First of all, we want to congratulate you on managing to kill the momentum you had built with fans over the past 10-years. It's something that isn't very easy to do. The NHL did it and is still recovering. Major League Baseball did it too, they are just now, some 8-plus years later, recovering from that decision.
We'll start here with the NBA owners.
You do realize that you caused most of this problem don't you? If you stopped overpaying marginal players you could probably do a better job of keeping your costs in line. The best possible example: The Hawks paying Joe Johnson $119 million over 6 years to help them get to the 1st round of the playoffs.
Brilliant. Don't blame players for taking these types of deals. Wouldn't you?
You also don't share your revenues. And while we sort of understand the theory of "We made the money, we should keep it", the problem is that it creates revenue differences.
Like it or not, the Indiana Pacers will never draw the revenue of the Boston Celtics or LA Lakers. It isn't possible.
Other sports share revenues and don't seem to have as big a problem as the NBA with financial imbalances.
Your commissioner speaks of potential contraction, you know, making teams go away. And while it might put some smaller, less successful owners out of their misery, it makes you, as a league look really, really bad.
Let's move on to the players:
|NBAPA Prez Billy Hunter|
Do you guys really know what you are doing? Do you understand that very few fans can relate to what you are complaining about? You do understand that while you aren't getting the "Ideal" deal that you'd like, you are still getting a chance to make "Millions"?
Yes, we get that when push comes to shove, you all are "Businssmen" who have to look out for your best interests. But is making $10 million a year as opposed to $20 million really going to create hardship for you?
Maybe you don't buy that 10th Ducati or take a room or two off of your planned $30 million mansion. Maybe you don't pay 10 of your friends $100K a year to hang out with you. But trust us, you aren't going to find a lot of people who can relate to what you are complaining about.
Both you, the players and you, the owners will fight this out to the end...and we can accept that. But know that you won't be missed by many.
Unlike the NFL, which is the world's most popular sport, you don't have millions of fans clamoring for even the smallest tidbit of information during the offseason. In fact, we would argue that most sports fans don't even pay attention to you, the NBA, until football season ends.
So, we, the fans, are warning you, the NBA that you have a BIG image problem now. We understand that you are prepared to cancel your season. We understand that you have problems that need to be fixed. But understand that most of our lives don't revolve around your 82 games.
If either of you think that fans will just come right back, you may be mistaken. But that is your problem. Just know that you are quickly headed towards a path of irrelevancy and it appears that neither of you get that.
Just know that the rest of us do.
Former NBA fan