As the NBA lockout continues on its course towards a season ending labor dispute countless people are left in limbo. Hundreds of players (rookies and veterans) are left to wonder what the future holds as commissioner David Stern and NBAPA executive director Billy Hunter hash out the division of billions of dollars. Coaches and front office staff sit patiently by with no idea if and when they will go back to work. Although the lockout affects them significantly they are not the ones who feel the biggest impact.
The real victims of this NBA lockout are the little guys, the people who have jobs that are tied to NBA games. It's the guy that takes your ticket as a part time gig so he can make ends meet. It's the janitorial service with a stadium contract that comprises 60% of their income. It's the food vendor with a massive lease payment and no one to serve their products to. It's the guy with the sports bar downtown that will see his business cut in half with no NBA games to watch.
The NBA lockout isn't just about owners and players. Millionaires and billionaires will get by, but what about the other people who depend on the NBA for their livelihood? Are their businesses in jeopardy? Will they lose their cars and homes? Will their kids go to college? Can you really maintain a staff and a payroll given the current state of affairs?
In the end I realize it's a business and certain financial issues have to be resolved before the NBA can return to action, but I can't help but feel sorry for the innocent bystanders who will suffer tremendous economic loss because of it. Hopefully something will get done to keep the little guy afloat.