When I first heard about the lockout, I knew it was likely if not sure that there wasn’t going to be a season this year. The primary reason being that if there was anything I knew about the NBA, it’s that it’s run by egos. Not money, certainly not basketball, absolutely not the fans, but egos. Large, enormous and constantly yearning for attention. Not that other organizations aren’t. In fact, what I realized after reading so many books and studying players and teams for years, is that the NBA is like any other organization in that sense. Behind a polished facade and a professional stance are two constantly at odds parties – players and owners – who for years hurl things at one another when their backs are turned with everything they can pick up off the floor.
The battlecry for each party is very ego – driven, and it is summed up by the question: ‘Who is more important, the owner or the players?‘ Players will clearly say they are, because they’re the faces that the fans recognize. The fans will always side with players too, because fans know players, not owners. Owners of course, will always negate that, simply because they are the owners, whose money and initiative it was that started the team and formed the league in the first place. Clearly they are the ones who make the rules, right?
The item used to determine who wins this battle as it often is, is money. Money is quantifiable and has specific value. The problem with money however, is that while it can make you materially rich, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are respected, and in the NBA, everyone yearns for respect (I told you this is about egos, remember?). So what do people who earn lots of money but still do not feel respected do? They try to get more money. This is why rich people seem to have a bottomless need for more and more. Money, as it often is, is mistaken as the balm that soothes the ache that is caused by not getting respect.