NBA Lockout – David Stern, Owners, Union, Players … Listen Up, Then Play Ball

NBA Commissioner David Stern is an illusionist and a bully of sorts. The owners are all, pretty much, billionaires, with their primary fortune coming from places other than their franchise(s). Unions may or may not be good. The players, while possibly being overpaid for the sport they enjoy and perform, are trying to protect themselves and future generations of players.

What is the lockout all about?

Point blank, it is about money. Who gets what and how much.

Though no balance sheets have been examined, it is a good bet that none of the owners are in the poor house, despite what their basketball operations balance sheet and income statement may show.

Afterall, there are many business expenses deducted from income that are non cash, i.e., they do not take away any cashflow from the owner’s already deep pockets. So, are owners really losing money…are they losing cash?

Egos and greed are powerful motivators and those two characteristics show very clearly on both sides, to one degree or another.

Perhaps Stern, the owners, the union and the players should remember that it is the fan base that puts money into all of their pockets. Without fans, there simply is no money.

That comes from Sports Econ 101.

And regardless of what new Collective Bargaining Agreement is finally approved by both sides, owners can increase their revenues in many fashions, as can athletes with endorsements and other deals.

Thus, as this drama continues and as fans grow weary reading about how far apart the two sides remain, it would be wise for them, for the future of the sport and for their own pocketbooks, to examine their real motives for creating this situation. For, make no mistake, it was created.

The NBA hit an all-time high during the 2010-2011 season that will likely not be matched for quite some time once the bickering parties kiss and make up.

If Mr. Stern really wants a positive legacy he ought to remember that he is not on the court making fabulous, often incredible, plays. That job belongs to Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Ray Allen, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and countless others.

And, regardless of how this ends, Stern will be remembered as the one who pulled the plug and cost fans the enjoyment of cheering their favorite teams and players.

The Commissioner can attempt to portray players as greedy but it was, and has always been, the owners who started paying exhorbitant salaries and bonuses, in an effort to win a title. True, a strong agent can force a player’s price up. But, an owner can always say no. End of argument.

To the owners…is this really about losing money on an accountant-creative balance sheet? Do you really think fans perceive you as broke paupers? Time to wake up.

What’s the old saying, “You made your own bed, now sleep in it.”

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Champions

When the season started, in October 2010, there were not many people outside of die-hard Dallas Mavericks fans who would have bet any money that Dirk & Company would be able to win the crown.

Especially against the big three of the Miami Heat (Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh), the free agents who came together last summer with plans to win multiple titles.

For Nowitzki it must have been sweet revenge for their embarrassing defeat to the Heat in 2006, after jumping to a 2-0 start in that series.

This was a hard-fought set of games where every night the announcers continuously spoke about how Miami was the dominant team, even when the series was tied at 2-2. That talk subsided a bit when Dallas went up 3-2 on Thursday. It left at the final match-up in Game 6 with the Mavs dominating the second half and ending with a 105-95 close-out victory.

Even though eventual Finals MVP Dirk shot just 1 for 12 in the first half of game six the rest of the team took up the slack until he got his groove back. Key was Jason Terry who, coming off the bench, burned Miami seemingly whenever he touched the ball and topped all scorers with 27 points. Another was speedster JJ Barea who added 15.

Dirk, who pretty much sealed the game with 2:27 left, ended with 21. One great effort was a rainbow 3 he launched 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter.

For Dallas’ aging three (thirty-somes Dirk, Terry and Jason Kidd) the glory of capturing for the franchise their first-ever trophy certainly was sweet, as can be seen in the below video.

Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks on a hard-fought, well-played and well-deserved championship series.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

NBA Finals – Dallas Maligned in Game 1 Loss to Miami

It’s bad enough to lose the first game in the NBA Finals. Especially waiting five years to get back to this stage.

it is even worse to be maligned for losing when not deserved.

The Dallas Mavericks did, indeed, lose to the Miami Heat in game one of the NBA Finals. No doubt about it. Final score: Heat 92 Mavs 84.

Reading what some reporters and bloggers have written makes it seem as if Dallas could do nothing right – yet an 8 point loss is not a blow out by any means, especially when one is in the enemy camp, i.e., playing on your opponent’s court. You know, the ole home court advantage thing.

As far as stats are concerned, Dallas shot 37% from the field, Miami hit 39%. Neither of those are very impressive.

From downtown the Heat were at 46% while Dallas shot 41%, a difference of 6 points in favor of the Heat. The Mavs held the edge at the free throw line hitting 78% to the Heat’s 71% for a 6 point advantage. They effectively cancelled each other out.

Offensively, Miami took 80 shots to Dallas’ 67. That was a huge help for the Heat. And Miami did dominate the boards, 46 to 36, which is what gave them, to a fairly large degree, the winning edge.

Yes, Miami won, mostly due to their better defense and the offensive board advantage they took.

To read the headlines, one would think Dallas did absolutely nothing right. Yes, LeBron and Wade made some big, key plays in the 4th quarter. And those two can be dominating, but they did not “dominate” this first game. And then consider that two of Miami’s starters failed to score a single point.

Sweet slam by LeBron.

One article that appeared in Yahoo! Sports mentioned that it would be tough for Dallas and their one star to beat Miami and their three stars, meaning Dirk beating LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. Apparently that reporter does not consider Jason Kidd a threat, despite the fact he is a 10-time All Star and is in 3rd place all-time for triple-doubles. Go figure.

True, everyone has, and is entitled to, their own opinion. This blogger’s opinion is that Miami won, Dallas lost. Miami played better at the right times, especially down the stretch. Neither team played close to a perfect game.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

2011 NBA Finals Match-Up- Heat vs Mavericks

After a long season, where injuries and internal strife played a major role in determining the two teams advancing to the 2011 NBA Finals, it all comes down to the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks.

Miami began their run-for-mulitple-titles process last summer, bringing on free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play with Dwyane Wade.

Dallas, on the other hand, has been continuously rebuilding since their 2006 championship loss, where they flubbed a 2-0 lead, marching in with a roster of veterans, including the most dominant big in the league, Dirk Nowitzki.

Along the way this year, Miami eliminated last year’s Eastern Conference Champions, the Boston Celtics, in five games while Dallas snuffed the reigning NBA Champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, in four.

For their Conference title, #2 seed Miami took care of the #1 seed Chicago Bulls and 2011 MVP Derrick Rose in five games. 

Dallas, the #3 seed, handled the young and talented #4 Oklahoma City Thunder and two-time NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant in five games.

Both Dallas and Miami experienced come-from-behind games during their runs to close out contests in their favor.

The stage is now set.

Through the first three rounds both teams played 15 games to eliminate their opponents.

What remains are anywhere between 4 and 7 contests, sure to be hard-fought, in quest of the NBA trophy. 

It is interesting that the 2011 Championship showcases the same two teams from 2006, though each with much different line-ups and personnel. The Heat took that crown in six games, after losing the first two. Dwyane Wade remembers that. So does Dirk Nowitzki.

Can the Big 3 in Miami stop Dirk and Company from attaining the crown?

Will Dallas have the answer to stop the Heat in consecutive games?

Only time and some excellent games to come will answer that question.

Over For Now.

Main Street One