As I tweeted yesterday, I’m starting to get annoyed at how hard NBA owners and the Players Association seem to be working to manage their public image during the lockout, as opposed to how hard they appear to be working to come to some sort of agreement that will bring back basketball.

On the owners’ side, they took time to write and mass distribute a detailed letter rebutting various points made by New York Times writer Nate Silver in a blog post claiming that NBA owners are exaggerating their losses. News flash to owners: Most fans don’t care if you’re losing money or how much money you’re losing, if you are. We’re pretty sure you’re going to remain billionaires, regardless.

As for the players, most fans don’t have a hell of a lot of sympathy for their grievances. “They’re going to roll back my salary so I’ll only make $4 million a season instead of $5 million! WAAAAH!” I’m not saying both sides don’t have the right to stick to their guns, but if they think they’re going to make any strides towards ending this battle by engaging in wars of words in the media, they’re grossly mistaken. We don’t care about the details, we just want you to FIX IT!

The day after the lockout became official, the Players Association led off a statement on their website with this rhetoric: “NBA owners, looking to make Draconian cuts to players’ salaries and benefits, today locked out the league’s 450 players after their collective bargaining agreement expired at 12:01 a.m.”

“Draconian” is a word that seems to get used a lot considering how few people probably understand the actual origin of the word. It originated in Greece in 7th Century BC, where a “lawgiver” named Draco instituted a legal code known as The Draconian Constitution. These laws were revolutionary in some ways — such as the distinction between murder and involuntary homicide — but they are most notable historically for their extreme harshness. Take it away, Wikipedia!

For example, any debtor whose status was lower than that of his creditor was forced into slavery. The punishment was more lenient for those owing debt to a member of a lower class. The death penalty was the punishment for even minor offenses. Concerning the liberal use of the death penalty in the Draconic code, Plutarch states: “It is said that Drakon himself, when asked why he had fixed the punishment of death for most offenses, answered that he considered these lesser crimes to deserve it, and he had no greater punishment for more important ones.”

Yikes. Pardon my Greek, but this Draco dude seems like a historically monumental asshole. He makes David Stern look like Elmo in comparison. My point is that I could see where the players are coming from if they simply labelled the owners’ demands as unfair, but once you invoke a word that refers to an ancient legal code that included punishments of slavery and death for minor offenses, I can’t take anything you say seriously, anymore.

Note: Credit to Trey Kerby for the Photoshop work at the top of this post. He claims the quote is “Death, of course.” in Greek.

Comments (10)

  1. And here I assumed the Player’s Association was trying to catch the Harry Potter buzz train by dropping a Draco Malfoy reference. Owners are totally House Slytherin.

  2. Its not an issue of 4M down from 5M.

    If there is a hard cap,a lot of those 4 or 5M players would get their income cut to 500-800K ranges.

    Assuming 45M hard cap, if a team has 3-5 decent players in the 5-10M range (amnesty notwithstanding), take the average of 4 players at 7M. This is not a crazy assumption, Raps owe that or more for Kleiza, Calderon, Johnson and Barbosa without counting Bargs.

    That leaves 17M for the remaining 10 roster spots. Drastically different if teams can overspend (even if its 20 out of 30), then its more like 30M or more for 10 slots.

    Besides, the owners are making money. Public pays for arenas that owners later sell with the team, and the losses are “paper” losses related to buying a team. If most teams were losing money, franchises wouldn’t have multiple buyers at record valuations.

    Cashflow is positive for most teams, and the couple that can’t make it can’t be salvaged by any measures.

  3. Players think they’re Gryffindor but they’re totally Ravenclaw.

  4. Beasley is Hufflepuff.

  5. @Trey Kerby – if we lose a season to lockout, NBA players could play Muggle Quidditich for a year

  6. You can’t call guy an asshole because he lived over 2700 years ago… Waaay different time than ours. And in ancient Greece, they didn’t consider imprisonment as a punishment, because state had to pay to support criminals… “Dura lex, sed lex”

  7. “Death, naturally.”

  8. 500k is still enough. God damnit. If they were better they’d earn more. Look at Bird or Magic. They earned 2Million. Why does a guy like Joe Johnson need 20? He’s not even worth it.

    I really hope they will get the Hard Cap through. The owners just gotta stay strict till November,December,January then the players need to give in (most NBA players don’t know how to keep money and can’t save up shit).
    I’m really looking forward to this.

  9. Marco is a fucking shill.
    Seriously assheaded.
    Like, no goddamn clue how the fuck the game is run but wants to run his dumb-fucking mouth anyway.

    Look, anyone that thinks that this shit is on the players is ‘tarded: why are player salaries high? BECAUSE THE FUCKING OWNERS PAID THEM A LOT SO THAT THE WOULD PLAY FOR THEIR (the owners’) FUCKING TEAMS. End of story. Joe Johnson (or whatever player you think doesn’t deserve a max contract) got paid that much by a team because that team was afraid that the player was going to go play somewhere else. The player didn’t hold a gun to anyone’s head, didn’t blackmail anyone, didn’t even try launching a bullshit PR campaign to confuse stupid assholes like Marco here. Salaries went up because owners were willing to pay more, and it’s their own fault (and inflation, too, duh).

  10. And by the way, words don’t mean exactly what they meant originally forever and ever. Draconian no longer means “like something Draco the Greek asshole would do”, it just means “overly severe or cruel” or something like that.

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