Friday, November 11, 2011

Now, who's really suffering?

Today's L.A. Times sports section reported that the NBA player/owner talks are at an impasse. The players are very, very unhappy about the fact that they are being asked to share their outsize salaries with the owners of their teams.

A few weeks ago, we traveled to New Jersey. On the way to the airport, we had a conversation with our car-service driver. He was upset about the NBA lockout, then only a few days old. "Think about it", he said "I usually get a lot of business driving customers to Lakers games at Staples Center. People don't want to worry about parking, or about having a few drinks at the game. I'm going to lose all that business. But that's not all. What about all the bars and restaurants near Staples Center? What about the hotels for the visiting teams and tourists who come to games? What about the maintenance men, and the people who wash the team's uniforms? What about the souvenir shops and concession stands? Now, multiply that by how many cities have NBA teams, and how many people are hurting for work? Is this what we need in the middle of a recession?"

Wise words, and ones that I think of every time I read about this ridiculous lockout. Gentlemen of the NBA, if you didn't have your athletic talents, you'd be the ones tending bar and driving limos. Remember that when you're negotiating for another slice of the billions.

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