Fixing the NBA lockout

The unemployment rate in the United States has been at a steady 9.1 percent for the last three months, yet time and money is wasted debating the outcome of the 2012 basketball season.

With the games being cancelled through November thus far, there is talk of continued cancelations. Not only are players and owners losing money, but businesses surrounding the stadiums that usually benefit from the games are losing money as well.

However, it would only take the 44th president to speak a few gentle words to stir the minds of “stars” back to the reality of the game.

“Well, look, if you look at the NFL, they were able to settle theirs, and I think they understood. Players were making millions of dollars. Owners, some of them are worth billions of dollars,” President Barrack Obama said on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “We should be able to figure out how to split a $9 billion pot so that our fans, who are allowing us to make all of this money, can actually have a good season. And I think the owners and the basketball players need to think the same way.”

Sports lovers around the world look up to these players, sometimes even looking past all the drama shown in the media. As much as it should not matter how people perceive you, it does.

A lockout only sheds light on the greedy and selfish, that is what it comes down to. People can talk about how these athletes deserve the extra money, or how they have put in the work, but think about it, athletes get treated like kings and queens. They receive VIP status to go to the after, after, after party where only a select few are invited, and body guards to protect their precious lives. It only looks like they are taking things for granted.

“They need to remind themselves that the reason they are so successful is because a whole bunch of folks out there love basketball,” Obama said.

“The players’ union made 57 percent of the basketball related income, worth about $2.17 billion in total salaries. They initially proposed a drop to 53 percent. Three weeks ago, NBA Commissioner David Stern raised the idea he’d ask league owners for approval of a 50-50 split, but the players’ union rejected that offer,” an article from the LA Times said.

Really, $2.02 billion is not enough? A survey done in 2008 by, giving the breakdown in food spending around the world, found that a family of seven adults and six children from The Kingdom of Bhutan in South Asia spends the equivalent of $5.03 a week on food, compared to a family of two adults and two kids from Germany who spend the equivalent of $500.07 per week, the site said.

Wealth gives a new face to people, which is why it is not a surprise a majority of lottery winners go bankrupt soon after winning. Many athletes fall off the same cliff, spending millions on material things unnecessary for a successful life, while completely overlooking the long-term needs.

Should athletes be paid significantly more than the local grocery store bagger? Yes, but should the difference between a couple billion dollars completely rattle the face of a sport? Absolutely not. Fans want to watch sports. Players should want to perform and play the game even more, no matter the amount they make.

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