On Wednesday, we noted an article by Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune which asserted that Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen is taking a hard-line stance in the ongoing labor negotiations because he wants improved competitive balance in the NBA.
Vishnu Parasuraman writes on Grantland.com that the desire for parity is just an excuse for owners, including Allen, and that their positions are actually crafted out of "indifference and vindictiveness."
Does anyone really believe that Paul Allen, worth $13.2 billion, is holding up this deal for a few million dollars out of his pocket?
(As a comparison, for Paul Allen, $5 million is the equivalent of $10 to someone worth $30,000. Would you hold up an entire sports league for $10? In fact, for Paul Allen, the entire stated losses of the league, $300 million, would be the equivalent of around $630 to someone worth $30,000.)
Of course not. The reality is that there is not, nor will there ever be, parity in the NBA. You need an elite superstar to win a championship, and there are maybe 10 of those in the NBA. Parity is simply being used to hide their true intent.
The owners aren't holding out for parity. They are holding out because of indifference and vindictiveness. Financially, they have so much money and so many alternate sources of revenue that it doesn't matter if their teams play or not. And since most owners' teams aren't going to win anyway, the motivation just isn't there to cave. For certain owners, like Dan Gilbert, this is taken to an extreme. The man who penned the Comic Sans diatribe against LeBron James would love nothing more than to slice a year off James' championship window in Miami.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter