Is anyone surprised here that Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett favors the owners’ position when it comes to the ongoing NBA dispute?
The players, according to Cornett, just have to realize that “the economics have changed.” Hear that, Kevin Durant?
Obviously, Cornett is not known as an egalitarian mayor, but let’s not forget the Oklahoma City Thunder, the city’s only major league sports franchise, has been heavily subsidized by local taxpayers, who built its arena and improved it. So what about the taxpayers and fans in all this?
This is what Cornett has to say about the issue, according to NewsOK.com:
If forced to take a side, I would side with the owners in this deal. If anyone believes commissioner (David) Stern or the owners want to start canceling games, I just can’t imagine where that line of thinking is coming from. That’s the last thing anybody wanted to do.
They (owners) obviously are serious about getting a better business deal with the players. The players are going to have to see that the economics have changed, and they’re still getting a good deal, even if it is not as good as it was (in the previous CBA).
Here’s a rundown of what the owners want, which essentially boils down to this: They want more money because, well, they “own” and players merely “play.” The richest among us want more money because acquiring wealth is what they do. We should just accept that, right?
The NBA franchise here is owned by Professional Basketball Club LLC, led by local businessman Clay Bennett. The currently named Chesapeake Energy Arena in which The Thunder play was built with taxpayer money. In 2008, voters extended a sales tax to improve the arena and build a practice facility for the team. The price tag for that alone was $121 million. The overall cost has been about $210 million.
The NBA has already cancelled the first week of the season because of the dispute between the players and owners.
Cornett was also interviewed for a recent CBS news report about the issue and said it was “ridiculous” to think Oklahoma City could have a major league team without “public help.” Now that’s selling the city.