Last Friday, New York Knicks' forward Carmelo Anthony expressed his views on the NBA lockout and the PR war around it at a Modell's Sporting Goods in Times Square. He thinks the players are not getting their messages out in the right way.
It's not too surprising that the players are getting backlash from fans. Basketball enthusiasts want to watch the game — they don't want to hear salary complaints, especially since most Americans make much less money per year than NBA players.
Bill Holtz, managing partner at Catalyst Public Relations, thinks fans are having difficulty relating to the players.
“I think that ultimately the fans' perception is that it's two sides that have a lot of money fighting over a lot of money,” he said. “The perception is that it's millionaires fighting millionaires over millions, and now that games have been canceled, it's a little more personal for the fans.”
Also, the NBA has the advantage of holding press conferences to get the attention of consumers and media outlets, while the players are using social media channels to express their perspectives. However, Anthony said that soon may change.
From the New York Post:
Anthony suggested players should hold a press conference and give their point of view to help improve their public image. "Maybe the half of the fans on the owners' side can really understand where we're coming from as players," said Anthony.
Holding a press conference may sway more fans to the players' side, but ultimately, fans just want the season to start. In my opinion, the longer it's delayed, the wider the gap between the fans and the players will become.