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Younger players taking brunt of reputation hit during lockout

Oct 13, 2011, 2:01 PM EDT

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Kobe Bryant is good, don’t worry about him. Dirk Nowitzki’s reputation is at an all-time high. LeBron James’ status isn’t any worse than where it was after his self-inflicted wounds from a year ago.

It’s not that the NBA lockout isn’t damaging player reputations — something that will worsen the longer it drags out — but rather that it is the young stars trying to establish their image that are taking the hit.

That according to an interesting note in the USA Today (via Eye On Basketball).

According to Henry Schafer, executive vice president of The Q Scores Company which measures consumer appeal of athletes and other personalities, the rating for Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, John Wall and Danny Granger dropped from an average of 21 in March to 14 last month. Dirk Nowitzki was the only NBA player with a better Q score (from 18 to 25 during the same span), a likely reflection of winning his first NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks. He also hasn’t been active in the lockout.

How serious a hit the players and the league take really depends on how long this drags out, but realize that the numbers above are without even one game lost yet. Put together a 60-game season and be playing by Christmas and things will be forgiven fairly quickly by fans (within a year or two). Miss a season and it could take a decade to rebuild the fan base.

A decade would cover most of the playing careers of Rose, Wall, Griffin, Durant and others. They have a lot riding on this deal getting done sooner rather than later.

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