two completely different conclusions.

It really doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that the NBA owners are dug in, and enough are either losing money or not making enough that they are willing to throw away an entire season. Despite the big talk from the players’ association, it is extremely unlikely that the majority of their members can afford a season long work stoppage. The longer this goes, the worse it is going to get for the players.

The players are going to be far more desperate after a month of canceled games than the owners are. Owners and players are both going to try and make up for lost money from missed games, pushing them even further apart in their negotiations.

Missing games helps no one, especially not the players.

Derek Fisher makes the point that the players will prove their resolve by not blinking after missing a couple of checks.

But how about after three checks? Or four? Or more?

They will fold and whatever deal they get will be just about the same as the deal they can get now. It’s virtually pocket change when viewed on the grand scale. In other words, they are going to be throwing away paychecks for nothing. That’s not exactly true. They will be satisfying their massive egos by standing up to the big bad owners.

Finally, NBA fans should take note that the players are fighting for a system that favors big market teams. There’s no doubt teams like the Knicks, Celtics and Lakers, who are willing to go over the luxury tax threshold, have an advantage over teams that don’t. The owners are actually trying to give the league more competitive balance. Whether it’s a hard cap, or an extremely punitive luxury tax, either would help achieve that.

I know this seems like I’m taking the owners’ side on this issue, but I’m not. I’m taking the side of not missing any games. The players are eventually going to lose here. The owners are not going to give in and the players need to realize that. Why not lose now, take the hit, and collect all their game checks? Why make everyone wait this out on pins and needles, and miss games in November and December?

Egos. That’s why.

NBA – where logic doesn’t happen.

You can follow me on twitter for everyone on the NBA, Giants, NFL and the Yankees: twitter.com/Schmeelk.

Are you picking a side in the labor impasse? Make your case in the comments below…