Friday Rants has a common theme this week. Talking. Some folks talk too little. Others talk too much. Others don’t think before they talk.
1. NBA Commissioner David Stern showed an immense lack of historical perspective and corporate leadership last week as the latest locks were installed upon a professional sport…
“I’m not scared. I’m resigned to the potential damage it could cause to our league.”
“Resigned?” I never expect David Stern to be at a loss for words but I was expecting him to choose words wisely. I guess when I hear any of the “big four” Commissioners talk anymore it’s just like chalk going the wrong way on a blackboard. They all display public personalities you wouldn’t want to be around for any length of time. I thought as being leaders of some of the biggest business ventures on the face of the planet they might have a sensibility for public relations. Most of what they say is double-speak anyway, but at least walk and talk like you give a damn about how you’re coming across to millions of fans, sponsors, the league membership, employees, etc.
David Stern…you don’t show either perspective or leadership qualities when using the word “resigned” in regard to the NBA lockout. You have been at the helm as the business model of professional basketball spiraled upward…and sideways. Great post on how this all came to pass here…Stern as the man of the “House…Of Fools.” I don’t want to hear you’re not “scared.” You think the NBA is bulletproof and can skip a year? I can remember when the NBA had to force its way into prime time. We’re far removed from those days but much work had to be done to get the Association to where it is now…and who is to say where the country will be six weeks from now let alone six months. David, how IS that publicity going today where the NBA chatter is not when the lockout will end but who will be the next superstar player to make arrangements to keep their lifestyle intact overseas? Deron Williams announced on the eve of the one year anniversary of Lebron James’ “Decision” he decided to take his talents to South…TURKEY. Seems to me owners and union better start TALKING TURKEY before a couple more prized investments make this decision and wind up potentially getting hurt playing your global game in other parts of the globe. Only a handful of superstars fit this profile but from a business standpoint any of these players who travel…it’s just not good business. Then again, the NBA wouldn’t be in this mess if you had good business sense when the last deal was done.
2. Along with baseball’s All-Star Game, which I disparaged in an earlier post this week…we have the Home Run Derby. Not a big fan, which works well since ESPN’s Chris Berman is the carnival barker for it. By the way, did you hear ESPN swallowed Wimbledon whole earlier this week? They just don’t own enough sports properties, do they? Again, not a big deal for me…but all you tennis fans best get ready for Chris describing Rafael Nadal retreating into the back court for a ball as going “back, back, back”…or spitting out the name Roger “The Dodger” Federer.
ESPN…the Home Run Derby isn’t my cup of tea but a lot of my friends like it. Isn’t there ANYONE, ANYONE else among your multitude of announcers who is up to the daunting task of counting baseballs that go over a fence?
3. NFL owners and players really need to wrap up their little chat soon. The locks on this sport are starting to rust and it would be a good idea to not mess things up much further. Seriously real money will be gone for good if this discussion doesn’t end in a week or so. Great, concise post here summarizing not only the potential for revenue lost but what specific questions will have to be answered quickly regarding some of the top players in the league.
NFL…you have the most successful sport in history right here, right now. You have thrived in spite of a miserable national economy. (you say two years into a recession recovery?…maybe for two percent of the nation…but I digress) You have to STOP TALKING…and START SIGNING.