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Occupy Wall Street Takes Up NBA Cause
NEW YORK (CAP) - As basketball fans find themselves facing a shortened NBA season because owners and players are deadlocked over labor negotiations comes word that some protestors with Occupy Wall Street are moving their base of operations to the location of those labor talks. Dubbed Occupy Locker Room, the splinter group hopes to help put an end to the lockout that threatens to derail the entire 2011-12 season.
"We are here today because we agree that 30 men should not be controlling the wealth of hundreds of NBA stars," said one demonstrator named Randy through a rolled-up paper bullhorn. "These are regular players trying to feed their illegitimate children, trying to pay the mortgage on their two or three oceanfront homes, trying to survive this economy just like baseball players and football players."
As the smell of scores of people who hadn't showered in weeks wafted above the crowd, scraggly-faced demonstrators took to a makeshift stage to implore others in attendance to unite their voices and "speak for the downtrodden basketball player who can't speak for himself because he's holed up in his personal gym getting in shape for a season that might never happen."
"We're not here for the Tim Duncans making millions while averaging less than 14 points and nine rebounds per game," Randy shouted to the crowd. "We're here for the rookie forward who rides the bench and is lucky to grab five minutes a game.
"Because do you know how he spends those other 43 minutes?" Randy added as he rolled up a new bullhorn because his first one was soggy with spittle. "He spends them wondering how he's going to make ends meet on an NBA minimum salary of $473,604 - that's how!"
While the NBA players' union has yet to release a formal statement regarding Occupy Locker Room's efforts, many players leaving the negotiations have given the throng a thumbs-up as a show of thanks. Amar'e Stoudemire even high-fived a couple protestors as he headed off to his waiting limo, en route to the 34th Street Foot Locker for the debut of his new Nike Air Max shoe. Demonstrators say it's small gestures like these that keep them going on a daily basis.
"Through our efforts over on Wall Street, we've seen the price of gas come down, mortgage rates drop - I'm sure we can handle a piddly luxury tax gap between players and owners," said Chuck, another demonstrator. "All we need is a hastily written sign and a catchy rhyme.
"Anybody got anything that rhymes with Nowitzki?" Chuck tossed out to the crowd.
Members of Occupy Locker Room say they are in for the long haul and won't leave until such a time as the two sides have reached an agreement and the lockout is lifted. Many said they felt comfortable that the Occupy Wall Street protest would continue to gain momentum without their presence, especially considering the addition of such celebrity heavyweights as Al Sharpton, Russell Simmons and Kanye West.
In related news, the 'occupy' phenomenon continues to gain momentum elsewhere as well, with factions of nerds and other less popular students launching Occupy Playground protests in schools around the nation to speak out against the unfair bullying tactics that lead to being shoved in lockers or dunked in toilets.
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