Posted by: Shauna Brock on July 18th, 2011The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
I wish I wasn’t on the side of the players in this fight. Why? Because the idiots in the Union don’t have a single clue about Public Relations. Instead of painting the big market owners as kings in a broken system; mafia bosses making the smaller markets dependent on them lest they get their windows smashed in, the owners are controlling the PR and they don’t have to do anything but sit there and on occasion release 140 character tweets about how teams lose money. Meanwhile, they mention, the crybaby players are whining about max salaries being capped at $13 million a year.
If it was up to me, I’d be out there talking about the realities of a players life after the league, about health care, about what “revenue sharing” really means and how much Kobe and Lebron and D-Will and Paul Millsap mean to team revenues. I’d find a way to do it in 140 characters because that is all that seems to matter in today’s world anymore. And I would remind players of something: when you accept $2 million dollars to go play in Europe, you are lessening your bargaining chip with the owners. They’re more than happy to invest the money in the #1 draft pick they just scooped up. After all, that star is going to shine anyway.
It isn’t that the players are wrong, it’s that they’re spinning it wrong and media outlets are more than happy to pick up on the spin the owners are generating. After all, what small market team can really afford a twenty million dollar a year contract? So rather than talk about how the twenty million dollar a year players end up in LA anyway, it’s made to look like Minnesota or Utah have to somehow carry the weight of these impossible contracts and the benevolent big market owners want to make it fair for everyone.
A couple of months ago, I predicted that the NBA lockout wasn’t going to be any big deal. I forgot about the European market. The owners will sit on their hands and let the players flee overseas. The owners probably would love it if it happened. They can get new talent for cheap and still win in the end.
Look at the Jazz, for example. Five of the players on the roster are in their first or second years and are still working for the equivalent of dirt cheap. Even Millsap’s contract is not enough to make an owner choke. CJ Miles is good talent for just a couple of million a year. Let AK go overseas to play. The next rotation is ready and waiting and salivating. The fans will come back, especially if the owners keep winning the PR battle.
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