Friday, October 14, 2011

NBA Lockout Risk: Public Ridicule

Nothing else worked. Maybe the owners and players will react to the scorn of the fans. -- Michael Wilbon,

The bond market indicator that has predicted every recession since 1970 is forecasting a 60 percent chance of the economy having another contraction within the next 12 months. Moody's Analytics says there's a 40 percent chance the U.S. will tumble back into the depths of a recession within the next six months. The unemployment rate, some analysts say, is likely to remain above 6 percent until 2015. The hourly pay of people who are employed can't keep pace with inflation. The most recent drop in household income is the largest in several decades and, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, has caused a "significant reduction in the American standard of living."

So with that as the economic backdrop, the NBA has decided to sit it out for a while because the owners and players can't agree on how to split up $4.3 billion. It's difficult to imagine that folks who live in constant fear of losing their jobs, of not being able to make their mortgage payments or pay their kids' tuition or do anything with their money beyond what is absolutely necessary have the stomach for this self-indulgent behavior. The country is in no mood for the NBA's stupid dispute; and if the lockout lasts past Christmas and into the time when people expect to see professional basketball, which is quite possible, the bet here is the owners and players are going to face a level of disdain that could embarrass the two sides into a settlement and haunt the league for years.

Right now, it's clear that what anybody, even their patrons, thinks of them is of next to zero concern for both sides. Each side is right, don't you know? Each wants to win. There are owners who would rather miss most of the season than settle now. There are players, millionaires, who are convinced they have some mysterious leverage that will dissuade owners who are billionaires. For now, neither is budging. Two weeks of games have already been canceled and very likely another month of games, at least, will be kicked.

So what pressure, in addition to loss of money, is going to move one side or the other off its position?

Click here to continue to the rest of the article.. (with video)


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