By Lena Torres |Staff Writer|
The 2011-2012 NBA season is in doubt, leading some students to worry about not being able to watch their favorite players compete for NBA glory.
The owners have locked out their players as part of a labor dispute causing the season to be in danger.
“I’m not shaving until I see a Lakers Post game report!” said David Abry, who is sporting an already epic beard.
Obviously, the possibility of a cancelled season is leading some students to take drastic measures while others understand the lockout.
“I support the lockout. Players and owners need to come to an agreement. I hear there may not be a season until the New Year,” said Abry, a student here at CSUSB.
There is a strong resentment among students about professional athletes griping about their salaries as the rest of the nation is trying to recover from a recession.
The two sides disagree over two major reasons, money and age. In simple terms, players want their pay to stay the same because they believe the individual teams are making enough money.
NBA owners, however, argue that they are losing too much money and want a hard salary cap. A hard salary cap would eliminate a lot of possibilities in negotiating salaries.
The good news is that the issues are relatively simple to students like Jani Carmona understand the reasons for the NBA lockout. “It’s an expired ten-year agreement and teams and owners can’t agree on money distribution,” said Carmona.
A second reason the owners have locked out the players is that players are requesting an age minimum be set. A minimum age would eliminate players from entering the draft only one year removed from high school.
In 2006, the minimum age was implemented to 19 years old and one year removed from high school. Had this requirement been implemented years ago, such superstars like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Amare Stoudemaire, and Lebron James would not have been drafted out of the preps.
Many online articles are suggesting a rule similar to the MLB. Players would stay in college for a mandatory three years if they decline to go to the professional league immediately out of high school. That would allow the absolute elite players to enter the league fresh out of high school but the other players would have to stay in college for a minimum of three years.
An exception to that rule would be that players can travel overseas while they can’t play in the NBA for the three years after high school.
The prospect of players playing overseas is highly possible now. A few big names have already signed to go overseas. “I heard Deron Williams signed to go overseas with Turkey,” said Jani Carmona.
A hot topic on campus is where Kobe Bryant will play next season, if he will play at all. According to Yahoo Sports, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has a contract on the table with Italian League professional basketball team Virtus Bologna. The contract includes options to opt out of the contract if the NBA lockout is lifted.
Italy hopes to lure Bryant away from Turkey and China who have also made offers.
If a big name like Kobe Bryant signs to go overseas, many big names are to follow. Students can either wait out the lockout or watch big names play for different countries.