Lashing Out This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There is a National Basketball Association season after all. The funny thing is, I'm not excited.

The NBA's lockout revolved around one point: money. And for six months, the players and owners quarrelled over who was getting how much of the league's $2 billion annual revenue.

I've been a basketball connoisseur for years, but have never understood why professional basketball players feel obligated to earn such astronomical sums of money. This spurred me to become a college hoops fan, because unlike the NBA, the collegiates play for the name on the front of the jersey rather than the name embroidered on the back.

Teachers, who prepare our children for adulthood, gross around $32,000 per year in Vermont. It would take most teachers nine years to make the NBA's new minimum yearly salary of $287,500. Many NBA players grew up in poverty, but what entitles any athlete to millions of dollars, over a janitor who scrubs floors for 12 hours a day? A lethal crossover dribble?

I think not.

The quest of the lockout was to negotiate ways for each side to make more money, while the lockout cost the league millions of dollars. The 436 missed games cost the NBA $500 million. For the Boston Celtics, each canceled contest hit the Fleet Center and the city of Boston with a $1 million slap in the face.

The NBA does make millions of dollars from players like Michael Jordan. However, shovelling unbelievable amounts of money in a player's face is unjust. The Shaquille O'Neals and Kobe Bryants are credited with making the NBA a huge commodity, which is absurd. The father who brings his child to every game lines O'Neal's pocket with money, fills the arenas and purchases NBA merchandise. The average fan must dish out a significant chunk of his paycheck to attend a game.

Evidently, being treated like royalty has gone to the players' heads. The players care more about their monetary status than the spectators who got them to the holy land to begin with. They're pampered with privileges - lavish hotels, top-of-the-line automobiles, first-class airplanes and designer clothing - that an average person is lucky to see once in a lifetime.

The NBA has turned into a greed-infested venue. Live with it, because nothing looks to be changing. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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