HIGHTOWER: The NBA's Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Let's go to the Sports Desk [sports theme] for Hightower Radio's "Wide, Wide, Wide, WILD World of Sports!"Today's feature: a double-dribble foul by the National Basketball Association, in which the billionaire owners and millionaire players are killing the sport. After years of jacking up prices on everything from ticket prices to front-office overhead, the average fan has been priced out of actually going to a game, leaving the arena to front-row celebrities and skybox corporate clients.The greedhead owners, reaching for even more of the rich NBA pie, have tried to put a slick move on the guys who actually play the game, demanding a bigger slice for themselves at the expense of the players. The playersÜBig Surprise!Üsaid "no," so the owners have proceeded to shut down the games, locking out the players.Fine. Who cares about the squabbles between billionaires and millionaires? But wait [referee's whistle]!There are real working people whose jobs and economic security are being trifled with hereÜthe people who service the games: the beer man, the cheerleaders (who get maybe $75 a game), the ticket takers, the waiters in those skyboxes, the janitors who clean-up afterwards, and all the others in and around the arena.Then there are those outside the arenaÜbartenders at sportsbars, makers of T-shirts, taxicab drivers, restauranteurs, and so many more who literally are cut off when games are eliminated. Learning of the lockout, Sy Gottlieb in Boston said, it "brings tears to my eyes." Not just because he loves the sport, but because he owns parking lots around Fleet Center, where the Celtics used to play.This is Jim Hightower saying . . . The NBA owners have magnanimously refunded money to the wealthy elite in the skyboxes who are missing games they paid for . . . but what about those workaday folks who rely on the income they make from servicing the games?

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