So the National Basketball Association’s owners have decided to cancel the first 2 weeks of the 2011-2012 NBA regular season and for most of you this decision went by without a second thought.  By now most of you are so wrapped up in your NFL Season with your Fantasy football leagues, Major League Baseball in their Post season, and the start of the NHL, most fans haven’t even given the NBA Lockout any thought whatsoever.  But this may be a bigger deal than most of you think.  The NBA (its owners and players) had a similar dispute back in 1998 which led to cancelling a substantial portion of the season.  Even though the two parties eventually agreed to terms on a Collective Bargaining Agreement, the damage that the Lockout had on the sport is still felt to this day.  In their negotiations with the players, I believe the owners made a huge mistake in posturing for public support.  Trying to gain sentiment for their cause, the salary structure and financial information was put on display for public consumption and with the vehicle of the Internet and booming of Sports Talk Radio, the average fan got a behind the curtain view of what most NBA players earned in salary.  And with those revelations, a resentment was born that still exists to this day (more in this sport than any other).  In the NBA, the majority of the players who earn these salaries are African Americans.  In this country, the average fan of the league works 40 hours a week (if they’re lucky) and makes a “honest” wage for that work.  Of a more important note, the majority of these workers are Caucasian males and they have grown to really resent the players.  You hear it all the time: “they make too much money!”.  But when is the last time you heard this about MLB or the NFL?? – where the “ELITE” players/quarterback’s (the majority of whom are White) contracts and earnings never get scrutinized.  By using this negotiating tool, the NBA owners may have done irrefutable damage to their league and may have never realized exactly what it was doing.  And with the current economy, the last thing your league needs is more resentment towards it.  The league has finally started to recover from the ’98 Lockout and with the interest in the NBA starting an upward swing in viewers and attention by the average sports fan, the last thing it needs now is to make the same mistake that was made 13 years earlier.  So be careful this time will you?  You can win the battle, but lose the war!!