Lakers email fans about NBA lockout
Every now and then, an email from the Lakers' Courtside Connection hits my inbox.
It usually touts the latest promotion or community event, and they often make my eyes blur. But this one caught my eye. With the NBA postponing training camp and 43 exhibition games, Lakers senior vice president of business operations Tim Harris addressed fans who receive the "Courtside Connection" newsletter about the NBA lockout.
We appreciate your continued patience as the NBA and the NBA Players Association negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Since no such agreement has been reached at this time, the league has postponed player training camps and cancelled preseason games scheduled through October 15th.
Please know that you are a vital part of the Lakers, and we value your support.
We want to assure you that the league's efforts are focused on reaching an agreement that benefits all parties involved. The NBA's goal is to secure a sustainable business model that enables all 30 teams to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans.
We recognize that without our fans, there would be no NBA. Your passion for the game is what motivates us, and we do not take your support for granted. The league will continue to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement so that we can get back to enjoying the excitement of NBA basketball.
Thank you again for your support and your continued loyalty to the Lakers.
Senior Vice President, Operations/CMO
It remains to be seen whether this will assuage fan frustration. The general public, after all, only cares that the NBA owners and players association haven't reached a collective bargaining agreement, which could threaten part or all of the 2011-2012 season. It also remains to be seen whether an NBA lockout would actually threaten its own product by halting the momentum from a storied 2010-2011 season. It's also risky to delay the season considering that most fans won't completely pay attention to basketball anyway until the NFL season ends. But lockouts don't necessarily lead to boycotts once play resumes.
Still, Harris' letter to Laker fans provides another example of how both sides feel the need to win the public relations front. But without the league ironing out a deal, that effort only goes so far.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: David Stern. Credit: LM Otero / Associated Press.