Oct 21, 2011, 5:51 PM EST
I didn’t think there was much that could make me more depressed about the prospects of the NBA season.
Then I read Adrian Wojnarowski well-researched post at Yahoo, ripping apart Blazers owner Paul Allen, his interest (or lack thereof) in the team and his motivations for being the heavy during Thursday’s labor negotiating session, when things blew up.
This is what jumped out at me — there are owners more interested in getting a good deal so they can sell the team than they are about what is good for the NBA and basketball. They are going Gordon Gekko. And apparently there are enough of them that they are driving the bus. Right off a cliff, but they are driving the bus.
The season’s in genuine jeopardy now because powerbrokers like Allen are uniting with nickel-and-dimers like (Suns owner Robert) Sarver in a common cause: How do I get out of NBA ownership with maximum profit, minimal pain? These are simply men gutting costs to eventually get the best price and sell those franchises….
For Allen, that’s great. For the NBA, it’s trouble. Because his agenda – and that of several owners – is making these teams more palatable for prospective buyers. And that’ll come at whatever the consequences to the league’s public standing, relationships with its players, its fans, its future. This has to be disconcerting to Stern, who doesn’t want to lose the season.
Stern’s legacy rides on this, a second long lockout hurts his standing. But at the end of the day he works for the owners.
And a lot of those owners are hardliners, driving a brutal bargain. One the players may have no real option but to accept. But the players are not there yet, and meanwhile owners like Allen are thinking dollar signs, not basketball, which is sad.
- Wednesday night NBA Grades: LaMarcus Aldridge is a flat out stud 2
- Arena evacuated after fire, Spurs-Timberwolves game in Mexico City postponed 12
- Milwaukee police release video, cite Larry Sanders for bar fight 11
- PBT Extra: Focusing on “epic showdown” between Knicks, Nets 5
- Carmelo Anthony: “We are the laughingstock of the league right now” 25
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (63)
- Report: Dion Waiters accused Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson of playing “buddy ball.” (53)
- Michael Beasley finding a role, groove in Miami (41)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (41)
- With game in balance, Jason Kidd tells player to “hit me,” spills drink, gets psuedo timeout to draw up play (40)