posted by Matt W on November 2nd, 2011

The other day I was watching ESPN and I half noticed that the first month of NBA basketball was cancelled because the players and owners could not come to an agreement as to how to split the $4 billion in revenues the NBA currently receives. The owners would not go more than 50-50 while the players will not settle for less than 52-48, an $80 million difference.  Do they not realize they are arguing over absurd amounts of money in front of a country that is currently suffering from record unemployment?

I lost interest in the NBA in stages.

First, the game started to transition from a team game to being more focused on the individual player. While Bird and Magic were great players in their own right, they were part of great teams, not just great players with supporting casts. I bet no one other than Lakers fans can name the other four starters after Kobe.  Either of the two starters after the big three in Miami? Anyone? You get my point.

The second stage for me was more personal as my home town team, the Seattle Supersonics, were kidnapped and moved to Oklahoma. There was a contest in Oklahoma City to rename the Sonics; I submitted the Oklahoma City Two-Faced Lying Bastards and continue to call them that to this day. I even wanted to have t-shirts made but my wife felt that they were inappropriate, so we compromised and I “chose” not to have them made.  Unfortunately, my name was not chosen. To be clear, I do not think everyone in OKC is a two-faced lying bastard, just David Stern, the OKC ownership team, all the owners that voted to move them (thank you Mark Cuban and Paul Allen for standing firm) and, well anyone who supports the team. All I’ve got to say is that anyone who ever saw Gus Williams drive the lane, Jack Sikma shoot a free throw, Shawn Kemp pull down a rebound from the top of the backboard, Nate McMillan make a full court pass, or most importantly Fred Brown shoot a jumper from “downtown” is still bitter. When my daughter was in 5th grade, she had to memorize the State capitals and I taught her the capital of Oklahoma was Oklahoma City Sucks (her teacher who happened to have grown up in Seattle, while stunned at first, thought it was hilarious). Why was I ranting? Oh yeah, I lost interest in the NBA.

The final stage was just the lack of a connection between the NBA and reality. Lebron having a TV special to announce where he was going to play, and befuddled as to why the Cleveland fans were pissed. Gilbert Arenas mystified by why it was bad to have a gun in his locker. Bickering over needing $4.6 million on average for every NBA player in front of a struggling nation.  And don’t even get me started on the owners. Wake Up!

As everyone likes to complain without offering a plan, I am writing today with a plan for the NBA to get me watching again. Give the 2% to a fund that helps people find better jobs. Starbucks has their version to help out with contributions from everyday coffee drinkers. How about the owners and players put the $80 million annually in question into a job fund. It would mean a lot more to the unemployed and our country as a whole than an extra $166,000 per player or $2.66 million per owner. If they did that, I would look into watching a few games this year and maybe go back to games in the future. Well, that and getting rid of David Stern, that two-faced lying bastard.

File Under Weekend Warrior