Ben's Babbles: When millionares squabble, the fans lose

July 9, 2011

Over the last few weeks all manner of sports summer camps have been getting into full swing.

As a kid I went to many a summer sports camp myself.

However the one that stands out the most was a Seattle Supersonics basketball camp when I was in grade school.

The highlight of the last day of the camp was a visit from Sonic Steve Scheffler. For the record, Steve Scheffler was a brutally bad NBA player.

However, to a bunch of aspiring basketball players he was awesome.

I had been a Sonics fan before the camp, but I was hooked after. Team posters went up on my wall and my family typically went to a few games a year.

Then a few years ago some millionaires started squabbling over the team. Eventually, the Sonics left and relocated to Oklahoma City.

Now kids in the Seattle area don't have Sonics camps anymore.

The millionaires have been squabbling again, and this summer there likely won't be basketball camps for any kids by any NBA players - at least not in an official capacity.

Teams are still running camps this summer, but no active players will be involved.

Some players will be running their own camps, but while learning basketball basics, campers will have to wonder when they will actually get to see their heroes play basketball again.

At midnight Thursday the NBA owners locked out the players, starting the league's second work stoppage in less than a decade.

At the same time the NFL owners and players are already engaged in a lockout.

I can see both sides in the lockouts, and honestly both need to be saved from themselves. The players need to realize they are being paid millions of dollars to play a game. Meanwhile the owners need to realize that taxpayers have largely subsidized their stadiums and that no one is holding a gun to their heads to force them to hand out insane contracts.

Eventually the lockouts will end and players and owners alike will go back to making money hand-over-fist, and the only ones left as the losers will be the fans.

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