Monday, July 25, 2011

Hoop Leverage

Here's a delightful little note for everyone hoping that NBA owners get exactly what's coming to them: Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant (Not Kevin Durant! He's supposed to be super-religious, on his original team, not a big diva and therefore the source of all light and hope in the Association, and easily cowed to Management!) getting 400 grr for playing a weekend of exhibition hoop in Manila.

I recommend the link, if only for the fact that SI's Sam Amick and his presumably awake editors went for Kent Brockman's signature line ("Only time will tell"). Yes, Sam, it will. We are all nodding our heads in gravitas agreement. Along with the idea that everyone's going to go do this once the word gets out (Shh!) that foreign ball is tax-free and your licensing deals aren't split with your team or player's union. Why, it's just stupid to stay in North America to play hoop!

(OK, actually on that last point? It is. There is no hoop right now in North America, and there isn't likely to be any from October through December. So go get paid. Or start your own league. Anything that makes Mssrs. Stern, Stirling, Gibson, Cuban, Dolan and several dozen other trustafarians and thieves hurt, I'm OK with.)

As for the actual point of all this... if the NBAPA wanted *real* leverage, they'd be going to their stud players and telling them to set up exhibition games, for cash, in independent venues with their own choice for players. Line it up with an insurance company for injury concerns, stream it on the Internet and any cable station that wants to tweak the nose of Big Mouse (Versus?), and get enough names on it with a winner-take-all cash play that will make things a little more intriguing.

Because the thing about the Association is that we care about players now, more than teams. So play, players, and see what happens. I guarantee you that it will be better than just sitting on your hands until the masters decide to let you back in.

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