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James Jones says the owners “want it all”

Jul 16, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT


If you want a nice perspective on where this whole lockout thing stands, just go ask the reigning 3-point champion. I know that sounds odd. But James Jones in a recent interview with the AP put things nicely in perspective about the difference between the owners and the players.

“They’re holding fast to what they want and what they’ve asked for,” Jones said, speaking of owners. “We’ve made some concessions and agreed to move it in the right direction. But moving in the right direction isnt enough. They want it all.”

via Heat’s James Jones is realistic on lockout – NBA- NBC Sports.

That’s pretty much where the lockout is at. Public sentiment is going to be against the players. That makes more sense on the surface than most hardcore hoops guys would think. Your average guy working your normal 9-5 job simply isn’t going to have any sympathy for the players he watches on television getting paid to play a game. I’ve certainly got little sympathy for a guy having to sell one of his five cars with my busted Pontiac needing a new battery. It’s a normal response.

But this lockout really is on the players. In the past I’ve been pro-owner, depending on the issue, but here, there’s little room for wiggle. The players aren’t asking for more (though they would if they were afforded the opportunity). They just don’t want to lose everything. And James is correct in that the players have made compromises in their proposals. The owners? They took a hard line, then took a softer hard line and called it compromise.

This has become something worse than just a business negotiation, which is all it should be. It’s an ideological battle over control, over the players’ control over setting their market value, over the owners’ ability to guarantee a profit. And ideological conflicts aren’t settled with compromise. They’re settled with figurative bloodshed. Unless the players can figure out a way to swing the control of this to their side (Europe, exhibitions, overwhelming public sentiment), the owners may get what they want… all of it.

  1. secdominance - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    So you can’t identify with the athletes who get paid to play a game but you can identify with the billionaire owners who pay them?

    • tashkalucy - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:07 PM

      Tuning in to the NBA to watch star players dunk is like skipping golf to watch players on a driving range, skipping an NFL game to watch a QB throw the ball into a tire from 30 years away, or skipping baseball to watch home run derby.

      The NBA has created a monster with this star advertising campaign. Guys like James and Wade are sub-par defenders (James is a terrible on-ball defender) that get all the replay’s and highlights when they cheat in a passing lane to steal a pass and run cross court to make a crowd-loving, non-contested dunk. The announces yell what a great defensive play it was. But no one ever says anything when their man drops 2 or 3 shots from the corner uncovered or breaks ti the basket on a pick-and-roll because they left their man,

      Basketball is a wonderful game. But David Stern has allowed generations of his own fans to grow up not understanding how the game is played. It’s now a WWF league and not a professional sports league.

    • tashkalucy - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      First of, I doubt that half of the owners in the NBA are billionaires, but facts are always difficult to absorb when trying to stereotype.

      I don’t know, since all these billionaire owners are making money habd-over-fist, why do the teams get sold….oftentimes being on the market for years before a buyer can be found (as with the 76′ers last week?

      The NBA made a very, very big mistake marketing stars instead of teams and tradition. It gives the stars the calls on fouls/charging, and in doing so assures that teams with stars wi the close games further validating the stars a stars.

      The NBA is in a sorry place.

      As for James Jones (whoever he is – not sure of his background union negotiations) say “they want it all” in regards to the owners, I’d say that right now the players have it all. The owners waited till the contract was over and they’re addressing the situation in the NBA correctly.

      Let me spell it out for you — when a flunkie hustler by the name of Worldwide Wes influences teams more then their owners, GM’s /FO’s and coaching staffs, then something is terribly out of whack.

      • Kurt Helin - Jul 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Just for the record, the majority of NBA owners are billionaires. Particularly new ones coming in.

      • ch4wordpress - Jul 17, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        what do you want to see happen? It seems you want smaller market teams preserved, but you have to realize, the global media means small market audiences and concerns are no longer needed. YOu think it was an accident that Miami heats profits rose 14%, more than any other club.
        It wasnt an accident. People from China and Europe and south america chimed in to the NBA finals, wanted HEat shirts. Small market teams and their cities are not necessary any more for profit. Lebron,Wade, and Bosh have proven this. Do you think it is an accident that Real MAdrid makes so much money but hasnt won la liga or the UEFA CL in 3-4 years. Economic success is not tied to competitive success in sports.

        will you share your thoughts on my idea?

    • ch4wordpress - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:19 AM

      you are absolutely right. People all over the blogverse keep speaking about their inability to relate to milloinaires but then their acceptance of billoinaires complaints.
      you have to wonder why? it can’t be the money of the athletes for if money is the reason why fans can’t comprehend the players actions , then how can they comprehend the richer owners. Then you look to the view of ownership and the demographic differences of owners and players.
      I think many people view people who own businesses as entitled, largely because, as michael moore stated, they want to be them. They want to be the rich person who can just do.
      Second, in the NBA, NFL and MLB, many players if not most aren’t white. 99% of owners are. That must play a part.

