*Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has been on both sides of the fence and has a pretty well rounded perspective on the whole NBA drama. He says while the collective bargaining agreement that was recently reached is a step toward improving balancing the league, it’s far from perfect.
According to the Associated Press, he opposed the Chris Paul trade to the L.A. Lakers because “as a small market (owner) I’m very supportive of being able to keep your star player.”
(Unfortunately for Mr. Jordan, Paul is in LA anyway. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.)
But on the flip side, she said he’d be interested in signing Paul if he becomes a free agent next year.
With that, Jordan believes the new agreement will help level the paying field and keep teams within range of each other on the financial tip due to increased luxury tax implications.
*Since the NBA lockout is over, fans can kiss the “Homecoming Tour” good-bye.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and other stars who were scheduled to play, say they now have to get ready for the NBA season with its shortened schedule of 66 games.
The four-city basketball showcase was to begin on Dec. 1 in the home-city of LeBron James in Akron, Ohio, then continue on with stops in New Orleans, Chicago, and East Rutherford, N.J. where Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and are from.
“We are thrilled that a tentative agreement has been reached and are looking forward to getting back to work and playing basketball,” Wade said in a statement. “We all want to reconnect with our teams to make sure we hit the ground running when training camps are expected to open on Dec. 9. Our commitment to helping children and the communities doesn’t stop, and the daily work of our foundations to do just this will continue, as always.”
Proceeds from the tour were to go to charities.
*The NBA lockout has inspired some creativity among the pros, which are forced to find other means of income, entertainment, and good basketball.
Some of the leading players, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, are digging deep to please the fans and establish an unofficial season of basketball.
The All-Star group is planning to lead a four-game “Homecoming Tour” that will make stops in Akron, Ohio on Dec. 1, New Orleans on Dec. 4, Chicago on Dec. 7 and East Rutherford, N.J. on Dec. 10.
Proceeds from the games will go toward food drives, educational outreach programs, and clinics in each city. The games will be brought to audiences worldwide via Google Plus, which will stream each one live.
It’ll be very neat,” Wade told The Associated Press. “First of all, this is something we talked about doing a long time ago as players. To have an opportunity to go to these different cities that we’re from, to bring basketball to them at a high level and also have a charitable component in each city and to be with the guys, it’ll be cool. It’s something we’re looking forward to.”
*While the source might not be the most ideal – after all, this is a man who once made a YouTube video of himself eating Vaseline – Stephon Marbury’s points on Michael Jordan bear some underlying truth to them. Jordan, the owner, could have painted himself as the great mediator of this whole situation – Henry Clay with a jump shot. Instead, he’s apparently been one of the most divisive.
Jordan’s post-Bulls life has been as shaky as his playing career was brilliant. The Wizards comeback ended with that ugly, unforgettable image of a just-fired MJ driving away from the team. There was a very public divorce, and a vitriolic Hall of Fame induction speech.
His Bobcats stewardship (while brief) has been marked by a mediocre team and Jordan’s curious absence from public life. Think about it – when was the last time you heard or saw him, aside from those Hanes commercials where he sports that bizarre mustache?
Nowhere is this shaky leadership more damning than in the midst of this devastating lockout. Jordan could have used his influence and power to be the bridge between players and owners, acting in a way that Bob Kraft did during the NFL’s work stoppage earlier this year. That stoppage ended with the unforgettable picture of Kraft and NFL center (Jeff Saturday) hugging after the agreement was reached. Given the way Jordan and the rest of the parties have acted in this debacle, it does not seem like we’ll see a recreation of that happy moment anytime soon.
*In the 1760s and 1770s the land owners in North America got into a dispute with the land owners in England. The result was the American Revolution. And facing the most formidable fighting force on the planet at that time, the land owners in North America had to convince the majority of men in the North American colonies to fight. So they created a political and economic system that theoretically allowed everyone to achieve affluence.
The good news was that it worked; average people signed up for the Continental Army even though the issues were not central to their lives. The bad news was that while in theory the playing field had been leveled, in reality those in power had no desire to share the authority in society.
And so goes the current work stoppage in the National Basketball Association.
Instead of two groups of wealthy land owners the NBA lockout is essentially about wealthy franchise owners. Some owners in big cities having their franchises turn a profit while owners in smaller cities having their franchises lose money annually. Naturally group B wants to change the rules to make it more likely that their franchise will profit. And who gets caught in the middle: the working class; the players.
Some people cannot come to grips with the fact that professional basketball players earning at minimum hundreds of thousands of dollars per year are not the people in charge. Yes their salaries are generous; yes professional athletes are an unnecessary luxury in society; yes they are more visible than the owners. Nevertheless professional athletes are only able to earn what owners are willing to pay them; they only exist because consumers desire entertainment. Professional athletes are not at the core of this work stoppage.
This truth is substantiated when you take into consideration that as the players have attempted to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement but the owners have been steadfast in their stance to radically alter the former setup. The previous structure that allowed players to have more power has been scrapped. . In other words when the workforce attempts gain too much control the people in authority change the rules.
This is the American way. The way these owners are changing the structure is the same way the founding fathers instituted safeguards in their new government to ensure the common man not have too large a voice. The United States of America was a place where he might get rich, but it was a place where the wealthy would surely get richer. The NBA was a place where the players might get rich, but a place where the owners would surely get richer. And because that assurance is now in jeopardy some of the owners are revolting.
The NBA owners not currently turning a profit have a right to try and seek changes to the system. But their problem isn’t with the players; it’s with the other owners overpaying the players.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book examining American sports culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
*A few days after tweeting that “hardline” Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan “has never been with the real,” Stephon Marbury, currently playing in China, apparently wasn’t finished, reports the sports blog Ball Don’t Lie.
Jordan, who is said to be leading the charge to not only roll back the NBA’s offer of a 50/50 split of basketball-related income with the players in their current negotiations but to possibly vote against any reconciliation with the players should the Players Association take the NBA’s current offer, is under harsh criticism for what some see as a hypocritical turn as team owner. Especially considering Jordan’s notorious rants against ownership from the other side of the table during the 1998 lockout.