SAN JOSE As the clock ticks closer to Armageddon for the NBAs 2011-12 season, many of the San Jose Sharks are paying close attention.
In what may be the biggest labor mess that professional sports has seen since the NHL killed its season in 2004-05, the NBA has already canceled games through December 15. At this point, the entire season is in jeopardy as the owners and players try and work out a new collective bargaining agreement.
The NHLs CBA is set to expire on September 15, 2012. That leaves plenty of time for the owners and the NHLPA to hammer out a new deal, but nothing is ever simple when it comes to a multi-billion dollar enterprise, which is what the NHL has become.
I think you follow the NBA lockout a little bit more, especially because of the fact our CBA is going to be up at the end of the year, said Ryane Clowe. You try to keep an eye on it.
Joe Pavelski is the Sharks player rep for the NHLPA, so he might be a little more interested than other players when it comes to whats happening in the professional basketball negotiations.
We might not know exactly whats going on, but we definitely follow it, whether its baseball, football or basketball right now, said Pavelski. You hear there are some similarities as to when the NHL locked out, to what theyre going through right now.
From a players perspective, its a good bet that the Sharks are hoping that the NBA players dont cave and capitulate to every demand of the owners.
Clowe admits that he doesnt know all of the details, but is hopeful the pro hoopsters stick to their guns, whatever those may be.
For me, the players have to stay strong as a union. Im not sure of the exact details, or the numbers or what theyre looking for, but hopefully the players decided beforehand what they wanted, theyre sticking with it, and thats how it should be.
You want to at least gain something out of it if youre going to wait and going to be out this long. Theres obviously nothing gained for the fans, or for the league. But, like I said, you have to be strong as a union.
Reasoning would dictate that the NHL will get something done before the 11th hour, after what happened just seven years ago.
I hope so. You dont want to lose another season, said Joe Thornton. It wasnt good missing the whole season, so hopefully both sides can get an agreement thats fair to both parties.
The bottom line is you want to play. As players we love playing the game, said Pavelski. A lot of owners are in it for the game, too, and not just to make money. There is a business side to it, and everyone has to respect both sides.