Has anyone seen LeBron James lately? No, this isn’t another fourth quarter joke.
The 2011 NBA Finals are a thing of the past, and James and the Heat can focus on the 2012 season. Sadly, fans and players alike may be waiting a long time for said season to begin.
The fans may be demanding a new collective bargaining agreement, but what about the NBA players? Let’s examine their stance on the issue.
Oh, that’s right. They’ve been busy hosting charity basketball games, flirting with international basketball teams and getting more shoe endorsement deals. The offseason of 2011 may just turn into the 2012 NBA lockout-season if they keep this up.
Unlike the NFL during its own lockout, the NBA lacks a sense of urgency on the part of the players. Two weeks ago, NBA Commissioner David Stern speculated that if a deal wasn’t settled by Oct. 18, no games would be played before Christmas.
“Blame it on the owners! They aren’t giving us a fair share of the revenue!”
This argument has been repeated again and again by NBA players, but who is really to blame here? For one, just like James during the 2011 Finals, the players have mysteriously disappeared.
During the NFL’s lockout this past summer, superstars like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady rose to the challenge of negotiating some of the most daunting terms ever seen in the sports world. Who’s the NBA’s biggest and most visible advocate right now for the players? Derek Fisher, the five-time NBA Champion and president of the National Basketball Players Association.
Where is the rest of his team?
To James and every other NBA player out there: WAKE UP! The fans support you when you need us to, so return that favor. Take off the gym shorts and put on the business suit. Drop the basketball and pick up the briefcase. You can point your fingers at the owners as much as you’d like, but you are just as important to this process as anybody else.
This season’s shot clock has three seconds left on it. Can it be saved? That’s for the players to decide. Game on.
Seth Furman is a freshman majoring in business management.