So the owners’ proposal was rejected, the Players Association is disbanding, and the season is in jeopardy. Etc., etc., etc. Big shocker. It was just a matter of time. I remember when all of this started back in July and people would ask me how long I thought things would last. And then get incredulous looks when I’d say basketball by January would be a best case scenario.
Despite all the quibbling, it’s less about the money and specific percentages of BRI here or there. This lockout is the result of a bigger issue and the type of blow up necessary before things can fall into a more balanced equilibrium. It’s kind of like a cleansing process every pro sports league has to go through every ten years or so. Before the NHL lockout in 2004-2005, the owners were getting screwed; post-lockout? People are generally happy and making money. Same deal in the NBA (we hope).
Who else stands to gain? Apparently the Hawks, according to the AJC’s Hawks beat writer, Mark Bradley:
“The Hawks haven’t been a hot-button topic in the Atlanta market since the late ’80s, and most of the time the civic sentiment toward them has been one of indifference. Today the mood regarding the Hawks borders on outright hostility. They haven’t been able to get past Round 2 of the playoffs, and they paid $120 million to keep the world’s least popular All-Star in Joe Johnson and they went cheap and hired Mike Woodson’s longtime assistant as his successor — and then there’s the ownership part.
Local folks have come to disdain the Atlanta Spirit for many reasons over the years, but the Spirit’s sale of the Thrashers, who upped sticks to Winnipeg, has left many Atlantans insisting they’ll never buy another Hawks ticket so long as this bunch owns the club. In August, the Californian Alex Meruelo held a press conference introducing himself as the presumptive new owner of the Hawks. This month it was announced that Meruelo wouldn’t be buying the team and, as a kicker, the Spirit would no longer be looking to sell.
I know. It makes no sense to argue that the best thing for a pro sports team would be not to play, and for the 29 other franchises the continued lockout could inflict grievous harm. But we live in Atlanta, home of an NBA team that has rarely made much sense, and a skipped season might actually serve as a tonic.”