In order to understand this question, I will attempt to set the stage and the parts that each actor is playing. NBA Owners and David Stern will be casted as Wall Street and Congress refusing to help create jobs, ESPN and the other media will be playing the part of Fox News while the NBA players will be playing the part of the 99ers or laborers.
The players are really the ones who are putting the butts in the seats and why tickets sell, it is not how expensive the arena looks or feel that draws the crowds and even though many of the laborers receive a hefty salary for their work, there is still a such thing as respect that right now appears more important that a paycheck. NBA Owners and David Stern have been running roughshod over this group for years and using money as the carrot to make the workers mind unwilling to accept that their titles does not declare them the soul reason for the billions which pad their bank accounts. It has gotten to the point that the Players Union was no longer effective in acting on behalf of those they were elected to serve which may explain why many are seeking to disband them. Now come ESPN and other media acting as the pundits and commentators who tell us about how fearful we should be of the players without sharing with us the full story.
No other writer has captured this as well as Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports in his article titled Stern, media put players in bad position when he says that “For the most part, that is not the case in our latest sports labor dispute. NBA players and their leaders have been vilified and ridiculed by the media. Monday, in the moments after Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher and a gaggle of players stood shoulder to shoulder and announced their intention to continue their battle with Stern, two of ESPN’s top basketball voices – Stephen A. Smith and Ric Bucher – re-opened the Worldwide Leader’s assault on the players union. The unfair, one-sided coverage – and it’s far more than just ESPN – of the NBA labor dispute has contributed to the players’ recalcitrance and Stern’s arrogance. The coverage has made it nearly impossible for the two sides to strike a deal. Stern and ownership are under virtually no public pressure to get a deal done because the media, from start to finish of this dispute, have put the entire burden on the players.”
NBA Players are protesting just like those occupying Wall Street and all that owners really need to do is listen but they really don’t wish to because as long as they have media singing their tune instead of being completely unbiased and telling the entire story, the public will only know their side. If there is a loss of the basketball season, the public will survive making local and college basketball will see a huge increase in attendance. Before long the entire story will emerge and the public will finally hear the whole story, when that happens the joy that owners and David Stern enjoys now will come to a halt so buckle up.