NBA Lockout: it's more personal than business

During the last days of the this-is-our-last-offer-and-if-you-don't-take-it-we're-never-going-to-make-another-one-well-at-least-not-until-four-days-from-now-but-then-THAT-will-be-our-last-offer-unless-we-reconsider-which-we-likely-will lockout talks, rumours swirled that certain players were not on the same wave length as the rest of their team when it came to making money-related decisions.


Most talked about in this instance was Los Angeles' point guard, Steve Blake, who LA player rep Shannon Brown, name checked and then threw under the bus by stating: “I spoke to (Blake) and he was one of the guys who wanted to take the deal"  which wouldn't have been so bad had Blake not then come out and denied ever saying such things:


"I have not made a decision on whether or not a proposal was right to take.." 


BOOM!  Who doesn't love a lack of chemistry over in Lakerland?!  


But the main issue highlighted by that very public exchange is one that may be being played out in all 30 ball clubs in the NBA:  Internal arguments.


At first glance, unity appears to be league-wide amongst the players as they band together to try and upset the 'Establishment' (Stern and the Owners).  But if you look a little closer, there are individuals who have voiced their concern over the decisions made on behalf of the players and likely more still who agree but just haven't found their voice.


There's a lot at stake for everyone involved in the CBA discussions and people's livelihoods could be greatly affected (no, not you Sprewell) based on the consensus decision so to expect every player to be singing from the same hymn sheet would be unrealistic.  For every 'Kobe Bryant' who earns enough money to graciously offer to loan his fellow professionals money, there is a Garrett Temple who is struggling to get by (leading an NBA life) and needs to be earning a regular wage.


So if the disparity between players wages is as great as we know it is, what's the likelihood that some of the lesser paid players (along with those who side with Stern) are unhappy with the stance the Players Union took?  If there are some disgruntled players in teams, isn't it possible that those same players who were in the minority in wanting to take the deal are now p*ssed off at the very people who they feel are responsible for the current Union position and subsequent lockout - their own team-mates?


If/when the season does start up, are we going to see divisions in squads between the Union supporters and those who wanted to make the last minute deal? And more importantly, does this lockout have the potential to not only stop this season but also affect future seasons with teams having underlying issues all caused by the decisions made during the Summer/Autumn of 2011?


If the NBA isn't careful and allows it's franchises to fall apart with team-mates and friends no longer on speaking terms thanks to the Lockout, it's letters will no longer mean 'National Basketball Association' but will instead stand for: Not Brothers Anymore.

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