Originally posted on Jocks and Stiletto Jill  |  Last updated 10/20/11

People often wonder how millionaire athletes can actually complain about how they’re being treated by the owners. Often times (unless you’re Bryant Gumbel) the elephant in the room is ignored about the NBA negotiations. That the bulk of players are African-American, black, whatever term you’re more comfortable with and the owners are white. I bring this up because as you read these comments from writer Bill Simmons about the lockout sessions, ask yourself honestly what he “really” means with this statement:

Where’s the big-picture leadership here? What’s the right number of franchises? Where should those franchises play? What’s worse, losing three franchises or losing an entire season of basketball? What’s really important here? I don’t trust the players’ side to make the right choices, because they are saddled with limited intellectual capital. (Sorry, it’s true.) The owners’ side can’t say the same; they should be ashamed. Same for the agents. And collectively, they should all be mortified that a 16-hour negotiating session, this late in the game, was cause for any celebration or optimism. In my mind, it was more of a cry for help.

So, getting fresh eyes to look at a problem and help soothe tempers and personal agendas couldn’t possibly be progress? That topics that have essentially been looked at for the last two years with both sides thinking of their own interest primarily might not be a situation that requires sustained time and effort to work through?

The bottom line has to be players are limited as far as intelligence. I’m not saying that athletes don’t make mistakes and “dummy moves” but that’s a trait consistent with PEOPLE from all walks of life. Did I miss a study done on the intelligence of NBA athletes? Are they limited because they’re taking a hard look at the numbers and the expenses of owners and trying to ensure they get the best deal possible?

Trying to get the best value for your product and thinking of future ramifications shows limited vision? Sort of like creating a website that says it’s casting a wider view of sports is actually a retread of what you’ve been doing for years… Oh have you checked out Simmons site, Grantland? It’s revolutionary.

Bigger question, how many owners, other media etc. fall in line with this same line of thinking? Makes you rethink Bryant Gumbel’s position slightly, right?


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