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Don't Let the Door Hit Ya on the Way Out



It was announced today that the NBA has cancelled games through December 15th, the latest heavy blow dealt to fans. In the same news story we were told that various players were now filing class-action antitrust lawsuits against the league.

As the news panned over my screen utter disgust settled in and as sad as I am not to see my NBA this season I can’t help but say to myself “Good Riddance”.

As fans, we are left powerless when the rich and wealthy bicker. We are ignored and voiceless despite being the fuel for the league. It is, in all actuality, our money that they are fighting over. We fuel the league, we keep the greedy selfish players living in lavish houses by buying their shoes and this is the thanks we get.

Now by no means am i ignoring the role the owners play in this. But let’s be realistic. Owners are acting as owners do and are conducting themselves as businessmen. Does it excuse their greed? Most certainly not. But I don’t see kids walking around sporting a pair of “Air Dolan’s” or a wearing a Mark Cuban jersey.

To be completely honest, I really believe the owners have made a ton of concessions in an attempt to get a deal done. The last CBA was signed in 1999 and expired this offseason. It called for a 57/43 revenue split for the players, but owners realized they were losing money and sought for a fairer share. And here we are.

Owner’s originally wanted to give the players a percentage in the early to mid 40 percent range, but later met the players in the middle by offering a 50/50 split. An offer the players deemed “unacceptable”.

The owners again made concessions, and offered the players 51%, giving them the majority of a revenue “split”, again the players balked.

One of the big sticking points has been the owners hard line stance on a “hard cap” which would install a brand new salary cap that would greatly impact the league. Something the players can’t seem to entertain.

Why? Who really can say it’s anything but greed. A salary cap has been a big “need” for the NBA for years. In fact it’s the state of the current cap that makes trades a joke and why we see teams getting hosed when dealing superstar players. It’s why we see teams dealing player contracts for players who haven’t played in at least a year (if not more). It’s the reason why if you’re a fan of a small-market team you probably have no shot of retaining or obtaining a superstar to bring your city a championship.

So essentially, the players are not only saying “no deal” to the owners, they are saying “screw you” to the fans.

Disregard all the hard workers who bust their asses at the arenas and concession stands during your games. Screw them. Disregard the diehard fans that you only claim “you love” when you’re hawking a new shoe or new fashion line. Screw them. And screw the fans who have supported you, paid to see you play, bought your jersey and products despite the fact that they did all of this in a horrible economy where most are losing their jobs or can’t find a job. Screw them right?

No, the players deserve better. I mean, the average annual salary in the NBA is around $5 million. The players want something more towards $8 million. Who are we to get in the way of their needs?

While we struggle to find and keep jobs that pay us $20,000 salaries, these jerks are griping about $5 million.

What about what the players owe us? Why not take some money out of your pockets to help make the game more affordable to the fans? Help find solutions to reduce ticket prices, put your finances into helping establish more TV deals so fans can see you play, just a few ideas fellas.

I have loved the NBA since 1992 when Charles Barkley was traded to the Phoenix Suns. That’s close to 20 years of suffering through this garbage. Since the likes of Barkley, Jordan and others filtered out of the league the game of basketball has been harder and harder to watch.

Selfish players, gangster attitudes and the devolving of our game. A game that once was one of the most beautiful team games to watch has become a one man show and a display of “me, me, me”. All about the highlight films, self promotion and the branding of a persons name more than upholding a respectable image for the NBA.

You’ve turned our league into a disgrace with your selfish attitudes, selfish play and now this spit in the face to fans. And despite this slap in the face you still want our sympathy?! Even when you show us none.

So where is our power to say “enough is enough”? When can we push Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter aside from the podium and say “you guys, go home and don’t come back”?

Because I no longer want to see this sorry excuse for a basketball game. I no longer want to be told that because some guy can windmill dunk a basketball he deserves to be rated a better basketball player than a player with a great mid-range game. I’m sick of track meet games that show no signs of ever hearing the word “defense”. Sick of it.

I’m sick of the new teams that I don’t care about and never hear about. I’m still sick over the Seattle SuperSonics too!

I’m sick of players like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh all using the Olympics as a platform to discuss forming a millionaires alliance in the NBA so they can win rings easy and sell product quicker, as opposed to just making our country proud. The same goes for you Carmelo and Chris Paul.

For years it’s been all about the easy way to do things and all about the dollar. And i’m sick of paying for it. I’m sick of fueling the machine that is the pampering of these arrogant, selfish, egotistical liars.

Sick of the lies of “we only want to play basketball”

Sick of the lies of “we want a fair deal”

Most of all, sick of the insulting lie that “we want to do what’s best for the fans”.

Truthfully, you are all guilty of stealing our game from us. You’re guilty of using it as a platform to hawk your shoes, your brand and other ways to take more money out our pockets.

Although I am not happy there isn’t an NBA season I’m happy these players are being seen for who they are, who they really are.

And while they are holding our game hostage while they decide what amount of money it will take for them to give us the “honor” of playing it again, while they are preventing blue collar Americans from going back to their job at the arenas and while they are going overseas and taking roster spots from people who need the money far more than they do remember this…. more lies are to come.

Eventually when a deal gets done, Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter and some other players will stand at a podium with millions of our dollars in their pockets, smiling in their $100,000 suits and wearing their new line of sneakers they will lie again and say “we are just happy to play for the fans”.

Spare me the bullshit.

Spare me the bullshit of hearing you try to invoke my sympathy as well. Because I cannot relate to you. I don’t know what it’s like to only work half of a calendar year. I don’t know what it’s like to get paid millions to play a game. I don’t know what it’s like to argue over millions of dollars and i don’t know what it’s like to earn millions of dollars and be upset.

What I do know is how to live in a horrible economy where it’s impossible to attend games regularly. I do know the struggles of hard working fans like myself to find a job to support their families. That’s what I know!

Most of all, I know I am sick of supporting this “NBA”, this isn’t the NBA I want, remember or even want to tune into. No more.

I’d rather see people who care about basketball and the fans playing. The men who are just honored to be doing what they love regardless of pay. The people who wouldn’t bicker about having to dress professionally to go to work, like the rest of us. The people who truly appreciate us fans and what we mean to the game. The basketball players who work on a sweet jumper instead of a dunk. The players who don’t hold press conferences to announce their “decision”.

Frankly speaking, the current crop of NBA players can take their “game” and shove it. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!




Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.