Thursday, June 30, 2011

Which lockout will last longer?

To no one's surprise, NBA owners are about to lock out their players -- it will start at 12:01 a.m. tonight. All league business at that point will be postponed.

That will leave two of America's four major sports leagues under lockout -- the NFL is more than 100 days into its own lockout.

So which lockout do you think will last longer? I ultimately think it will be the NBA's. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the 50-game season we saw in 1998-99 (the result of the last major work stoppage in the league) would end up being about par for this course in 2011-12.

Why? It just seems to me that the NBA's problems are far larger, the gap between the owners and players far wider. Most NBA teams now lose money (the Bobcats lose maybe $20 million a year these days, I've heard). The player salaries are simply too high. The business model is not sustainable. There is less pie to split up than in the NFL.

So while I'm optimistic we'll ultimately get a full 2011 season in the NFL, I am pessimistic about those prospects in the NBA.