As we already know, the NBA and it’s players are getting in to huge fights about money. The league’s owners, naturally, don’t want to pay as much for contracts as they are right now, while the league’s players, also naturally, want to still get paid as much as they currently are. Ergo, money fight — and a possible, maybe even likely, lockout next season. Way cool. We all hate watching basketball anyway, so they might as well take it away.
But it’s not like it stops there. If you’ll remember, Ken Berger of CBS reported that the league wasn’t totally against contraction, and they’re not talking about punctuation. And while we all had our own ideas about which teams might get shut down in this scenario, the Boston Globe’s Michael Vega gives us our first real hint at who might be considered contraction-worthy.
With the labor agreement between the league and the players set to expire June 30, Stern said he was hoping to reduce player costs by at least $700 million and that the league would “continue to be open to contraction.’’
While Stern did not single out any franchises, a team source indicated that Charlotte, Memphis and New Orleans might be among the small-market cities in jeopardy of losing their teams.
Take that with a grain of salt, obviously, but it’d be sad to see those teams go. Especially, in my opinion, the Hornets. They had things made in the shade back in the Charlotte days, and now they might be on the chopping block because they had a terrible owner who ruined the franchise. That sucks.
Of course, it’s quite unlikely that David Stern would eliminate Michael Jordan’s franchise the summer after he bought it, so it’s likely that this is pure speculation. However, these teams are known for being cheap, losing money and having poor attendance. Those three things are a pretty potent mix for a contraction cocktail, so it makes sense that if the league were really open to losing teams that it’s these teams that would be considered.
So yeah, enjoy this season Grizzlies, Bobcats and Hornets fans. No matter how unlikely it is, you don’t want to say you wasted your last basketball season eating banana pudding and watching reruns of “Law and Order: SVU.” I know it’s a good show, but it’s on all the time, so maybe clear your schedule for your favorite basketball team once in a while.