From the Chicago Tribune:
“Everybody know it’s not [the players’] fault. If it was up to us, we’d be out there playing. I think it’s wrong. I know [the owners] can easily take care of it and not take advantage of people.
“They’re not thinking about anything we’re saying. They’re not taking into consideration anything we’re trying to give them.
“The biggest thing is you just want to get back out there and play, It will hurt us. But it will hurt basketball period. We had a great year last year. For us not to have a season or take this long to come up with a deal, I think it’s wrong.”
No offense to Derrick — because, seriously, I love the kid — but his comments are a pretty drastic oversimplification.
I mean, he says: “If it was up to us, we’d be out there playing.” This statement overlooks the fact that it is up to the players. They could accept the deal being offered by the owners, resume making millions of dollars, and be playing basketball right now (or very soon).
Whether or not the owners are thinking about anything the players are saying or trying to give them…I have no idea.
Rose is correct that the lockout is hurting basketball period. Most troubling is the “oh well, ho hum, who cares” attitude the general public seems to have about the potential for a canceled NBA season. None of the hand-wringing and sheer panic associated with the NFL lockout is happening with regards to the NBA lockout.
This is coming on the heels of one of the more compelling seasons in recent NBA history.
To me, that’s the sign of a flawed product. David Stern and the owners are, ostensibly, concerned about the long-term financial viability of the NBA as a business. They’re so concerned about how the honey pot should be divided that they don’t appear concerned about the ever-widening gulf between the fans of the sport and the sport itself.
And so now the owners and players are willing to lose a season — maybe more — to settle their differences. Are they also willing to strike a damaging and lasting blow to their fan base?