NBA: Losing Big Money

Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonis announced before his group made their bid to buy the Washington Wizards that the National Hockey League is in better financial shape than the National Basketball Association. I thought it was partly a negotiating ploy but also knew that the NBA was negotiating a new agreement with the players union in 2011.

Parade Magazine ran a story on the $400 million that owners in the NBA lost this year. Many tried ploys like inviting groups to perform at halftime and charging them and their supporters full price for the tickets in order to fill up empty arenas for a game.

Here’s the article link: Below are the six suggested improvements.

1. CHANGE THE FOUL-OUT RULES.
“Instead of ejecting a player after six foul,” says agent Steve Mountain, who represents Orlando’s Jameer Nelson, “assess a technical for fouls six and seven, and eject after eight. This would keep the best players in the game longer.”

Really, how often do the best stars foul out of games and usually not until the very end of the game. Seems like a lame fix that causes a loss in strategy.
2. INCREASE SCORING.
“Shorten the 24-second shot clock to 20 seconds to make for more possessions,” Falk says. “Or create a four-point play. People thought the three-point shot would destroy the game, but it added to it instead.”
Many people I know think the League lacks defensive effort from players as is. They like the NCAA games which have more intensity and less scoring.


3. RAISE THE AGE LIMIT.

“You should have to be out of high school for three years to play in the NBA,” Falk says. Playing college hoops would allow athletes to develop a fan base that they could carry with them into the pros.
Don’t buy this argument.
4. ENCOURAGE QUIRK.
“There’s a reason why Charles Barkley, who is retired, is still getting endorsements,” says Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim, who has covered the NBA for 13 years, “and, say, Tim Duncan and Carmelo Anthony aren’t. Today, the players with personality often have the color bleached out of them.” Blogger Bethlehem Shoals of FanHouse.com advises, “They should Twitter all the time. It could be a lifeline to these guys’ personalities.”

The NBA chose to market by personalities since the Magic Johnson Larry Bird era so they lost a lot of fan support for particular teams. Now they need to market the game also solely by personality. However, they need more personalities such as Le Bron James and less of the Gilbert Arenas (post gun scene) that do not have the same ability to play to mainstream US and international markets.
Many have told me that they do not like Kobe Bryant because he comes across as arrogant. This is certainly a problem that other sports have as well, such as the dislike of ARod by many. However, ARod’s personality can be encompassed by the larger Yankee team and Yankee fans will continue to support the team even with some individual players on it that they do not like. Can the same be said for NBA fans?
5. CHANGE THE TRADE RULES.
“Eliminate or significantly reduce rules that require salaries of traded players to match up,” Mountain says.

6. SHORTEN THE SEASON.
The NBA’s season comprises 82 games. Reducing the number of contests could make each one matter much more to players and fans alike. As Falk explains, “In pro football, there are only 16 games, so every game is critical.”

Would like to see this happen in Hockey and Baseball too but what are the odds, particularly if team owners are already losing money.

My Suggestions:

1. Reduce Ticket Prices

Who can afford the face value of tickets to a professional basketball game? The article talks about people who have lost their jobs, geez I still have my job and I don’t want to pay $150 for a mid-level ticket.

Reducing the cost will bring in more people and that can help build back their interest in both the sport and the team.

2. Change the Playoff TV Times:

Start the playoff games at hours when most people can stay up to watch the entire game. Cut down on the introductory talk (not a half hour) and limit the commercials so the games do not go three hours.

Changes coming in the next contract are going to make the game quite different. I imagine that many of the guarantee contracts are going to be bargained away and that will lead to more inspiration out of players and probably more despotic moves by owners.

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