Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heat Check: NBA Lockout and Inception of Conventional Wisdom « Wages of Wins Journal


When it comes to the NBA lockout, the only idea more resilient and obstructive than the owners' desire to take money from the players is the conventional wisdom of the lockout itself.

My latest post at the Wages of Wins Journal examined why NBA bloggers, reporters and analysts continue to spread myths about what caused the NBA lockout and the impact it will have on the fans. The conventional wisdom that the disparity between big market teams like the Lakers and small market teams like the Kings, poor competitive balance and bad contracts for Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas caused a lockout that will drive fans away from the game was exposed as a myth five years ago by sports economists in the book The Wages of Wins and in recent posts at the Wages of Wins Journal blog.

Despite those efforts, the conventional wisdom persists as infectious misinformation that continues to spread in NBA conversations. Why is that? Let Leonardo DiCaprio explain.

“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate.”

-DiCaprio's character "Cobb" from Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”

The blog post at the WoW Journal focused on articles by reporters from the NBA's two biggest television partners, ESPN and Turner Sports, but it was inspired by tweets from two of my favorite Miami HEAT bloggers, the Palm Beach Post's Ethan J. Skolnick and Hot Hot Hoops blogger Danny Martinez.

They posted the following tweets Friday:

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:14p

NBA and players association released results of Basketball Related Income audit. Increased by 4.8% last season, same as player salaries.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94515749464440832

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:18p
The average NBA player salary was $5.15M. The average NBA writer salary? Somewhat less.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94516735604039680

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:23p
Looking at those numbers, I'm struggling to see how they bolster NBA owners' case that they are bleeding $. Even if salaries up.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94517935388897280

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:29p
This may not be the PC thing to say, but one solution to NBA competitive balance issue is contraction. No crying need for 30 teams.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94519477718360064

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:37p
Biggest issue is that owners are looking for players to save them from themselves & their own bad decisions. Similar to bankers & TARP.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94521538547683328

From: @DannyMartinez4
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:43p
@EthanJSkolnick my take on the lockout over at Hot Hot Hoops. Took a look at some of the bad contracts: http://t.co/jpNbapK
sent via web
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/DannyMartinez4/status/94522925654343680


From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:40p
No one forced them to give out $6-7M per for replaceable players, like so many did last summer. Just look at Milwaukee and New Jersey.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94522172307030017

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:55p
Revenue share. RT @trekkerguy: @EthanJSkolnick Yes but I believe once a pro league gives a market a team they need 2 do everything 2 support
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94526066068172800

From: @EthanJSkolnick
Sent: Jul 22, 2011 5:58p
OK, rant over. Off to Chappelle. If u want to take other side, I'll be on 790 tomorrow from 11 to noon.
sent via Echofon
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/EthanJSkolnick/status/94526772443480064


I wanted to take the other side but didn't tune in to 790 AM from 11 to noon. So I wrote this instead:

NBA Lockout and Inception of Conventional Wisdom « Wages of Wins Journal

Hopefully, it will wake people up and make them aware of the misinformation in the conventional wisdom of the NBA lockout.

The dream is collapsing...


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