The National Basketball Association and its players reached a tentative agreement to end their labor impasse on Saturday, Nov. 26, after discovering the rest of us have more pressing issues amidst the most damaging economic slowdown since The Great Depression.
The deal calls for a 66-game season for the $4 billion industry, which has hiked ticket prices so steeply under millionaire Commissioner David Stern that many decent American families can no longer afford to attend a game in the palatial basketball arenas their taxes helped build. The league’s millionaire masters have made it clear since he took the helm in 1984 that they are no friend to American wage-earners, while advancing an image of themselves and the millionaire players they “own” as some type of American aristocracy.
The 10 year deal includes $300 million in annual wage concessions from the players, according to an article in The New Yorks Times. That’s roughly 7 percent of revenue. The change in revenue distribution will have no impact whatsoever on the more than 100 million working-age Americans still without full-time jobs.
The players’ share of revenue – also known as the “bulk of NBA labor costs” – was cut from 57 percent to 50 percent.
However, the players are only laborers on paper. They function more like partners in the overheated NBA profit machine, which has little in the way of either true costs or a collective moral compass.
The owners of professional sports teams have discovered they can freely exploit the communities they’re supposed to serve provided they issue complementary season tickets to machine politicians, such as former New York Gov. David Paterson. The pampered son of machine politician Basil Paterson was fined $62,125 by the New York State Commission on Public Integrity for soliciting game tickets in 2010.
With the collaboration of machine politicians, the NBA has oriented its arenas toward luxury boxes (right) under Stern, with private bathrooms and kitchens.
Basically, the people who pay high prices for these luxury boxes are afraid that if they sit with the rest of us we won’t notice how rich they are and will judge them solely on their physical appearance and demeanor. They’re also afraid that if they relieve themselves beside the rest of us in a public restroom, we’ll see how tiny their penises are.
The result has been a shift in live attendance at games toward the 1 Percent.
The 69-year-old Stern (below right) introduced the NBA TV channel in 1999 in a further bid to raise revenues by removing the TV networks that have long served as their intermediaries with home viewers. By creating its own network, the league took a step toward a world where no one could view any of its games on so-called “free TV.”
Under Stern’s elitist watch, NBA players and their wives have appeared in a series of television shows that extoll the virtues of conspicuous consumption, materialism, greed, vanity and appearance over substance. They have names like “Cribs,” “Pimp My Ride,” and “Basketball Wives.”
The latter follows the antics of women who don’t work for a living as they slather themselves in makeup, designer clothing, jewelry, $2,000 purses, fake nails, fake hair, and colored contacts. They also routinely mutilate themselves with unnecessary cosmetic surgery. All to advance the fiction that their waxed and perfumed genitals are somehow inherently different and better than those of less affluent women.
Stern’s quest for profit growth has fed across-the-board price hikes in both basketball and industries associated with the sport, which requires grown men in short pants to put a round object in a round hole. His single-minded obsession with revenue growth reached its natural peak since 2007 as NBA greed undermined the league’s former popularity with the beleaguered middle class – as in the decent people in this country who still value honor, hard work and the greater good.
A basketball team jersey that could have been purchased 30 years ago for the current equivalent of $20 now routinely costs more than $100 thanks to Stern and his admirers in the greed-is-good community. Likewise, sneaker prices have been similarly inflated even as production has been shifted out of the United States to low-wage nations. Even the price of sports drinks have surged along with the cost of hiring a sweaty NBA millionaire to advertise them.
The 149-day lockout was the second-longest in NBA history. The core issue wasn’t really costs, but who would shoulder the financial burden from the backlash Stern has engineered among working Americans by treating us with contempt and advancing greed as the league’s defining vision.
The lockout will shave 16 games from the 2011-2012 season, which originally was scheduled to begin Nov. 1. Play is now slated to start Christmas Day so that the NBA won’t miss the opportunity to bank some cash on the biggest religious holiday on the U.S. calendar.
Presumably, if Jesus Christ were alive today he would be rubbing shoulders with the wealthy in an NBA owner’s box Dec. 25 and drinking Cristal. Instead of spending time with his family or helping the needy under the league’s very odd world view.
