Lakers guard and NBA players union president Derek Fisher is a great talker. Media love him because he’s good for a quality quote after the game. He’s prized for radio and television interviews because he is smooth.
When he went on ESPN Los Angeles over the holiday weekend to talk lockout, he sounded like someone running for office (via Sports Radio Interviews). He didn’t have much new to say, and he kept to the script.
When asked direct questions like “has there been progress” he answered the question to redefine progress.
“Like I just stated, progress is made the more times you have the opportunity to sit down and work with each other. Progress isn’t always similar to the game of basketball. … Trying to just tell how somebody played based on their stats or how many points they scored isn’t always the true value of that person’s game. In this process, just because we don’t have a deal done right now, doesn’t mean the months that we’ve put into this process prior to now have been wasted.”
What about fans who balk when seeing Eddy Curry making eight digits a year not to play, and other situations where it looks to fans like the system is broken?
“It depends on how you look at that, what your perspective is on players sitting on the bench and having a particular contract or certain amount of money that they’re owed. At some point, the contract that player signed, a team on some level felt that he was worth that amount at some point and maybe there was a coaching change or a management change or something that changed that player’s value to that team. So, is that just because the players can’t perform anymore, physically, or is it about a change in coaching style or management style. … In reality, there are very few of those compared to the other scenario where you have players like a Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant, guys that come in and in those first three, four or five years, far outpace what they’re being paid initially in their rookie contracts. It cuts both ways.”
It will be interesting to hear from Fisher when he has something actually worthwhile to tell us. Right now, no progress so we get the company line. And the lockout drags on.