Originally posted on Shown The Red Card  |  Last updated 10/12/11

(Please give another warm RED CARD welcome to return guest blogger Adam Troester as he tackles the NBA Lockout.)

By: Adam Troester

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

That is the biggest question regarding the NBA Lockout right now as we have recently gone over the 100 day mark.  How does this question relate to the NBA’s current situation?  I’ll tell you.  Just this past week Commissioner David Stern cancelled the rfirst two weeks of the season.  The biggest news that came from that is that no one outside of those monetarily affected even seemed to notice.  That’s a big problem for Mr. Stern and the league itself.  They had one of their biggest TV rated years last year and that still isn’t good enough for “fans” to throw a fit that they will be missing two weeks (more likely 3 months to a whole season) of games.

The only thing people seem to care about during this tumultuous time for the league is players being humorous in the world of Twitter.  Lebron James recently joked about becoming a free agent in the NFL.  Instead of people wondering how this would affect the NBA and its lockout, they question how legitimate of a football player James could really be.  That debate is for another column, but I for one would love to see him strap it up with the big boys of the NFL and go across the middle.

Tony Parker is playing in France for $2,000/month during the NBA lockout.

The more legitimate working choices would be going overseas to play in a European league.  I still don’t think that is going to get under the owners’ skin too much.  Only a handful of players could make big money.  Tony Parker just signed for a French team for $2,000 a month.  Read that again–$2,000 A MONTH!  That’s less than I make in an entry level position at a company that not a lot of people have heard of.  Look out owners, this is getting serious.  They won’t start worrying unless the likes of James, Bryant, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and their other superstars wander over to Europe and make a comparable salary, which isn’t too likely.

Recently sources have said that the owners and players are separated by a big “gulf” on many issues.  Let’s be serious, the only main issues are sharing of money and a salary cap (which is all about money).  The owners want more of the cut and the players don’t want to give up any of theirs.  Sounds a bit like the NFL lockout, does it not?  The one big difference is that the owners in the NFL stood to lose billions of dollars if they missed just one week of regular season football.  NBA owners, some of whom own NHL teams, sense that even if they lose this whole season they will make more in the long run if they get what they want in this deal.  That is a scary scenario for the players.  They have no way of overcoming that gap in money.

The biggest issue isn’t that there is a lockout.  The biggest issue is that no one will care until after January 1st.  The NFL and NCAA Football seasons are in full gear and the lockout gets pushed to the side on SportsCenter.  Even during the NBA’s biggest two months, the NFL Lockout got first-go on ESPN’s most watched show.  That should worry NBA owners.  If they lose this whole season, they could lose a whole generation of fans.  A majority of people are already on the football bus and if they don’t get basketball for a year it will take more than a Mark McGwire vs Sammy Sosa drugged up home run-fest to get fans back.  Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are not coming through that door, so they better be ready for half empty arenas whenever they do come back.

If the NBA were smart, they would switch their season to a 58 game season from December to May followed by a two month playoff in June in July.  Then, they would get the full hype of big games with everyone paying attention to them instead of the NFL.  Until that happens, no one will hear that tree falling in the forest.

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