The Behrend beacon. (Erie, Pa.) 1998-current, October 15, 1998, Image 9

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Out of Bounds JASON snyder
NBA lockout questions
players ’ love for the game
In what could have been one what could keep fans filling the stadi- cused on greed,
of the most exciting off-seasons the urns. With Michael Jordan closing in This business outlook on the
National Basketball Association on retirement and no player right now game of basketball has taken away so
has ever offered, the childish dis- showing signs of filling his shoes, the much from the original ideas and plans
pules between players and owners league will not have anyone to save the for the game invented over 100 years
took the league a giant step back- once respected and admired NBA. This ago. Who would have thought that
ward front its growing popularity. is not the time for the NBA and its play- hanging two peach baskets to a gym-
With the Chicago Bulls' cel- ers to be having one of their disputes, nasium balcony would turn out to be
ebrations of their sixth champion- because unlike baseball, they may not such a popular sport in this day and
ship in eight years completed this be able to rebound. age? And who would have ever fath
past June, the basketball world had Without knowing the terms of the omed that a sport that was once so less
many questions of what was next dispute, it is hard to determine who de- complex, would change to a sport so
for this great dynasty fixated on not only a variety
and what team could - of skills on the court, but also
start another dynasty j \ the skills of bargaining and ne
that would take the gotiating off the court? Those
f \ extra hours players used to put
M in practicing their moves are
A f now being spent in an office
with some big name owner,
figuring out how to get the
f best deal.
Well, the league has had
enough! And it's about time
fans begin to open their eyes
and realize what is really go
ing on here. The bottom line
is that everything the players have
wanted in the past, they got. The own-
league into the next cen
tury. Fans also pon
dered what players
would make up “Dream
Team IV" that would
fill the Greek stadiums
as the U S. took on the
world in the World
Many questions
surrounded the future of
the league, but the most overshad
owing was whether or not there
would be a complete 1998-99 sea
son. Once again, the league and
its players were having one of their
annual "labor disputes." But this
time, it was serious. So with the
summer complete and the season
scheduled to start on Nov. 3, the
questions now change to whether
or not there will be a season at all.
Questions echoed through
out the 1998 NBA playoffs of
whether or not the 1998 season was
"The Last Dance" for the aging
Chicago Bulls and the great
Michael Jordan. Would Scottie
Pippen leave the shadow of the
league's greatest star and begin his
own dynasty some where-elscAAod
if the Bulls were dismantled, which
team would seize the opportunity
and pick up the right players to fi
nally have a shot at NBA domi-
All the answers to these
questions would have raised much
media attention for the league and
kept basketball on the front page
of national newspapers right under
the "McGwire and Sosa chase
Maris" headlines. But instead of a
media boom that could have kept
basketball on close to the same
page (or rather chapter) of the tear
jerking '9B baseball "renaissance",
there was a rather annoying thud.
Basketball hit rock bottom, and
now it's digging a hole so deep that
even Michael "Air" Jordan in his
younger years couldn't jump out of
Hasn’t anyone learned any
thing from baseball’s strike short
ened season of 1994? Major
League Baseball players were
booed and taunted by fans for
years. Before this season, baseball
still needed something to get the
fans back in the seats. Luckily for
the sport, unbelievable moments in
1998 raised baseball's popularity.
But with the NBA, there was
already enough doubt as to who or
[large Pizza] ®SSIT
I Cheese and I topping I
I SA« ~ !
| Add $l.OO Mhrwy |
■ ®UttteCaesanr |
j COUpOn expires 11/30/98
C "free crazy vuMwmuntamKf
I Valid only with coupon. Not wild wtt(|,Mondgy Modnoa A Wild Wodnaidcy spodoli ■
V - /
serves the support of the fans. Owners
usually receive the bcos from the fans
whenever they show up on the jumbo
tron hanging high above the court. Play
ers, however are cheered, admired, and
idolized. I mean, when was the last time
you saw anyone wearing a suit with
“STERN" written across the back in sup-
port of the NBA Commisioner David
Stern? But maybe there is some sense
in the arguments of owners and league
The heart of the dispute centers on
the Larry Bird exception, which allows
free agents to be signed and paid with
out regard for the salary cap. This means
that any player that has fulfilled his con-
tract with his team can be resigned to
that team whether his new salary exceeds
the salary cap. The owners hope trt put
in place a "hard salary cap” that will
keep the salaries of players down and
slow down the increase of those play
ers’ salaries. Currently, players’ salaries
are increasing at a faster rate than team
revenues, which puts the owners in a
sense of urgency to get things changed.
