50/50

Congratulations, to the players and the owners for their 100th day anniversary of getting absolutely nowhere. Let’s all hope that this unhappy couple work out their problems soon, because there is nothing more aggravating than watching two partners argue over custody of… money.

Talks are in a stale mate situation since the players refused to meet with the owners unless the topic under discussion was a 50/50 deal. I guess for now it’ll be which side breaks first. The 50/50 deal was first thrown into the open as an idea, a simple idea that nobody had even mentioned. Equal distribution of the money had never even passed through either sides minds, so it was put off to the side. Obviously, the owners got thinking and realised that the 50/50 deal would benefit both sides the most.

That got me thinking as well, I looked at the 50/50 proposal from both vantage points and came to the conclusion that a 50/50 deal makes the most sense for both sides.

What the players and owners both don’t seem to understand is that they need each other for the other to have a job in the first place. They need each other like T-Pain needs auto-tune, like Harold needs Maude, like Shrek needs Donkey. There are no owners without the players and in turn there are no players without the owners.

The owners need the players for their organisation succeed, they need the players to bring them the fans and to bring them the championship. The players need the owners for a team to play on, for them to get paid and for them to have a career. For either side to get more money, it just seems like one partner is cheating on the other. And in this marriage there is no such thing as disloyalty.

To be completely honest, I think one of the main reasons a 50/50 deal makes the most sense is because no side will take less then the other. The players and owners could discuss ways to resolve the conflicts for ages and we still wouldn’t have an NBA season because no side seems willing to take any less then the other. We might as well call it even instead of missing a whole season. Besides that obvious reason, I think that the 50/50 deal makes the most sense due to what each side needs from the other.

The NBA is a very organised system. Owners invest in teams, they sign players, the players get paid by the owners and then us (the fans) go to watch the players play. If we broke it down you’d see that no side has the upper hand in this deal.

Without the owners the NBA is just a bunch of extremely talented basketball players either dominating European or Chinese basketball, or playing semi-telivised charity games all year in stadiums that can’t accommodate all the fans who love basketball. Without the owners the players have no money, at all. They are just normal people. The owners fuel the players careers, there are no players without the owners.

Without the players there is no excitement, there is no basketball, there is no NBA. Owners have no careers if there are no players. The players are the ones who risk their bodies, every day. They are the ones giving 100% of their energy every night to put on a show for the millions who love the NBA. We (the fans) love the NBA because of the excitement, the suspense, the talent, and the atmosphere. All those things come down to the players putting on a show.

Although, the players are the ones we love the NBA for, behind closed doors the owners are the ones responsible for most of it. Nobody has any leverage, each argument either side makes for more money can be matched by the other.

When there is no winner, there is either a tie or two losers. It just depends on how they look at it. Hopefully the verdict will be announced soon so we can get back to what really matters. Basketball.

What Happened to the NBA?

Here we are, 90 days into the lockout.
Each day has begun with a sense of hope of optimism and ended with disappoinment. Now we hear that David Stern is saying that the fate of the NBA season is depending on this weekend’s talks. I am no longer disappointed with the NBA but irritated with the players and owners’ union.

The lockout in simplest terms is due to greed. The players want more money, the owners want to pay the players less.

Don’t we always hear players talk about playing basketball because they have a passion for the game, they have a competitive drive, they have love for the sport. How are we supposed to believe that when they would rather make more money then do the thing they love.

I’m 100% correct in saying that every single NBA player is a millionaire. I just can’t grasp the fact that money is what is holding the NBA season up. If Derek Fisher (the president of the players union) is making 4 million dollars a year, does one or two million a year more really make a difference. 12 NBA owners rank among the 400 wealthiest Americans. Yet, owners want more money. The owners and players are making more money in a year then average families would make in a lifetime. Everybody is just too caught up with money, fast cars and the Hollywood lifestyle that they all seem to have forgotten why they started loving basketball in the first place. Kids like myself look up to players because they’re supposed to be our role models. They play the best sport in the world and through years of hard work and commitment, they have become the best at what they do. But I have lost a little respect for those involved in the players and owners union due to the fact that we’re still praying for a deal.

What ever happened to the good old days where NBA players and owners genuinely enjoyed being apart of the NBA – the place where “amazing happens”. Well right now the NBA is the place where disapointing happens.

The Lakers Need to Improve.

As the NBA conference finals begin, we have to still wonder about the leagues former champions. What does their future hold, is it a retiring Bryant, a traded Gasol, a completely different team? When a defending champion loses it’s a big deal around the league, and a big deal within the organization. When the defending champions are swept, well, that’s a huge problem and begs the question,what went wrong?

What went wrong? It’s really simple, people are over analyzing this too much. Pau Gasol just didn’t play. It’s almost as if he wasn’t there. Dirk Nowitzki ran all over him, he barely put up a fight. He missed easy shots every game, wasn’t aggresive enough on the boards or on defense and that dragged the Lakers down. When the man supposed to be giving the other team’s player a hard time doesn’t defend then there is going to be havoc. Their biggest strength is their duo of 7-footers on the front line, but in this series there was just one 7-footer in Andrew Bynum and one 7-footer playing like a scared child in Pau Gasol. Pau’s low production forced the other players on the team to carry his load, but trying to make up for 18 points and 10 rebounds is hard, and it was too hard for the Lakers. It wasn’t just Pau though, let’s not blame the whole Laker meltdown on one player. It was the effort. It was the hustle. The attitude. The defense, or lack there of. In game 4 of the series the Mavericks made 20, three pointers. How did they reach this milestone against such a tough defensive team? The perimeter defenders were lethargic, they didn’t rotate to the shooters, they didn’t even try to get a hand in the shooters face. Jason Terry did not have a hand in his face on any of his three pointers, the same with Peja.

This series is over though, the Lakers get to go on vacation early, and the Mavericks get to move on to the conference finals feeling proud and accomplished. Something has to change though. We already know Phil Jackson won’t be returning next season. Brian Shaw or Rick Adelman are the favorites to take over his position. Magic Johnson rumored that roster changes may have to be made if the Lakers want to be contenders next season. I agree, but what changes do they have to make? First off, they need a young, quick, athletic point guard. Derek Fisher is a veteran with lots of invaluable experience but he can’t keep up with the faster guards in the league like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose, and Deron Williams. Steve Blake didn’t play up to expectations this season and although he has less years on his legs he still can’t compete with the faster guards. They won’t be getting any good draft picks any time soon so they better try to find a quick young point guard this summer. Then they have to wonder about Pau Gasol. He has proven to be a great competitor, an all-star, a top 10 power forward and most of all a champion, but he really let them down this postseason. Kobe only has 3-4 good years left in him and the Lakers may want to think about trading Gasol for an athletic, talented scorer to take the stage once Kobe is gone. Or maybe trade Gasol for another power forward, someone who is tougher and more dependable in big playoff series. As I mentioned before, Kobe only has 3-4 great years left in him so the Lakers may want to put a lot of their time into their younger players like Shannon Brown. He proved himself to be very productive off the bench, he is extremely athletic and he can definitely score the basketball. His game is still developing but I see a player who could do a solid job of filling in Kobe’s shoes. The last thing is that they need some gritty perimeter defenders. The Lakers, although they may play tough, are a pretty soft team. They need some tough perimeter defenders, players like Thabo Sefolosha or Tony Allen to keep the scorers under control.

After the Lakers disgraceful showing in the semi-finals, ways to improve are a must, if the Lakers want another ring.