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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

NBA fans breathe a sigh of relief with end to lockout

NBA fans breathe a sigh of relief with end to lockout

Zack Cohen | Sports Editor

For a town that has no other sports team, the last few months have brought feelings to San Antonio Spurs fans that haven’t been felt in quite some time. Although these feelings have been felt by 28 other cities, it hit harder here than any other city in the nation because of the lack of other major sports teams in the area. Just about anyone you ask will say they’ve been to at least one Spurs game. However, if you ask people if they’ve been to a Spurs game this season, they would answer an emphatic no. Not because they chose not to, but because they couldn’t, nobody could. The NBA Lockout, which started on July 1, 2011, forced all teams to cancel summer training camps and almost a fourth of the season. Some of the high profile NBA players actually went as far as attempting to create a league of their own during the lockout. The lockout impacted everyone across the nation, but all those worries have ceased in recent weeks because of the lockout coming to an end. On November 26, the owners and players reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout, and on December 1, the NBAPA re-formed as a Union, ending the 5 month layoff.

An estimated 400 jobs were lost in the NBA, as well as all the lost revenue in addition to the grossing brought into NBA cities. At first glance, the players were affected more by the lockout than anyone else. Each month the players didn’t play cost them around $350 Million in lost pay; that’s $1.75 Billion total over the 5 month period.

That $1.75 Billion in lost pay seems like a lot to the average person, but when you think about the income NBA players get, it’s not really that much. Take Kobe Bryant for example, as of November 15, he lost $1,051,832. But for a guy who made $16 million in 2007, a million is nothing to him, and that $16 million is just from endorsements, not even taking into account his annual salary he makes from playing. And in 2010, Kobe was ranked the 3rd highest-paid athlete in the world when he took in $48 million that year; only Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods earned more.

Now look at the flip side to that, Kobe is only one of a handful of payers in the league to have endorsement deals that pay as handsomely as that. The average player in the NBA makes $6 million a year, though some players make less than $50k, compared to Kobe’s $25 million a year.

Though the pay is second to none, most of the players that get paid that much want more than just the money. The ideal reason they play is to win a championship, and that will always remain the main goal for true athletes, regardless of the sport they compete in. The lockout made it so that players could no longer use team facilities or organize team practices until the Lockout ended. With five months off, this could affect some of the players performances drastically; just ask Chris Johnson who is averaging almost 15 yards less a game than he did last year at this time. His downed numbers can probably be credited to the NFL’s lockout, which also prohibited players from using team facilities for an extended period of time in the off season.

The schedule which started off with 82 games, will now be reduced to a revised 66-game schedule, with a total of 5 games being played on Christmas Day to kick off the season. It will be very interesting to see if there’s any rust on the players after not practicing with their teams for such a long period of time, or if their natural talent will overcome everything and allow them to play like they have in years past.

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NBA fans breathe a sigh of relief with end to lockout