This is the paragraph I’m supposed to blockquote you and pull the news story off of. Guess what? A member of the player’s union thinks David Stern and the owners are mean and it’s their fault for the lockout! TOTALLY NEW INFORMATION.
“It’s sad. It’s very sad. But everybody knows it’s not our fault. It’s definitely not our fault. If it was up to us, we’ll be out there playing,” the reigning league MVP said Saturday at the State Street Foot Locker in the Loop. I think that it’s wrong. I know that they can easily take care of it and not take advantage of people, but I guess that’s how people are.
“There’s not too much that we can say. They’re not thinking about anything that we’re saying, they’re not taking into consideration anything that we’re trying to give them. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
This is supposed to be provocative, but really, it’s just Rose’s ultra-simplistic view of what the union holds. The owners don’t want a deal, they’re the ones locking the players out, #letusplay and all that jazz. So yeah, Derrick Rose spoke out against the league, which is of note since Rose has been pretty quiet.
But here’s the excerpt that should actually catch your eye from our friends at CSN Chicago (emphasis mine):
While fans shouldn’t anticipate Rose sitting in on labor negotiations, the perception that the shy kid with the loud game won’t speak up isn’t quite so accurate these days.
“I’ve been so busy, where I haven’t had time to go into the news or anything like that, but my agents, Arn [Tellem] and B.J. [Armstrong] have been doing a great job with keeping me up with the updates and I’m supposed to be talking to ‘D-Fish’ in a couple days or Paul Pierce,” said Rose.
Okay, so some background on Pierce. He’s not just one of the guys who blew apart the 50/50 proposal last weekend alongside Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant. He’s prominently involved in the union, has been present at more meetings than any of the other superstars, and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that Pierce has considered a formal presence in the union:
In addition, the Celtics’ Paul Pierce — who was among the stars present Friday and who stuck around for Saturday’s and Monday’s sessions — will take on a prominent role in the negotiations again on Tuesday. Though Pierce has previously expressed interest in being involved in the union — perhaps even as a committee member and vice president — his presence is notable for more than his star power. Pierce’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, is one of seven powerful reps who wrote a pointed letter to their clients urging them not to agree to any further reductions in their share of basketball-related income (BRI) or any further restrictions to the system beyond what the union has negotiated.
So I’m not saying it’s random that Rose would want to touch base with him. Pierce does know what’s going on. He’s in the room.
But consider that Pierce’s agent sides with those who reportedly want to at least question if not undercut Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher’s approach. So does Rose’s agent, Arn Tellem. And you’re telling me Derrick Rose, the MVP of the league, can’t get Derek Fisher on the phone to tell him what’s going on? He’s going to Pierce?
I’m not trying to blow anything out of proportion here, though I can readily admit that’s what it looks like. But it seems exceptionally weird that the MVP is checking with someone who’s not a member of the executive committee who recently took things into his own hands along with Garnett and Bryant and blew up the talks, at least in cooperation with the owners’ intransigence. It sounds a lot like there are too many cooks in the players’ kitchen.
You need one voice. One expert. One law. Right now, there’s confusion and unrest coming out of the union. Maybe that’s just a flawed perception from the media. But the perception is still there.