Tag: Lockout

Deron Williams

Deron Williams is frustrated the union hasn’t already decertified


You’re going to be seeing a lot of reactions to the dramatics of Saturday night’s end to talks. Some players will likely just say that they want to play; it’s not that they want to cave, they’re just tired of the whole damn thing and don’t think it’s worth it. You’re going to see a lot more outrage, including some players who may previously have been conciliatory and now will become acerbic. That’s what happens when you threaten and give ultimatums after bullying and pressing someone for two years and when you provide an offer that doesn’t even allow them to save face (a 50-52 band heavily weighted towards 50-51 would give the players the ability to say they held at 52 without giving them 52… but noooo).

And then you’re going to have those who have wanted to go after the league through the courts for months coming out stronger than ever. One such player plays for Besiktas in Turkey in front of 2500 people a night. Deron Williams on Twitter:

I’ve been ready to sign a decertification petition since July? Can’t believe we are just now going this route! SMHSun Nov 06 08:38:08 via Twitter for BlackBerry®

We’re about to see exactly how large that contingent of players supporting decertification and antitrust action is, and how big it grew to be after Stern and the owners’ tactics Saturday.

If the players don’t buckle like the league is betting they will, everyone loses. Players won’t win the suit, league loses the season, owners own a team that doesn’t exist, more jobs will be lost, fans lose games, basketball in America is hurt. No one wins. The league has given the players two options: take an offer that hurts your earning potential, union strength, and dignity, or ruin everything.

Great choices. It’s like the menu at an iHOP without breakfast food.

Quote of the Day: Eli’s Coming

NBA Labor Basketball

The NBA ownership group’s labor committee will reopen talks with the players’ side Saturday afternoon, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard, a meeting one general manager, who has spoken with a few owners, described as “headed straight for disaster.”

via NBA hope bleak over labor talks, sources say – ESPN.

From Sports Night: 

Dan Rydell: Eli’s Coming.
Casey McCall: Eli?
Dan Rydell: From the Three Dog Night song.
Casey McCall: Yes?
Dan Rydell: Eli is something bad, a darkness.
Casey McCall: “Eli’s coming. Hide your heart, girl.” Eli is a inveterate womanizer. I think you’re getting the song wrong.
Dan Rydell: I know I’m getting the song wrong. But, when I first heard it, that’s what I thought it meant. Things stick with you that way.

Yeah, this isn’t going to go well.

Wizards rookie Chris Singleton shows some perspective on the lockout

Chris Singleton
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The NBPA hasn’t done the best job of managing their PR front. David Stern has done his damnedest to control the public message of the lockout, all while the factions that have reportedly formed among the players threaten to decertify the union entirely and rip the 2011-2012 season apart.

Yet individually, the lockout has provided certain players a chance to show their reasonable perspectives, in spite of the ridiculous actions and comments of their peers and negotiating opponents. For every JaVale McGee there is a Shane Battier or a Raja Bell – a player in a non-leadership role who demonstrates an awareness and an understanding of the negotiations and the lockout’s sticking points.

Among that group is Wizards rookie Chris Singleton, who, in an interview with Jared Zwerling for TrueHoop, gave some thoughtful answers to questions about the players’ position in the lockout, and the nature of an inevitable deal that they’ll eventually have little choice but to accept:

Are any of the players saying to each other, “Let’s just get this thing over with and earn your stripes on the court to make that extra million or two you think you deserve?” 

I mean, that’s in some peoples’ minds, but our board members are just trying to do the best for everybody. You know the superstars are going to get their money. We’re trying to see how much the max contracts are going to be. I feel like the superstars are going to be fine, but it’s just how much money are the owners wiling to put out now? They’ve given 15 to 20 million — some ridiculous amount — to some people who don’t even play 85 percent of the season. You’ve got to go out there and earn it; that’s how I feel. But, I mean, we’re together and I’m behind whatever they do.

Do you think the owners are trying to get the players to cave in? Is there any thought from the players that you won’t get the best deal once you start missing paychecks? 

I mean, we’re not going to get the best deal. We’re not going to get the deal we hoped for. It’s a business, I know that. I’m just hoping that it’s something that works out for both sides.

What has the experience of the lockout taught you? 

I don’t take for granted the opportunity that I have every day to be able to go out and showcase my abilities to the fans who are watching. I just take it all in and just try to be the best person I can be, the best player I can be. You grow up faster, especially because you don’t have anything. You’re depending on a check. That’s why you get a job; you try to earn a living. I have a job, I have a title, but I don’t get compensated by the league.

There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but that in itself may be notable. The NBA’s PR front would love nothing more than to have us all believe that the players are not only the problem, but oblivious to the actual goings-on of the negotiating process and the economics of a deal. Demonizing the locked out party — or at least framing them as inept — is one of the only ways to justify the league’s actions without being tagged as “greedy.” If the public thinks that the players just don’t get it, they’ll naturally side with the financially sound businessmen who are shackled from success by an allegedly broken system. Players salaries are rising! Look at the difference between the Lakers and Kings! We’ve heard it all before, framed so conveniently to exclude pesky facts and context.

Singleton, and his many informed peers, stand antithetical to the perception that the league strives for. The players may have conflict within their ranks, but that dissensions shouldn’t be confused with incompetence, even if it does stifle their efficacy. The players have reportedly made concessions in almost every area of the negotiations. They’ve made legitimate strides toward a potential deal. Yet Singleton knows and willingly tells us that the players aren’t going to get the kind of agreement they had hoped for — a softer contrast to the owners’ hard line. He may not be deeply involved in the negotiating process, but he shows flexibility and perspective, things which — although the league’s spin machine would have you believe otherwise — aren’t at all uncommon among the player ranks.