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No One's Going To Read This...

Like the title says, no one is going to read this. But I don't care, I wanted to get it off my chest.

The NBA labor issues are not simply "millionaires arguing with billionaires".

If that's your perspective, I believe you're missing the point (while at the same time, and this is why I'm so confused: you're right on the money).
To me it's a little bit like arguing that the debate between the 99% and the 1%  is one  between:
"people with enough potable drinking water and people with even more potable drinking water."
(the same argument goes for the teachers union in Wisconsin)
In the grand scheme of things, we're all fairly lucky, and we're always luckier than someone else (except for that one poor bastard. I won't name names, but if you're reading this, I really hope things turn around eventually).

At the same time, there is some analytically currency to interpreting the issue as one between two groups of haves (something which many people have done in the case of Occupy Wall street). On some level it's true.
And of course, in regards to the NBA, the injustices are hardly as dire as cutting the pensions of already destitute teachers, but still:

If you let yourself get carried away with this line of "you're lucky with what you have" reasoning, you forget the lesser side still has a point, and by cynically ignoring it, you're not helping anyone.

What's interesting is that I care so much. These issues are so distant from me. I don't work for TNT, I'm not a ball boy and ever since  I called David Stern at 4 a.m. and asked him if his refrigerator was running, I'm no longer an NBA player.

Sports has always been about projection. You like the players you can relate to, or maybe the ones you can't. You want to see the ones you like succeed and the ones you hate fail (or vice versa, if that's "your thing")
Look at people's reaction to the Heat, or fan favorite bench players, sports opinion very quickly extends beyond cold numbers and X's and O's.

It's always about the sport in relation to you. I.E. basketball is not watched in a vacuum, although most of us would probably pay to watch it PLAYED in a vacuum (for the novelty of it alone.)

When it comes to the labor lock out, I relate much more to the players than the owners. The owners had some very fair points about the plight of small market teams, but no one likes a bully.

How can you relate to a boss trying to control his employees? "we choose where you go", "we want more of your share" (editors note: they already work weekends! and Christmas! Their Bill Lumbergh meets Scrooge!... I kid)
And they used their influence to steam roll an agreement.

Within that context, they're us, with the establishment trying to bring them down. (of course, as I stated there were two sides to the coin, I know that).

That doesn't mean everyone gets a pass, or that things are fine the way they are, but things must be kept within context.

People always direct the blame at guys like Lebron, who "selfishly" continued the lock out, while concession stand managers stayed out of work.
A fair argument, on some level, but weren't the owners to blame for clearly employing a strategy of "lets sweat them out, we can wait longer than they can".

And why did everyone forget that the stars of the game, the ones who make the League relevant, are actually playing for under market value?

Why was everyone so flippant about NBA players doing whatever they could to ensure their livelihoods? In an era of job cuts and the like, why aren't we always rooting for the group trying to get a good deal from their elite bosses?

More importantly, why am I bringing this up now?

Because the NBA just vetoed the Chris Paul trade, which was really also the Pau Gasol trade, and for people like me it was Kevin Martins awesomely awkward jumper trade and Luis Scolas hair trade.

Just when it felt like things were returning to normal, the owners once again, reached behind the curtain and switched on the god machine.

This wasn't about if New Orleans got a fair deal, this was about those controversial opinions owners had about "unfairness"

Anyone who thinks the Lakers were the new defending champs probably share Dan Gilberts view that Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol are nothing more than contracts the Lakers managed to unload on some poor unsuspecting suckers.
(Editors note: Picture Pau Gasol sitting on the steps the Hall of Fame singing in a baritone: "I'm just a contract sitting here on, Springfield hill..." Ok, I'll stop)

Save for future trades, the Lakers would be leaning on Andrew Bynum's balsa wood legs (editors note: probably not a good idea to lean on them) for 82+ games. Chris Paul has had his fair share of injuries and Kobe's not getting any younger.

More importantly, I didn't appreciate the sentiment. That Paul shouldn't dictate where he gets to go.
The CBA has some new ideas (which I like) about how teams can offer a player more years and money than any potential suitor. A player now has to weigh his love of Broadway musicals against the possibility of having the largest backyard Jet Ski race track in Milwaukee.
If a player chooses to leave behind the extra cash and get in line for Wicked, more power to him, it's his choice, it's a free country, yada, yada, yada.

Institutional checks are now in place to even the playing field, but free will is always in play. It's not right for owners to take that away.

If Chris Paul refused to suit up for a team that traded for him, that would be a different story. That would be a player having too much power and not honoring his obligations. That's not the story here today though.
When Chris Pauls contract expires, he can go where he pleases (based on cap restrictions and the pros and cons)

New Orleans smartly traded him, to get some return before he walks out the door and never looks back.

Most people would agree discussing possible trades and free agency signings has become part of the entertainment itself, a new game, with winners, losers and constant surprises. Just like a smart player will pump fake another player to score, so will one GM outsmart another. Trades have widespread implications and are fodder for hours of discussion.

If the League wants to control every aspect of the game, right down to where a player chooses to sign a contract, (heck they already have essentially a monopoly) then the League starts becoming more and more something I hate. It becomes orchestrated, it becomes all drama and no substance, it becomes wrestling, with chair throwing probably remaining against the rules.

Then again, at the end of the day it's all just basketball, and we're all just cosmically insignificant specs of dust.

(and Brandon Roy may retire)

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