Singing Loudly: Isn't the NBA magnanimous?

Singing Loudly

Monday, December 06, 2004

Isn't the NBA magnanimous?

There isn't any question that the NBA Commissioner, David Stern, hates Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban. Cuban has spoken out (often wrongfully) about the NBA on a variety of topics. The typical complaint has been the bias refs had in calling fouls that would hurt small ball teams while helping slower placed teams like the Pistons and Pacers. The fines levied against Cuban cost him more money than I'll make in a lifetime. This produced a change in the way refs officiate the game.

Anyhow, the NBA doesn't stop with issuing fines. No, they have to use their scheduling power to screw over Cuban. There is absolutely nothing that he can do about it. What have they done to really hurt him with scheduling? First, they gave Cuban a home game on the opening night of NBA regular season play. This wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that it was on Sunday, October 31. This guaranteed a low attendance for opening night. Then they scheduled a home game on a day where the Cowboys are playing Monday Night Football. There is not a chance that Cowboy fans will go to the Mavs game tonight.

Why did the NBA feel the need, in addition to fining Cuban for his violations of the agreement, to schedule the season in ways that will economically hurt Cuban? There is little question that this was done intentionally. There is also little question that Cuban cannot do a thing about it.

Actually, he did criticize the NBA for opening the season on October 31st. In his post he points out that doing this hurts the owners, fans, and players. The owners lose revenue on that night because fewer will attend the games (ticket sales, merchandise sales, and food and drink sales are lost by lower attendance). The fans lose out because they are caught between going to the game or enjoying the holiday. Finally, the players are hurt with scheduling like this because they don't get to see the fans come out to support their opening game.

It is not just Cuban who is hurt by this recent scheduling punishment. The fans and players are hurt in the same ways as they were above. It seems that the NBA, David Stern in particular, out to get over their bloated ego and stick with punishments agreed to in the collective bargaining agreement. It's unfortunate that it takes things to this childish, yet all too damaging, level.


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