Saturday, November 12, 2011

Joe Gerrity has a different view on NCAA popularity during the NBA lockout

Yesterday, I published a post entitled NBA Basketball Veterans, Your Absence is Now Irrelevant. My argument was that as NCAA basketball kicks in, people are going to miss the NBA less and less. Loss of a basketball season? We'll worry about it after March Madness:

David Stern and Derek Fisher, you can take some time off now.

Come back to the fans at the end of March 2012.

If the fans are still there.

I also talked about the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic that took place last night, attended by President Barack Obama (a/k/a The First Hoopster). I didn't watch the game myself - I was listening to the USC game online - but apparently it was an event, even if the final score wasn't all that close.

Even on a night when he played the first outdoor college basketball game on an aircraft carrier and met the President of the United States, freshman guard Travis Trice wanted just a little bit more.

Trice and the MSU men’s basketball team took on No. 1 North Carolina in the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic on Friday aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego. The Spartans battled to the end but lost, 67-55, and Trice said the only thing that could have made the night better was putting a mark in the win column.

“It was great,” Trice said. “You can’t make up a better first game, but I wish we could have came out and won. It still hurts that we lost tonight.”

Prior the game, President Barack Obama talked to both teams before addressing the crowd of 8,111 on the flight deck of the Carl Vinson. There was a flyover, and all the pageantry you’d expect out of such an event.

But in the early stages of the game, the play on the floor didn’t quite stack up. Both teams struggled to get in an offensive flow while adjusting to the unfamiliar surroundings.

The lead was traded between the teams, but North Carolina won in the end. And they'll move on, with Michigan State going to Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

So college basketball has begun, and women's college basketball is also beginning, and people - especially in cities with top-ranked teams - are probably starting to say "LeBron who?"

However, it's fair to say that my opinion is not universally shared, as Joe Gerrity notes.

As someone who was brought up watching professional sports, I just can’t get into lower levels of competition. Be it baseball, football, basketball, or even stuff like soccer, I just don’t care if it’s not the top level.

Gerrity then performs an apples-to-apples comparison, which I encourage you to read. His point? Some apples are really tasty; other apples may be good, but they don't compare to the best apple (in Gerrity's case, the Honeycrisp - or the NBA).

But the NBA apple is starting to get worms in it.

In a negotiation, you have your negotiators, and the people who are represented by the negotiators. The negotiators know that the people behind them will have to approve any deal that is proposed. And in both cases, it will be hard to get that approval.

On the owners' side, you have new owners such as Michael Jordan who have recently bought teams in small markets and don't want to lose any more money than they've alreday lost. What is their incentive to sign up for a mediocre deal?

On the players' side, you have a group of people who have already backtracked from their former 57% share of the proceeds. What is their incentive to sign up for a mediocre deal?

So now there's talk of the owners moving from a 50% player share to a 47% player share, This will not speed up the negotiations. There's also talk of the players filing for decertification of the union. This will not speed up the negotiations either.

And people are going to start looking at what happened on February 16, 2005. That was the day that the National Hockey League cancelled the remainder of the 2004-2005 season during that sport's lockout. Granted, the NHL is not as popular as the NBA in the United States, but it's more and more likely that we'll see something similar in the NBA come 2012.
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