During an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week, President Barack Obama reiterated that he was “heartbroken” about the NBA lockout, and urged the two sides to come to an agreement the same way that the NFL players and owners were able to this summer.
“Well, look, if you look at the NFL, they were able to settle theirs,” Obama told Leno. “And I think they understood. Players were making millions of dollars. Owners, some of us are worth billions of dollars. We should be able to figure out how to split a nine-billion-dollar pot so that our fans, who are allowing us to make all of this money, can actually have a good season. And I think the owners and the basketball players need to think the same way.”
Obama, a noted basketball fan, has said on several other occasions that he was “a little heartbroken” over the NBA lockout. The league has already cancelled its preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season due to their ongoing labor dispute. Unconfirmed rumors have swirled over the past week that the league is planning on cancelling two more weeks as well. The NFL lockout, which took place over the summer, was resolved in time for the league to play most of its preseason games. In the NFL’s labor dispute, the federal government played a major role as the players association made the move to decertify their union and sue the league. With a potential court decision looming, both the NFL players and owners were under pressure to negotiate. The NBA lockout, however, has not yet entered a court room.