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An Open Letter To The National Basketball Association's Players
To all of the playing members of the National Basketball Association:
I completely understand your frustration of not being able to play the sport that you love and have played all of your life, with the owners of your teams having locked you out since July 1st and your commissioner, David Stern, canceling the first two weeks of the season.
I also know that you understand that many of the teams in your league, probably your team, has been having financial troubles as 22 of your league's 30 teams have been losing money.
Now normally as a fan, and as someone who's always been pro-union and on the side of labor, I've always sided with the players in these labor disputes, particularly in baseball as those owners have done much to keep salaries down, essentially oppressing their workers; I vividly remember the Major League Baseball strikes of 1981, which killed a third of that season, and 1994, which wiped out the World Series for the first time in 90 years.
But this time, however, I can't really side with you, and I'll tell you why...
Of the four major professional sports leagues in America - Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL, and your NBA - you guys have the highest average salaries and are, to coin a phrase, "living large" compared to your baseball, football and hockey counterparts.
The latest offer that Stern and your owners have proposed to you - a 50/50 split of all of your BRI - Basketball Related Income - seems more than fair to me, and as you well know (unless you've been living under a golden rock), things have been rough in this country as folks have been laid off from their jobs left and right and foreclosed out of their homes for several years now.
I'm sure you even know some people whom this has happened to.
But they way I see it, it seems to me that by saying no to this 50/50 split, you're crying and moaning about not getting over half of those billions of dollars that your league generates.
I'll be blunt - what I'm trying to say is this:
So what? You won't be able to but that third Bentley or that second seven bedroom mansion, boo hoo hoo!
You and your agents are being GREEDY - and you all need to swallow your pride and take this deal!
By doing so, you will save the season for all the fans who have loved and supported you!
It's in your hands now!
And we desperately hope that you millionaires do the right thing, because whether you realize it or not, your fans want a season.
Please accept the owners' 50/50 offer before it's too late.
A longtime sports fan and someone who grew up and is a longtime fan of with the Los Angeles Lakers.