By Jonathan Ryan Davis
On a day when the NFL players and owners agreed to a new CBA, the NBA should take notice. The NFL avoided missing any part of the season, save the Hall of Fame game. DeMaurice Smith had the best interest of his players in mind (taking out insurance to help cover their salaries if games were lost) and used that to his advantage in negotiations. The NFL players and owners committed to a new 10 year contract. Both sides came out with a majority of what they wanted. And the image all will remember about the NFL’s new CBA, Jeff Saturday of the Colts embracing Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
The NFL has become the most popular sport in the United States, mainly because they have not missed any games because of a strike or lockout in the last two decades like every other major sport. This past season was a monumental one for the NBA, where interest in the league increased dramatically. All of that positive momentum will be lost with any work stoppage. Fans will get frustrated and turn to football or hockey.
Like the NFL, the NBA players and owners need to find a way to make a deal before any games are lost. Currently, the two sides are so far apart that most prognosticators believe the season won’t begin until December or January. Coming to a compromise is not impossible, it is just hard. For the sake of the league, each side needs to spend every necessary hour it takes to get a deal done. That’s what Robert Kraft did in his wife’s last weeks. He showed class and character by working with the players to find a middle ground while also caring before his beloved partner. If he can show that courage, the NBPL and NBA owners can make that effort as well.
Here’s our message to the NBA: Find a compromise; we want the NBA back!