Editor's Note: This technically was written before #NBAFanVoice day, but I think it fits the spirit of the exercise. Nice thoughts.
I realize you can't compare the state of affairs within the world of NBA business to everyday life. The model, reality, and general delusion are far different. Also, the scale of the economy is not to that of many of the businesses most of us work within. Personally, I am VP of a large digital distribution company. Think eBooks, music, movies, video games, and software. What makes logical sense to us and seems like a no-brainer might not make any sense at all to these guys on either side of the lockout. I consider myself a student of business and have arrived at the conclusion that there probably isn't a real logical answer to the proceedings we've all witnessed.
In my personal opinion, I feel as the owners are trying to teach the players a lesson. You need us. Sure, we need you too, but there will always be someone ready to take your place. A new crop. Sure Amari, go start your own players league so we can laugh at you -- see how far you get with that one, bud. The marketing, day-to-day operation, logistics of travel...have a blast with it. Really make it your own. Try to fit it in between video games and sleeping until noon. I realize this isn't the case with every player and hate to generalize. My point being, they need each other.
What do we the fans need you ask? What we need is a fan union. Some sort of unified front that joins all of us that are in heavy disagreement of the way things are being handled. A podium that has the ability to send a very clear and concise message that states:
Dear NBA Owners, Players, and Commissioner,
We are the fans. We have given you our support for many years. In return, you have given us brilliant moments of elation, heartache, and many others that reside somewhere in between. We remember where we were when Jordan floated through the air for what seemed to be an eternity, when Bird hit shot after shot, when Magic played every position, when a new era was ushered in, and when Lebron danced around like a cackling hyenah claiming, "not 5, not 6". Oh, we also remember when Lebron became invisible in the playoffs after that. But, we can just as easily forget (except for that last one).
We span 30 NBA cities, the US, and the globe. Together, we are stronger than any collection of your players, owners, vendors, employees, or partners. We are Doctors, Postmen, Lawyers, Clerks, Teachers, Veterinarians, Social Workers, Janitors, and Business Owners.
Should this lockout continue, we will unify when it does end and show you who is truly in charge. We will not show up for your games. We will not buy your merchandise. We can assure you of empty arenas, lost confidence in your brand, and secure a loss of something far greater than the few percentage points you are quibbling over that you may never recover from. We invite you to put the posturing to the side with the bigger picture in mind.
David Stern, you are right; the season is in jeopardy. What you failed to acknowledge though, Mr Stern, is that far more is in jeopardy than just the season. While we remember the moments of elation and heartache you have given us, it's time for you to also remember something:
Without us, you truly have nothing to discuss.
Increasingly Not Yours,