Nov 17, 2011, 2:26 PM EDT
The NBA players have chosen their path. It’s a hard path they see as being based on their principles, it’s about fairness and the future
But they are not the first to walk this path — the NHL did it before. The league lost a full season. And now a second NHL players has come out and warned NBA players it’s not worth it.
“If players think it’s better to sit out the season, let me tell (you), it’s not. It’s just not,” Andreychuk says. “In the end, it will be worse….
“The deal got worse by us sitting out,” Andreychuk admits. “At the end, we were so willing to sign, we had to agree to what the owners wanted. We gave back a tremendous amount just to get a deal done so we could go back to work….
“All of the momentum and excitement surrounding the franchise after we won the Stanley Cup was lost,” Andreychuk says (he was captain of the Lightning team that won right before lockout). “Fans who bought tickets and jumped on the bandwagon during the playoffs never came back because the next season was cancelled.”
Bill Guerin, as hardline an NHL union guy as there was during the lockout, also has warned NBA players not to lose a season. You can say that former pro athletes should support the current generation, but these guys are speaking from the heart about how it went for them.
Yes, the NBA lockout is different in a lot of ways. It’s also the same in a lot of ways. You don’t have to heed what NHL guys tell you, but you should listen.
In the meeting Monday when the players voted to dissolve the union, Kobe Bryant reportedly told the team reps that if they went this path it couldn’t be halfway. All in, long haul. Because if the players cave now — like a lot of owners think they will — the price they pay will be very severe. Just ask the NHL guys.
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