      Well, I have a solution based on economics for all sports leagues in the States, what do you think of it?

  2. leearmon - Jul 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Im actually siding with the players on this one, as are many of the people I talk to about this. The NBA is a league unlike any other in the fact that the players, and players only sell the game. Compare it to their NFL counterparts, if the Steelers for instance lose Ben Roethlisberger do you think that will hurt their attendance or merchandise in the slightest? Or in Green Bay, arguably their most popular player in the history of their organization caused a mini made for T.V. drama a few seasons back, but their fans stayed loyal. Compare that to the NBA where Lebron changing teams can dramatically affect two franchises in one swoop. Same goes for Amar’e for New York, Blake Griffin in L.A. etc, etc. In the NBA people pay their money, spend their time in front of their T.V. sets for the players. However the owners want to radically change the system to resemble sports that do not have that same dynamic. Should the players take less of the BRI? Sure, but as you guys reported yesterday, the NBAPA understands how profitable the NBA product is, and the future T.V. contracts will definitely show that (depending on how badly this lockout damages the league’s momentum),

    • tashkalucy - Jul 16, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      leearmon ,

      The TV contracts are there for MLB and the NFL as well and that’s what makes them all profitable.

      But the issue is who controls the NBA from this point on?

      Is it going to be like the NFL where all teams that draft well, trade well and coach well can compete for years because the star players don’t move en masse to play with their friends, so people in Green Bay and Baltimore and Phoenix know that they’re going to keep most of their stars so they can get behind their teams? Or will it be like MLB where the players union, the agents, the networks and the large advertisers funnel the quality veteran players to the large and glamour markets making 6-8 ‘must watch on TV’ teams, and the rest are the Washington Generals whose job it is to play amongst themselves when the large market teams aren’t beating them up so that young, quality players can get NBA experience and move onto the large market teams when they’re 24-27 years old.

      The NBA is so out of control that it will take over a year for the lockout, and some teams will be contracted.

      • leearmon - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:42 PM

        Yes the T.V. contracts are there, however the NBA’s T.V. deal (which expires in two seasons i believe) is far worse than obviously the NFL but also MLB although the NBA ratings have been higher than baseball’s in recent seasons. Again if the owners are trying to make a deal similar to the one the NFL has that is completely misguided. People watch the NFL to see the colors of the jersey and the logo on the helmet. I live in Washington D.C. and although the Redskins are the epitome of an awful franchise with an owner who has spent the better part of a decade trying to buy a Super Bowl the fans here will NEVER turn on the ‘Skins. Same thing goes for every NFL team. Basketball is not like that. Yes there are teams such as the Lakers, Knicks Jazz who have fanbases that will stick around through thick and thin. But the vast majority of NBA teams make money off of players. You cannot fault Stern for marketing your most marketable assets. I think what happened in Miami this past year has ignited this notion that only Big market teams can compete and every star player will move to 6-8 teams to win a title. I dont necessarily agree with that train of thought, but even if you do, the history of the NBA shows you that over the last 30 years only two handfuls of teams have won a championship. Parody is big in the NFL partly because the average career span is so small. While in the NBA stars win championships. Plain in simple. For every Pistons team that wins a title I can give you 6 rings by Jordan, 4 by Duncan 5 by Magic etc etc.

    • ch4wordpress - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:21 AM

      I think the players have more support than is advertised, but the reality is, if the players win, the owners are not willing to police themselves. Lets be fair, the owners have freely dug their own holes with a lot of these teams so they need to look to themselves to pay for their athletic and fiscal mistakes as their names are on every check and transactions.

      what do you think of this change for the NBA?

      • chulodo - Jul 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM

        I think that your “change for the NBA” article is buried in an esoteric article about multi-sport gobbledygook. If you want response, summarize in a post.

        And the problem with their “police themselves” claim is that the players must agree to that self-policing (e.g., a hard cap). But the big problem has been the 57% player share–among the highest among major sports.

        Lest you forget, many NBA players are millionaires, but the owners are their bosses, so they should have a right to be profitable. Even after eliminating the amortization, the league was still vastly unprofitable overall last year. That’s why the owners are taking such a hard line.

  3. tashkalucy - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:15 PM



  4. tashkalucy - Jul 16, 2011 at 2:37 PM




    • ch4wordpress - Jul 17, 2011 at 2:22 AM

      @tashkalucy, the problem is there is something called Talent, the owners cant find another LEbron James or Stoudamire, or Kobe, they are not findable or makeable, they arrive through life, they have talent.

      The owners simply need to get their own organization amongst themselves better
      like this?

    • chulodo - Jul 17, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      Ouch, tash. My ears hurt from your upper caps.

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