Sarver is dead weight. As Adrian Wojnarowski wrote on Tuesday, he brings no value to the NBA. None. People bitch about Eddy Curry, but Eddy Curry isn't holding the league hostage. You want to blame Eddy Curry for the lockout? Robert Sarver is Eddy Curry, a man who spoiled the trust of those who paid him and does absolutely nothing to improve the game. People joke about NBA players who buy Maybachs they don't need, jewelry instead of bonds. Let me tell you this: no player in NBA history has squandered as much money as Robert Sarver has just on the Sunssince he bought in. You wonder how a player like Antoine Walker can go broke after making $108 million in the NBA? Ask how Sarver can do the same thing on a much grander (if less stylish) scale. Ask how the mighty Maloof brothers can crush their family's empire and take a whole city's sports identity down with it. Ask how Bruce Ratner can burn through stacks of money like firewood without even one eye on the product on the court. But the biggest difference is that when Antoine Walker burns his loot, the guy has to shimmy down to Puerto Rico and to the D-League to making a living. He has get back on his feet on hustle. Sarver? He gets a bailout. The Maloofs? They pawn off one of their dad's businesses. Ratner? He remembers that the Nets he lost so much money on were simply Vaseline for a real estate project in Brooklyn that will make his company billions more than an NBA team could ever be worth.
There are two ultra-relevant points in the Tom Ziller post. The first, is that tax payers have been financing stadiums for years, sometimes at the barrel of a gun ("I'll move my team") but somehow the tax payers have no say in the what they are being deprived. Cities have no say in the millions of dollars in nba driven economic activity they're about to lose.
The second point is that the nba has allowed owners to finance team purchases with large loans that are then transfered to the team. This is how the Tribune was purchased and destroyed by Sam Zell. This is how Robert Sarver purchased the Suns, and now the ownership is complaining about nba margins when they are paying millions in interest on their own purchase.
This is Stern's fault. It's Stern's league. Its Stern's baby. And it's Stern that allowed poor ownership into the league on skittish financial terms. Stern banked on increasing growth in team valuation just as house flippers banked on ever increasing house prices. The players will be alright (mostly). The owners will have their parker brother's monopoly dreams softly laid to rest, and maybe a little hurt pride, but its all the security guards, beer servers, bus drivers, taxi cabs, jersey washers, ad sellers and ticket takers that are going to be pinched. And pinched when they're already being pinched. And the fans like me that need that 2 hour escape every other day will miss it. Sometimes the only thing that can warm you up on a miserable cold Chicago winter day is a vicious Noah rebound. I'm going to miss that.
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