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An Open Letter To The National Basketball Association's Players

Updated on October 12, 2011

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.

Who is to blame in this NBA work stoppage?

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    • hale12783 profile image

      hale12783 6 years ago from New York

      I couldn't agree with you more Dhart, like many things in this country, free agency started as a good thing and got taken way too far!

    • Dhart profile image

      Dhart 6 years ago from Culver City, CA

      @ Billrrrr: Two reasons why salaries have gone up a hell of a lot since Gene Conley's day: Agents & Free Agency, which Conley had none of.

      I totally recognize that free agency was necessary b/c the players in MLB and the other sports were so badly abused by their owners with low pay & no worker's rights (Check out the movie Eight Men Out sometime), but...

      Sometimes I don't know if at least some - if not a lot - of the players took it too far; perhaps it was/is the agents pressuring them to get all they could, b/c the more the player made, the more $$$$$ their 10/15% commission was, I don't know.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      There was a man in my town - Boston - who played about a dozen years in the NBA for the Celtics and other teams, and also won about 90 games as a pitcher for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves and the Boston Red Sox. His name is Gene Conley and he played in the 1950s and 60s. He never made more than $25,000 per year in his entire career !!!! And that 25K was the total of both his salaries from Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. It has been about 50 years since Gene played, how did we manage to fall so far in a mere half century.

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      I could not possibly agree more with your opinion. GREED is certainly the operable word here. And who is getting hurt by the players' greed? Thousands whose livelihood depends on there being an NBA season. It is truly a shame!

      Like Hale12783, I too have several sports related hubs. It is nice to read such well written and interesting material. Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

    • hale12783 profile image

      hale12783 6 years ago from New York

      Good hub, I write a lot of sports related hubs too, you should check them out. I will start following you to see what else you put out there. I am starting to lean towards the players being at fault here too. Even though I absolutely despise David Stern.