derek Fisher

Fisher thinks there’s movement on BRI compromise if the owners back off the hard cap

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One of the best kept secrets in all the lockout talk is that the players are willing to compromise on how much money they get. For all the talk by your common commenter that the players are “all too greedy” despite it having been the owners who locked out the players and not the players on strike, there have been indications that the players are willing to move on the 57% BRI cut they currently get, even if they’re not willing to go as low as the 50% the owners are seeking. On Friday, Derek Fisher, as we posted,  talked about how Monday’s meeting will be about other issues creating the lockout. But there was another quote that I thought was more interesting than those mentioned in that post.

From ESPN:

“If, as players, we feel we can operate under a fair system, then we can maybe work towards a fair number,” Fisher said. “I think our counterparts feel a little bit differently, they want to get a number set and they’re not as concerned with the way the system looks if they get the right number. We don’t think that’s the best way to approach it. We want to make sure we keep a fair system in place for all players now and coming in later and I think the numbers will kind of take care of themselves.”

via NBPA prez Derek Fisher — Lockout’s ‘been weirdly quiet’ – ESPN Los Angeles.

Everyone is really big right now on talking about how the meeting Monday means nothing and there’s no point to it and we should all not even have the meeting and just drink hemlock or something. Honestly, everyone’s become so goth about the lockout I’m waiting for someone to put a Cure cover band concert together. There are a lot of bad signs, but note what Fisher says here. There’s movement to be had on BRI. They’re willing to talk about a 55% or 56% split. Which means that in reality, depending on how negotiations go, they might move all the way down to 53% or 54%. That’s a huge pickup for the owners. All they have to do is get off the hard cap line.

Considering that the cap is directly impacted by the decision-making of the teams, there’s no reason for some type of firmer, but not necessarily cold-hard cap can’t be agreed to. Take the “non-guaranteed contracts” gun off the players heads and they’re likely to become more amiable. Opt for a CBA agreement somewhere between the five-year agreement the players want and the ten-year agreement the owners want and you’ve got that settled. There’s movement to be made here.

But that’s the key. Both sides, players and owners, have to look at this as a business negotiation and not an ideological culture war. This is just about basketball and how it’s run. The owners want more money to cover the losses created from how they’ve run their business. The players are willing to give it to them. You can’t get everything you want in a negotiation. That’s why it’s a negotiation and not a coup. If the owners will simply keep their options open and see what they can get, they can get a great deal.

But, sadly, the Cure-listeners are right. The owners don’t want a great deal. They want total victory and to win the cultural war being waged, showing those lowly players who’s boss. Until the voices of their better angels are observed, there is little hope for a resolution for nearly a year.

Report: Hawks co-owner made more money by exposing Danny Ferry’s Luol Deng comments

Michael Gearon, Bruce Levenson
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A terribly kept secret: Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. wanted to get rid of general manager Danny Ferry.

Many believe that’s why Gearon made such a big deal about Ferry’s pejorative “African” comment about Luol Deng – that Gearon was more concerned about ousting Ferry than showing real concern over racism.

Gearon had another, no less sinister, reason to raise concern over Ferry’s remarks.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

While Gearon felt that Ferry, as he wrote in the June 2014 email to Levenson, “put the entire franchise in jeopardy,” Gearon also figured to benefit financially from a Sterling-esque fallout.

In the spring of 2014, Gearon was in the process of selling more of his interest in the team to Levenson and the partners he had sold to in September. The agreed-upon price for roughly a third of Gearon’s remaining shares valued the Hawks at approximately $450 million, according to reports from sources.

“We accept your offer to buy the remaining 31 million,” Gearon wrote in an email to Levenson on April 17, 2014. “Let me know next steps so we can keep this simple as you suggested without a bunch of lawyers and bankers.”

Approximately five weeks later — just a little more than a week before the fateful conference call — Steve Ballmer agreed to pay $2 billion for the Clippers, a record-smashing price that completely changed the assessed value of NBA franchises. Gearon firmly maintains he was acting out of the sincerity of his convictions to safeguard the franchise from the Sterling stench, but such a spectacle also allowed him to wiggle out of selling his shares at far below market value.

Gearon and his legal team later challenged the notion that the sell-down was bound by any sort of contractual obligation and that any papers were signed. Once the organization became involved in the investigation, the sale of the shares was postponed.

Arnovitz and Windhorst did an incredible amount of reporting here. I suggest you read the full piece, which includes much more background on the Gearon-Ferry rift.

Considering the Hawks sold for $850 million, Gearon definitely made more money than if he’d sold his shares at a $450 million valuation.

Did that motivate him? Probably, though it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Most likely, his actions were derived from at least three desires – making more money, ousting Ferry and combating racism. Parsing how much each contributed is much more difficult.

What Ferry said was racist, whether or not he was looking at more racism on the sheet of paper in front of him. His comments deserved punishment.

But if Gearon didn’t have incentive to use them for his own benefit, would we even know about them? How many other teams, with more functional front offices, would have kept similar remarks under wraps or just ignored them?

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: Clippers ready to win West?

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With our PBT Extra videos, we are previewing the entire NBA by using bold predictions, starting in the Pacific Division (we already did the Warriors).

Some of those predictions come from fans on Twitter where I had sent out a request, including the bold prediction for the Clippers.

It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.

The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).

Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.