Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Better Alternative

I tried to leave the door open as wide as possible here for a snarky blogger to pick that entire section apart without trying to come up with a better alternative. - Bill Simmons

Hey, Prince Willy? You know what the better alternative is? Not being a media geisha for people who drove their car into a ditch, then blamed the ditch for the problem. Not justifying the decision to walk away from the car, bitching about the ditch's unwillingness to take responsibility for the crash, and writing the same damn column -- basically boiled down to Everyone's Got To Compromise, But It's Always Labor That Gets To Do It First And Most -- for month after month and year after year.

Look, there's never been a league that drove compensation perfectly; young players always bust their ass, then lose the hunger later. Underpaid early, overpaid late, and the reasons why are legion; you can be pure of heart and still get hurt or old or misused. At which point you get to be one of Those People that ruin the league for everyone, don't you see? After decades spent beating the odds and succeeding in a meritocracy, as soon as you, NBA Player who failed to produce after signing a guaranteed contact, you've ruined it for everyone. Not the team that signed you, not the coach that ruined you, not the trainer that misdiagnosed you, not the writers that took your gross numbers to be anything more than minutes and good fortune, not the scouts that projected you happily wrong... no, it's all you, Overpaid Labor.

Man alive, I am *tired* of media geishas for Management. Aren't you? I have a *powerful* fatigue for people who give ownership cover of any kind, especially in an economy where management is clearly not hiring people, paying people, paying taxes, or doing anything more than taking advantage of the corrupt media that they have bought and paid for.

Besides, when the *players* get paid, everyone gets paid; this is true trickle-down wealth. Posses spend, wives spend, new money spends, spends, spends. It goes back to the community and everywhere else. As opposed to Management, who passes it to their spawn, collectibles and God knows what else, but not anything that will, you know, create honest employment.

Now... as to how to Fix The League? I'm not sure it's worth fixing. The players should call the owners' bluff and start their own mini-league of star-only teams; the ratings would go through the roof, and we'd end the lockout in a heartbeat. But short of that, I'd simply increase the luxury tax to an exceptionally penal level, require small market owners to hit a percentage of the salary cap, cut the length of long-term contracts and, most importantly...

End the freaking lockout, and apologize to every man, woman and child that watches sports that you ever entertained this as an option.

If you can't run a profitable business under the current rules that the Association were living under, then fold your team. Period. End of sentence. Until then, you'll forgive us for thinking that you are just locking out labor because you want to make more money off your labor, and don't care who you screw to do it.

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