Kobe Bryant, NBA Stars Must Take Lead to End Lockout

NBA players are going to have to take a pay cut. That’s the only way this lockout is going to end. By the same token, NBA owners are going to have to change their business practices. That’s the only way we’ll be able to avoid another work stoppage the likes of the current one.

To be clear, the owners only have themselves to blame for this situation. They’re the ones that agreed to a hideous 57-43 split. They’re the ones that assumed nothing would every affect their cash flow.

To be real, though, it is up to the players to save the game. They surely don’t want to take less but for the good of the game they’re going to have to.

A harsh reality but one that the players will have to accept and in order for that to happen guys like Kobe Bryant, among other notable names, will have to lead the charge.

Now before we go any further, I want to make something clear.

I’m a realist. Not a hater.

A hater is the type that you’ll hear saying things like “these guys already have enough money.” Or they’ll toss out the common “so and so made $30-million last year so they can afford to take $20-million this year.”

You know the type. You might be one.

I’m a realist. In reality whatever money someone is willing to pay you that you agree to accept is what you’re worth. I don’t care how much or how little cause that is all relative. My yearly income is but a weekend in Vegas for Carmelo Anthony but it dwarfs what many pocket in other countries. Again, it is all relative.

What you do for a living is by no means indicative to what your value is either. All the haters that bitch about how much loot actors and athletes make are the same ignorant type that help to line the pockets of these so-called “overpaid” entertainers.

That’s real talk.

Now the reality is that the owners painted themselves into a corner. Nobody put a gun to their heads and told them to agree to the last CBA. They’re ones who were supposed to be among the gods of business in this country. Why they thought our economy would grow forever and NBA revenue would increase exponentially is beyond me.

Now the owners are crying broke. Obviously there is some truth in their pleas but overall it is false. If they were losing crazy cash then why continue hold onto a dying business? That’s Frank McCourt-esque.

No matter how unfair it might be, the players will have to fall on this sword and take a collective pay cut in order to make progress and regain the league that has made them so wildly wealthy.

Without the likes of Kobe or LeBron James or even Joe Johnson being willing to lessen their financial standing it will be impossible for union president Derek Fisher to get the rest of the players on board.

Again, I’m not using the hater argument here. No matter how much you’re making taking a pay cut is a gut punch. But this is about the bigger picture.

The players are being put in a tough spot. They negotiated in good faith to get their healthy share of the basketball revenue. It’s not their fault the owners didn’t keep tabs on what direction salaries were headed. There are no union laws claiming Luke Walton was owed Brian Cardinal money. That was a decision made and agreed upon by two consenting parties.

Unfortunately for the players they’re the ones that have to make the sacrifice for the good of the game. As a result it will be up to the alpha dogs to lead the pack. As Bryant, James, Anthony, Kevin Durant and the rest of the All-Stars go so too will the rest.

Despite what all the high powered agents are claiming pay cuts are the best remedy. Not only for the lockout, but also to gain the favor of the ever necessary court of public opinion. Now by no means am I saying they should just bow down to the exact requests of the owners. But concessions will have to be made.

NBA players are already accustomed to being the biggest guys in the room. Now they’ll have to be the bigger men at the negotiating table. It’s not their fault the owners overcommitted but it’s going to take a monumental gesture to preserve the best basketball league in the world. It starts with the Kobe Bryants, they set the tone and the Devin Ebanks of the NBA world will follow.

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Tags: Brian Cardinal Carmelo Anthony Derek Fisher Devin Ebanks Frank Mccourt Joe Johnson Kevin Durant Kobe Bryant Lebron James Luke Walton NBA Lockout

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