Player X is an anonymous NBA star. This is his fourth column.
ON JULY 1, THE NBA WILL LOCK OUT ITS PLAYERS. That is for sure. And it may do more than wipe out next season. I've been told to prepare to miss the following one, too. The owners and players are that far apart.
Well, I can tell you that the players are ready. For more than a year our union reps have been advising us to save money. All my friends have cut back -- on cars, bling, you name it. Me too. I won't need another paycheck until 2013.
But the problems between the two sides are real, and they've got to be dealt with. Here's my chance to do my part. I'm not a lawyer or an accountant; I'm not even a union rep. So I can't speak about numbers or CBAs. But I can present to my fellow players and our owners a road map that will not only end the battle but also prevent any further troubles.
1. Remember the stakes.
Without basketball, our fans will turn to the NFL and MLB. And once they go, it will take a long time to win them back. If they're not spending on our tickets and gear, we aren't earning to our potential. (You got money; we want it. Welcome to the food chain.) But while the stoppage will hurt the players some, we ain't sweating. Can the owners say the same? I predict a full-season lockout causes more than one franchise to fold.
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