Don’t kill the golden goose. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Don’t have a lockout or strike when your sport is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. MLB and the MLBPA avoided a lockout with a last minute deal, and it was important they did so. MLB just had some of the highest ratings and increased fan interest this past season. Everything is going well. There is no reason to have a lockout. There are a lot of similarities between the MLB and the NBA in this regard so anyone hoping against a NBA work stoppage could be happy very soon.
Yes, there is already a lot of momentum towards a new NBA CBA, but there was a lot of momentum with the MLB and MLBPA as well. Then everything stalled over negotiating points most fans don’t care about. The last things fans want is a millionaire v. billionaire fight. They hate it even more when it seems as if the leagues are succeeding at levels never seen before.
Much like MLB, the NBA has a horde of young marketable stars entering their primes. That causes fans to want to tune in or buy tickets to the game. Fan interest hasn’t been this high in recent memory. A lockout — even without missed games — can easily mess that up.
The players should be generally happy as well. Look at some of the contracts handed out to NBA and MLB players the past few years. As more money flows in, everyone wins. Yes, some NBA players are still underpaid relative to their value — hello LeBron James — but Michael Conley is making $30 million per year under his new contract. Most players are happy with their income.
Solid TV deals also create a situation where the league doesn’t want to kill the golden goose. Work stoppages — especially when there are games missed — are bad for ratings. The leagues don’t want to anger rights buyers when the rights buyers have to worry about dropping subscription rates and cord cutters. This would just add to their strife. Since the deals are in place — and extremely financially beneficial — it’s best to keep the momentum going.
We’ve become so accustomed to work stoppages any time a CBA runs out that when it doesn’t happen everyone is pretty happy. It actually helps continue the momentum of these leagues experience some pretty great times. The good news for NBA fans is that MLB didn’t have a lockout because everything is going well. The NBA could be next to follow announcing future work peace.