The new Brand Jordan commercial may actually help the NBA players during this current NBA Lockout. While that statement may seem strange, let me explain further.
First, let me start by saying that I love the commercial. It shows Brand Jordan athletes Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony playing in a variety of recreational basketball leagues in Miami, New York, New Orleans, and even in China. The commercial ends with the following statement flashing across the screen: ‘Love the Game. No Matter What.’
Throughout the entire lockout and especially during his recent media tour, David Stern has consistently tried to paint the picture that the players are greedy, ungrateful and are the reason for the current stalemate. One could probably say that on the surface, Stern has succeeded in accomplishing his goal. There are many NBA fans who look at the entire situation and think that the players are greedy for wanting anything more than the millions that they are already making.
Stern has further pushed his agenda by tirelessly mentioning the many “concessions’” that the owners have made. To quote Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski via his Twitter account:
Classic Stern: Framing narrative about all the concessions owners gave — rollbacks, guaranteed deals, hard cap — were all owner proposals.
So where does the real greed lie? For one example, let’s take David Stern’s claim of a $2 billion salary “guarantee” for the players. It may sound good on the surface, but for more information on the true breakdown of that “guarantee”, click here.
Talks recently broke down because the players would not agree to a 50-50 split in basketball revenue. Again, that my sound like a fair proposal but let’s not forget one key point throughout this entire conversation: the players are not only the employees, they are also the product that the NBA is marketing and selling. The players play an important part in the growth and popularity of the NBA and their revenue split should reflect that. So while 50-50 may sound fair, the players really are worth more.
While the NBA players are the people most recognizable by NBA fans, that popularity Stern creates an easy target for David Stern to point the finger at. To some extent that strategy may have worked up until this point. Currently, the first two weeks of the NBA season have been cancelled and two more weeks are rumored to be cancelled. NBA fans are becoming restless and want to see NBA basketball again. Those fans are beginning to see an interesting development, something that could potentially swing public sentiment in the players’ favor.
NBA players are beginning to plan and participate in various exhibitions, both in the US and abroad. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Durant will headline a six-game, four-continent tour that will be called the World All-Star Classic, that will begin Sunday, October 30th in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh recently hosted an exhibition game for fans at Florida International University. Kevin Durant has received headlines this summer for his scoring outbursts in a variety of exhibition games. Local star, Allen Iverson is even hosting a two-day basketball tournament scheduled for November 12th – 13th at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
So, while David Stern is constantly pointing the finger at the players and accusing them of being greedy, the players are showcasing just the opposite – their desire to play and the love for the game . . . no matter what.