The players union executive direc
tor Billy Hunter, speaking for the play
ers, has argued that a “hard cap" is not
possible. He says that a hard cap will
give all the money to the top two or three
players on the team and will take away
from the salaries of the middle/lower
level players.
Well then, wouldn’t the success of
the team center on the hopes and ambi
tions of those two or three stars? With
the termination of the Larry Bird rule,
players would then have to make a de
cision between the success of their team
and the almighty dollar, a decision that
most players don’t want to have to make.
Sure you hear players all the time
talk about how they “Love This Game,”
but if it came right down to it, how much
of their decision would focus on the
amount of money they will make? If
this labor dispute is any indication, the
attitude of NBA players is moving bas
ketball away from its competitive spirit
and ultimate dream, to a business fo-
® little Caesars
Best Pizza Value in America.
Hnrboitreek (Giant Eagle Plaza)
ers said in the short NBA lockout of
1995 that players were entitled to be
tween 48-.51.8 t 7< of team revenues.
Players, of course, agreed at the time
because they were making out on the
deal. But now that the players’ sala
ries have reached 579 f of team rev-
enues, owners are forced once again to
try to slow down the growth of play
ers’ salaries. Sure enough, the players
feel they are being cheated.
Players now argue that the end
of the Larry Bird rule will not please
the lower level players. But since when
have the big name stars ever been con
cerned with the salaries of less experi
enced players? Have you heard Patrick
Ewitig v say he would take a cut in pay
so Charlie Ward could make a better
living? Could you imagine Shaquille
O’Neal sacrificing one of his gold
chains for Elden Campbell? The only
reason the big stars are fighting this is
because they don’t want to lose money
This past Tuesday was the last
chance for the owners and the players
union to come to some type of an agree
ment to save the entire 82 game sea
son. The NBA has never lost a game
to a labor dispute in its 51 year history.
This span has included 35,001 consecu
tive games. But with the two sides
unable to come anywhere close to an
agreement, the league will be forced to
break this streak and cancel the first two
weeks of the season
So as long as the players continue
to fight the ban of the Larry Bird rule,
the NBA will be forced to cancel games
from the schedule. You’d think that this
would anger players. I mean, wouldn’t
you be angered if someone took some
thing from you that you claimed you
loved? The only difference is that the
NBA players have a choice. Their
choices are their love for the game, or
their obsession for money. Looks like
we’ll be hearing a lot more about the
players and their Benjamins, than the
players’ jammin’.
Carry Out, Plus Tax
Oflw Monday* only fer a tmted Imw
VH 1100 lm rUwy
Flag Football
- Games begin October 14
- Singles and Doubles play
- Schedules will be posted Sunday November 1 Registration Deadline:
Play begins Monday November 2 October 30
- Individual and team competition Registration Deadline
-At Eastway Lanes October 30
- Saturday November 7
Commuter Euchre Tournament
Registration Deadline: November 6
I Cancun * Nassau * Jamaica * Mazatlan * Acapulco
I * Bahamas Cruise * Florida * South Padre
j Travel Free and make lots of Cash !
i Top reps are offered full-time staff jobs.
1 Lowest price Guaranteed. Call now for details!
j 800/838-6411
Evelyn’s Hallmark
KMart East Plaza
Hours: Phone:
M-F "10-9 899-8782
Sat 10-6
The Behrend Classifieds
SPRING BREAK Cancun, Florida, One ticket to the October 24th Rabbit hutch for sale. $l5 will
etc... Best hotels, parties, prices. Brooks and Dunn/ Reba concert. deliver. Call 898-8713, ask for
Book early and save! Earn Money EXCELLENT seat. $4O, email Rose
plus free trips! Campus reps/ lcpl 16
organizations wanted. Inter
campus programs. 1-800-327-
Students and employees of Penn State Behrend are invited to submit a free classified ad in The
Beacon. Types of ads may include personal messages and items for sale. Maximum classified length is
25 words. Persons who submit ads must state their affiliation with Behrend. Classifieds are meant for
individual use. Official notices and group events should be submitted to the Calendar editor. Busi-
nesses must pay regular advertising rates. The Beacon can not guarantee the publication of all classified
submitted for space purposes. Classifieds should be sent to the Classified editor at The hereon, Reed
Building or dropped off at The Beacon offices, or sent to benr< o!!4@aol c-r... Deadline for submission
for publication in that week's paper is Monday at S:OOPM.
Thursday October 15, 1998 - The Behrend College Beacon - Page 9