The most successful teams in the NBA are being held hostage by a group of owners who want to turn the NBA into a league of indentured servitude. They want players to stop conspiring to go to one specific team and they want to control free agent movement. Lesser-performing teams who struggle to pull in revenue are willing to take the league down and drown it in mediocrity with an inflexible hard cap. This is about as anti-capitalist as you can get. These very same owners, who made their wealth in the so-called "free market", now want to institute a type of economic policy that ensures profit margins for franchises that suck.
Player rep Derrick Fisher with union chief Billy Hunter-
Real Estate mogual and LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling-
Blake Griffin-Clipper for life?
The one thing I do agree with is that long-term contracts should be restricted to three years maximum. For every Kobe Bryant, who, despite his personality issues is one of the fiercest competitors in the game while also being it's highest paid player, you have way too many others who purposely under-perform because they're lazy and/or they stopped caring the second the signed that lucrative max contract. We cannot have teams held hostage by guys like Stephon Marbury or Gilbert Arenas, whose insane contracts seriously imperiled the teams they were playing for. Those types of bad contracts hinder the forward progress of a team, and without the ability to extricate themselves from them it hurts a franchise for years to come. That is not fair.
Hoochies love franchise killers, as long as their contracts are guaranteed-
What the league really needs is contraction. Get rid of teams that cannot pull in a fanbase or have a history of losing year-in and year-out and either move them to markets that can support them or shut them down. The Toronto Raptors, the New Orleans Hornets, the Sacramento Kings, the Charlotte Bobcats, the New Jersey Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves all fit this description.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, not knowing when this lockout will end-
Contraction will increase competition for on-court employment, and maybe players will take their chosen profession more seriously when the alternative would be dodging heated coinage chucked from the cheap seats in places like Istanbul and the Ukraine, where many games are played in high school gymnasiums and the fans are about as friendly as a bunch of drunken skinhead louts at a Neo-Nazi rally. Or like a friend of mine who went to play overseas in Holland and management decided to motivate him by shutting off his utilities for two weeks straight despite the fact that his housing bills were part of his contract. Nice, eh?
Instead of building on the momentum they had going, Orlando decided to sign bums like Vince Carter, also-rans like Gilbert Arenas, journeymen underachievers like Jason Richardson and out-of-work bozos like Jason "White Chocolate" Williams. That is just bad management, and they should rightfully suffer the economic consequences for such incompetence.
What about you, Mr. Hunter? You know anything? Didn't think so...
How boring is parity? Just watch college basketball, where individual talent and imagination has given way to hyper-athletic weight room freaks who just so happen to play a little ball on the side. When was the last time anyone sat and watched a college basketball game to watch a coach implement his system? Only twice, when coaches like Paul Westhead and Jerry Tarkanian had teams that would run every single one of their opponents out of the gym.