The NBA owners are winning the public relations battle.
Not because the owners are in the right, they are not. But rather we know the players and can’t relate to them and their salaries, even when they offer to take less money (which they have).
Also, David Stern is far better at the PR game than Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher for the union. Shannon Brown — most recently of the Lakers but a free agent whenever the lockout ends — talked about Stern’s tactics, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“People can tell you anything,” Brown said. “It’s like a guy who wants to get next to a chick. He’s going to tell her anything he wants just to get next to her. Just like the audience and the fans are being told anything (by the owners’ side) just to keep them from going super crazy about what’s really going on behind the scenes.”
It’s an interesting thought experiment: Could David Stern pick up a girl at a bar? Actually, I don’t want to think about that.
As we’ve said before, the players have stood their ground because they see ownership’s offer as unfair. And the players have offered to give up more than $1 billion in salary over the life of the next labor deal while the owners have not given up a thing they already had in hand.
Doesn’t matter. The players can’t win the PR battle because even if they accepted the owners’ terms they’d be in the 1 percent, not the 99 percent. They get paid well to play a game. While there are sacrifices and challenges and a limited window to make their money, the players can’t win the PR battle because of how much money we are talking about.