The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the players’ union failed, again Monday, to negotiate a solution to the lockout.
Instead, league commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, an icy move that follows the cancellation of pre-season training in September. The lockout began in July, when owners proposed an $800 million cut in salaries for players, claiming they were losing $300 million a year from unprofitable teams.
Although the dispute mainly involves wealthy team owners and players, some argue the real losers are those off the court. An editorial in today’s LA Times points out “it's easy to get mad at both sides for the squeeze the lockout puts on thousands of workers and small businesses who depend on the teams for their livelihood.”
Especially in harsh economic times, a loss of an NBA season means sacrifices from cities, workers and small business owners who lose out. One proposal to end the standoff is to, in essence, redistribute the wealth. While major players rake in millions per game, the labor union disagrees over how much salaries should be reallocated.
Do you think it is fair for the NBA to punish players because owners are losing money? Should the league adopt a new business model? If so, at whose expense?
Jon Healey, member of the editorial board for the Los Angeles Times
J.A. Adande, senior writer, ESPN.com; adjunct professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism