So the NBA versus the players looks to be heading to the courts for some resolution after the players yet again rejected the offer tabled by the owners and decertified their union.
This means that the whole 2011/12 NBA season is looking likely to be written off.
The players believe that like their NFL counterparts they hold the balance of power hence their decision to reject the 50-50 split between teams and players on revenue tabled. What they have failed to grasp is that these are very different times and despite what they may think they have not engendered as much support as their NFL counterparts.
This public support was a crucial part in ending their dispute. Basketball has not garnered that same level of support.
These are tough economic times especially in the USA, and the people being hit hardest by this dispute are the backroom staff at the NBA clubs, not the high earning players. These hardworking individuals rely on the matches taking place for their livelihoods, and they cannot afford to sit out a season waiting for this to be resolved.
It is the impact on these loyal employees that is turning the public against the big name basketballers and many close t the game fear that Basketball will pay dearly for this. The US sporting landscape is overcrowded as it is and this prolonged dispute is seeing basketball slip down the rankings, and seeing sponsors question their continued involvement.
The other sports have benefitted from memorable ends to their seasons; The Major League Baseball season went down to the wire, as did the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Final.
In NFL the season is coming to a head and so too is the MLS with the perfect end in sight with David Beckham’s LA Galaxy in the final, and possibly giving the Englishman the perfect end to his US sojourn.
The longer this goes on the more these players hold the sport they love to ransom, the more long term damage they will inflict.