Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

NBA Labor-Owner Battle

A few good sources on the details behind the NBA struggle.

Are there ten teams losing money as the players say, or 22 out of 30 losing money as the owners say? The total revenue that the league makes is $4 billion. They have to get together to decide how to split that much money up. The only group more pathetic is the NFL which can’t decide how to split up $9 billion. Greed is good????

Does the NBA need all these teams and does it need to have an 82 game season. Fans get bored and the players do too. But the owners say they need all the games and teams to make as much money as the league does. Ever hear of too much of a good thing? Players don’t want to cut the number of teams because they would lose jobs. Still, who wants to pay $150 for a ticket to see two teams sleepwalk through a game?

Players, whose average salary is around $5 million, currently get 57 percent of the annual revenue; the owners want to increase to $900 million the amount they get off the top and a 50-50 split of the remainder. This would reduce the players’ share to about $2 billion or nearly $100 million less than now.

Stephen A. Smith notes:

The players are interested in giving back $100 million in salaries over the next five years, not $800 million annually over the next 10 years. They’re interested in reducing their level of basketball-related income from 57 percent to 54.3 percent, not giving back 25-40 percent of revenue yearly over the life of the agreement.

Like any players’ association, NBA players are not interested in entertaining a hard salary cap. Nor are they interested in listening to league officials who call it a Flex Tax. And they’re not interested in having the maximum limit on guaranteed deals reduced from 5-6 years to three years, either.

“We’re not the ones who have a problem with the agreement we presently have,” Hunter said. “We’re sensitive to what league owners are telling us. We understand we’re living in a different time and we hear what they’re saying about adjustments that need to me made. But when you’re approximately $7 billion apart, when you haven’t moved for months, and you’ve spent years threatening to take us to this point, it is what it is.

Jason Whitlock argues intriguingly the following:

The game of professional basketball is strong. The product is good. Other than the tatts, the players have done an excellent job of repairing their image.

The owners have not handled their business. They want to take money back from the players and lock them into a bad long-term deal to pay for the league’s failing business ventures such as the WNBA, NBDL, NBATV, Eddy Curry, Gilbert Arenas, etc.

If players gave and make concessions these need to come with some guarantees on the owners’ side. Such as making sure that the money is spent on the team and not put into owners’ pockets. Just ask baseball owners where they are putting the monies that they got from big spending teams through the luxury tax.

Sex and Power On Stage

These weeks Washingtonians are lucky. They have a world premiere of the play Booty Candy at the Woolly Mammouth and the first run of Venus In Fur at the Studio Theater.

The plays are hilarious. They are racous. They are raunchy. They are adult.

The dynamics of being gay and African-American in the south are fully explored in Booty Candy. Scenes with his family and the attitudes of the neighbors are funny and revealing. It’s fascinating to see the dynamic of how being effeminate and black makes for the loss of power in some instances.

It’s also fascinating to see how an older and potentially wiser urban gay male uses the power dynamic in his sexual behavior. Is he bringing harm to the person with whom he is having sex? Is this mutual consent? Is he in control of his feelings or acting out a rage from some past sexual infraction hoisted upon him.

Venus In Fur flips wildly between a current day audition between actor and director and acting out scenes from the book Venus In Furs. The dynamic of power between actor and director is well known and trodded but are we in for a switch of the usual in this play? What is the dynamic between the female performer and the male who holds the position of authority and the ability to give her the job or not?

While watching the acotrs on stage move between these two worlds you laugh a lot. You also ask your self several questions: Who is the masochist and who the sadist? Is this mutual consent? Is she in control of her feelings or acting out a rage from some past sexual infraction hoisted upon him? Best yet, is she Venus and he brought this rage upon his slef?

Scintillating Photographs

No, I’m not talking about the photographs that Representative Anthony Weiner shared with women on the internet.

These photographs are on exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum from now through the summer.

This is the annual Nature’s Best Photography display of the top images taken by professionals, amateurs, youth and others. These include excellent images of the beauty of landscape and also the incredible display of animals from all over the world.

The competition recognizes the passion and dedication of nature photographers. This celebration of creative talent and discovery has become one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind, uncovering new photographers and new perspectives from around the globe.