The NBA, which reported a loss of $300 million on paper last season, still must find a way to regain the trust of the middle-class Americans it has taken for granted under Stern. Efforts to present an image of generosity and public service through its NBA Cares charity arm just aren’t doing the trick, since most Americans now move in a completely different world than the pampered and protected millionaire players they’re supposed to worship and identify with.
It doesn’t help that NBA stars Lebon James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony canceled a charitable tour of four cities after the lockout was resolved. The tour was set to begin Dec.1. The cancellation was announced Nov. 27.
Hey, thanks for the warning fellas!
NBA game attendance has declined in recent years, falling to 21.3 million in 2010-11 from 21.7 million in 2006-07, according to league data published by ESPN, even as the national population expanded to 312 million from 299 million. The NBA has obscured this decline by leaving attendance data off its public website. ESPN has followed suit by listing only individual team attendance data online.
Struggling teams like the New Jersey Nets tried to distribute discounted tickets with limited success in the waning days of the 2010-11 season, but were still left with swaths of empty seats after fans turned their back on the sport of the 1 Percent. The Nets have seen their own attendance plunge to 581,378 in 2010 from 691,543 in 2006-07.
-The cost of buying two tickets so you can take your son to an NBA game, while he stares at the luxury boxes all around you: $500.
-Two bottles of water and two hot dogs: $25.
-Two game jerseys: $250.
-Hidden fees for ticket purchases and the like: $10.
-Forking over a week’s pay to watch greedy millionaires get sweaty for two hours: Priceless.
-Reasons why professional athletes should make more than the men and women who protect them in our armed forces: None.
-Reasons why the principal investors in the various NBA teams should be known as “owners” as in plantation slave-owners: None.
-Trying to explain to your kids why the wealthiest players get to cheat in the NBA as referees turn a blind eye to superstar fouls: Priceless.
Hold on now. The league’s self-inflicted wounds don’t end there.
League icon Michael Jordan (right) has recently begun exhibiting the ultimate expression of contempt for decent people with a Hitler-style moustache.
Is there any better way to say “I’m not subject to the same rules as the rest of you because I was really good once upon a time at putting a round ball in a round hole?”
I think not.
The league’s contemptuous attitude toward decent working Americans was perfectly captured again earlier this year when Gloria James – the idle mother of superstar Lebron James ( below left) – slapped a Miami hotel valet for taking too long to deliver her car. The elder James made it clear she won’t tolerate uppity behavior like that from field slaves.
This is the mother of the Ohio basketball star that went against all he publicly claimed to believe in back in 2010, to jump ship from his homeotwn Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in a bid to advance his own interests more rapidly.
Police described Gloria James (left) as “initially uncooperative with the investigating officer” and “apparently intoxicated as she had bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol on her breath.” In short, she was acting like an overpaid professional athlete pretending to be a CEO. Or vice versa.
Gloria James was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly intoxication, and released. She was not charged by police with being “someone who should know better” by virtue of raising her son alone as a single mother before he became a millionaire, because the 1% doesn’t consider that kind of disgusting behavior a crime. However, we do at the middle class Cynical Times.
Anyone want to bet on whether the hard-working valet would have been charged and released in the same cavalier fashion had he slapped the rich lady?
Anyone want to bet on whether Stern’s pampered kids ever worked a single day in their lives as hard as that valet works every day of his life?
I didn’t think so.
Want to send the rapacious millionaires of the NBA a message?
Don’t buy anything from them. Just ignore them all.
They need to change their ways. Not us.
The bottom line is that if the NBA wants to be a sport for the 3 million members of the Percent , more power to them. If this sport doesn’t think it needs the other 309 million Americans, then we really don’t need them.
All the NBA has to do next is cut salaries by 99 Percent. What’s left is what they can afford to pay players without the rest of us.
The moral of the story is that the 99 Percent really runs the NBA. Albeit indirectly. We just don’t know it.
Just like everything else in this nation. Without us there is no NBA. There’s just a bunch of grown men with Hitler mustaches, wearing short pants, and bumping ass into crotch.
For beer money.