We have all been following the NFL lockout closely over the last several months, but for you sports fans out there, there’s a new game in town. The NBA officially locked out the players tonight. That’s right, that means out of the four major pro sports, 50% of them are currently not doing business. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest NBA fan in the world, probably because we don’t have a team here in St. Louis, but over the last couple of years I have actually gotten into the league in both the regular season and playoffs. This past season was outstanding, and the playoffs were even better. Upon hearing the news and some of the comments about the NBA lockout, I started to think about each league’s situation. It’s really crazy that both the NFL and NBA are currently locked out, but for almost exact opposite reasons.
The NFL stuff is still going on because the two sides can’t figure out how to divide up a boatload of money. I mean, we are talking about over $9 billion that needs to get split up, and the owners and players can’t agree how to do that. Now, the NBA is in a situation where over half of the teams in the league are losing money. The major markets are taking in all the dough, and apparently everyone else is struggling to stay afloat. It really blows my mind that two leagues can be in essentially the same situation (lockout), with one of them having so much money they don’t know what to do with while the other is trying to find a way to make a profit.
I know that both of these situations are far more complex than money, but no one can deny that $$ is at the heart of both stoppages. I’m not saying one is right and one is wrong, but doesn’t this NBA situation make the NFL look even worse? The NFL is thriving, taking in money hand over fist, and yet as it stands right now, the league is prepared to miss games if necessary. The NBA is trying to find a way to bring in more money than it has so franchises can function while making a profit. I would never condone a lockout for any reason, and I’m certainly not giving the NBA a pass here, but I understand why they are in this situation. If the NFL didn’t look petty before, it certainly does now.