Hanrahan: Fans locked out too

Hanrahan: Fans locked out too
October 21, 2011, 5:14 pm
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By Frank Hanrahan
CSNwashington.com

Am I missing something here besides NBA basketball? Is it that difficult to figure out how to divvy up 4 billion -- with a B! -- dollars? Obviouslyso, and the impasse between both sides continue as labor negotiations between the players and ownersbroke down in New York Thursday with no solution in sight.

Frustrations boiled over as both sides started to sling mud. He said, he said talk, led by the 50-50 split of revenue argument, which clearly is the divisive factor in these talks.

You know what as a fan, Ive got a shovel full of dirt ready to dip in water andthrow myself.

There may be two sides to every story, but in this case there is a third one that's left out in the cold. Fans have no say in this matter, even though their dollars are vital to the success of the league.

The same folks who buy the tickets, the jerseys, the shoes, the hats, the basketballs, the video games, the TVleague pass -- and in some citiestaxpayerswho subsidize stadiums -- have no cloutin these negotiations.Isn't that something?

Good for the city of Memphis, which is actually thinking about suing the NBA for lost revenue if the lockout persists.

Where is the news conference for the fansafter these labor talks? We get to hear from NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver and player rep Billy Hunter, butnot a word fromthe representatives of the masses.

I wonder what parents are telling their kids - who wear the jerseys and hang the posters of their favorite player-- when askedwhy there is no league right now?

Are they honest and do they say it'sall about the money, kid?When I thought it was all about the kids.

Like many, I love the game but right now there seems to be no love in return for the fans.

At the ripe age of 38, I pay a fee to play in a men's league because I still love it. I asked some of my teammates what they thought about the lockout -- or if they cared at all?

Guard J.P. Cotton: "I think that fans will get bummed if February comes around and we don't even see a 50-game season. For basketball heads like us, it sucks, but I think the NBA owners and David Stern know that they can afford to continue the lockout for at least into January without seriously damaging their overall reputation fan base.

Forward Chris Ellis: "Do I miss watching NBA hoops? Yes. But the longer the lockout goes on the less and less I care about it. Tired of athletes in general wanting more and more. You play basketball for a living! How bad can it be?"

At least Ive got my league.