NBA proves to be worse than Wall Street

By Samuel Charles

During the course of the last few months, few stories have received more attention than the Occupy Wall Street protests and the NBA lockout—two seemingly unrelated but surprisingly similar topics.

In short, the OWS protesters are hell-bent on closing the spectrum of economic disparity in the U.S. Anyone who brings home more than $350,000 per year is in “the 1 percent.” According to OWS, they are the enemy of progress.

Yet the NBA lockout seems to have cultivated a stronger and more passionate response from the general public than OWS ever could hope to.

The lockout amounts to two sides, the millionaire players and the billionaire team owners, arguing about who is entitled to a relatively small amount of revenue. In the eyes of many, the players are the victims and the owners are the source of all evil in the world.

It doesn’t matter who’s actually at fault, and readers can form their own opinions from any reputable sports news outlet.

But the response to the lockout is proof enough that OWS is a fledgling effort that will never achieve any lasting result. No new regulations will be passed, and as of press time, the top earners in the country haven’t gotten sick of making exorbitant amounts of money.

Based on media coverage, more people in America care about not seeing basketball than the economy.

Since OWS first camped out in Zuccotti Park in New York City, I’ve considered many of the supporters to be half-assed, joining the picket just so they could say they were there and “helping to fight the 1 percent.”

Both sides of the NBA lockout are the 1 percent. Last week, the players would have received their first paycheck from the first two weeks of the season. Because he missed two weeks of work, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t bring home his paycheck, which would have totaled more than $1 million.

Let that thought marinate for a minute.

Just to be clear, Bryant—and every other player in the league—missed two weeks of work. Because he wasn’t on the clock for one pay period, he didn’t get the $1 million he normally would have.

The average NBA player’s salary is $5.15 million, according to The average player’s first paycheck would have been for more than $200,000. So after one month of work, they’re already in the 1 percent.

But this is America. Athletes and sports teams represent the very best of society, right?

Wrong. The NBA is more representative of individual greed in the U.S. than Wall Street will ever be.

Do you still “wanna be like Mike?”