Thu Oct 20 09:45am EDT
Mayors in 14 NBA cities have banded together to sign an open letter to "respectfully ask" that the NBA "consider the consequences to our cities should the lockout continue."
Get in line, Your Honorables. We tried that in July.
Snark aside, the Deseret News has pointed out that 14 mayors (including former NBA All-Star and current Sacramento boss Kevin Johnson) have gotten together under The United States Conference of Mayors' letterhead to draft an open letter to NBA commissioner David Stern and NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter to ask them to consider the "many [who] own or work at small businesses that depend on NBA games for survival."
No matter how you look at it, our NBA teams are a vital part of the economic and social fabric of our cities.
Unfortunately, lost in the debate over a new NBA collective bargaining agreement has been the perspective of those very residents and the negative impact a cancelled season might have on them, our cities, and our local economies.
We know the issues being discussed between NBA owners and players are complex and need to be addressed to ensure the long-term well-being of the league. We are not interested in taking a side.
Few are, save for the players, agents and owners that will continue to go on making millions once this lockout resolves itself. Anyone who thinks the blame shifts too far in either direction, like so much basketball-related income, is either nuts or has some vested interest that he's still paying off. Like, perhaps, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
With the Deseret News' Jody Genessy taking notes, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker chimed in:
"(We) wanted to give them some encouragement," Becker said, "to try to get their differences addressed and allow the season to begin and bring the excitement and economic benefits that come to our cities. ...
"This is something that's really an important part of our communities," he added, "and we hope that they'll be thinking of the fans and those of us who participate with them."
That clearly hasn't been and will not be the case, Mayor Becker. Otherwise the NBA wouldn't have pushed its bargaining hand by waiting for the first wave of games and paychecks to be missed, and several star players wouldn't have put on a negotiating killing show earlier this month.
The fans? When has this ever been about the fans?
Here's the full list of mayors included in the letter, which can be downloaded here:
Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, Indianapolis; Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando; Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento; Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr., Memphis; Mayor Vincent Gray, Washington, D.C.; Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia; Mayor Phil Gordon, Phoenix; Mayor Annise D. Parker, Houston; Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas; Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte; Mayor David Bing, Detroit; Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City; Mayor Julian Castro, San Antonio; Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver.