What the NBA Could Learn from the Other Leagues
Learning from one another is something that every person is taught the importance of from the early ages of being a toddler. Unfortunately, like many lessons that were given to us at those preschool ages, we often times forget as we grow older and learn new ones through this difficult journey of life.
We shouldn’t, however, forget the lesson of learning from one another because it is one that will undoubtedly help us grow as individuals and as an entire group of people known as the human race.
The four major American professional sports leagues are no different.
Over a four-day span I will attempt to instill some valuable lessons into the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL on what they can learn from the inner workings of one another which will enable them all to grow individually and collectively as the major powers of American professional sports. First on Wednesday I took the NFL to school and on Thursday the MLB had their session in class now today with the third slot, the NBA is on the clock.
The NBA is currently on the verge of taking over the second spot from the MLB if it wasn’t for that brief yet painful lockout which happened last season. They might have done it, however, ironically, there was something to gain from it. What is that may you ask? No one missed the 16 games that were abandoned from the lockout, absolutely no one; did you? That is exactly what the NBA could learn from the NFL.
The NFL has the smallest amount of regular season games of all of the four majors; that is part of the allure that is the National Football League. If the NBA shortens its season to about 70 games then maybe they could capitalize on some momentum that comes from the postseason similar to the NFL and their postseason. The NFL season’s length is slightly more than 20% of that of the NBA’s yet the intrigue and excitement that it generates can’t even be calculated using the same equations; why is that? It’s because, like many things in life, less is more. So if the NBA can alter their schedule to let’s say 70 regular season games and let the playoffs (which is a wonderful thing to watch) truly dominate the sport then the Association might be able to reach new heights.
Now on to what the NBA can learn from the MLB and that is simple: form a stronger player’s union. There is no professional sports player’s association quite like the MLBPA; they are the epitome of strength and pretty much get anything and everything that they want when it comes to negotiating with the MLB and commissioner Bud Selig. Ever since the MLB player’s strike of 1994, there hasn’t been any kind of dissension between the two sides and that is largely due to the fact that the MLBPA is not to be messed with.
If the National Basketball Players Association can take some lessons from the MLBPA then they wouldn’t be placed in some of the situations which they are by dictator, I mean commissioner David Stern and the owners. There wouldn’t be any threat of being locked out, no ridiculous sideline dress codes and more guaranteed money with their contracts.
Just think about the possibilities here if dictator Stern wasn’t as powerful as he is. Then players and fans alike would have less worries as far as to when the game would be taken away from them. That would be a refreshing day for all if it ever happens. So NBPA, please take notes and learn from the MLBPA for everyone’s sake. Another thing the NBPA needs to do is get rid of Billy Hunter as President; is it just me or does he and dictator Stern seem just a bit too chummy? I’m not saying that they should be arch-enemies or anything but they definitely shouldn’t be so friendly. That makes conspiracy theories arise in my mind as to if Hunter and Stern are in cahoots with making the players agree to whatever Stern and the owners want.
Finally the NBA could learn how to heighten the excitement of the season awards; seriously no league does awards quite like the NHL. Each year after the end of the season, the NHL hosts an extraordinary ceremony where their plethora of trophies are awarded to all of the winners and all of the game’s biggest and brightest stars are in attendance. It is quite the spectacle, just imagine the individual star power that the NBA has and how tremendous an event such as this would be if the Association held its own annual awards ceremony; it would truly be amazing.
Currently the NBA hands out its hardware either during a postseason game if that player’s team reaches that far or at a chintzy press conference; yeah that’s real exciting handing out the Most Valuable Player Award just seconds before having to embark on a postseason battle or in front of a room of reporters. Just imagine an all-NBA red carpet ceremony, there would a million flash bulbs going off and it would also help the Association gain even more popularity and maybe, just maybe, overtake the MLB as the No. 2 pro sport in the land.
Alright NBA, class is over and I hope you guys have learned something so that you can continue to thrive and even improve in certain aspects to become even stronger as a league. Up next, the NHL; hope you guys are ready because you have plenty to learn.