Tag: NBA lockout

Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five

DeShawn Stevenson is frustrated, rips Billy Hunter


Dallas Mavericks players maybe more frustrated with the lockout than anyone. This season was to be their coronation — Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd and a team full of guys who worked hard, won an NBA title and…

No banner to the rafter. No rings. Just lost momentum.

A couple of them spoke with Marc Spears of Yahoo and vented that frustration — nobody more so than DeShawn Stevenson.

“For me, personally, I don’t think there will be a season,” Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson said recently at Drew Gooden’s Make-A-Wish charity game. “Right now there is just a lot of bad blood and [the owners] keep putting offers out that we’re rejecting. So we’re not going anywhere….

“I felt like we should have decertified in July,” Stevenson said. “I feel like Billy Hunter is doing a horrible job because basically now [the owners] know our hand. The media knows our hand. The owners know our hand.”

Stevenson, I get your anger and frustration. But I think it’s misplaced here.

It would be a mistake to assume that it was Billy Hunter’s plan to answer David Stern’s ultimatum with a “disclaimer of interest.” Here is the thing — Hunter works for the players (the same way David Stern works for the owners). At the end of the day, he has to do what they want. If he wants to send a counterproposal to David Stern and the 30 team representatives say, “no, we want the disclaimer of interest” then the disclaimer it is.

In the end, the player reps voted unanimously for the disclaimer. If Stevenson wants to be angry with someone, it should be Mavs team rep Jason Terry who voted for this plan of action. And Terry told Spears he’d do it again.

One reason why Terry was glad the players rejected the owners’ most recent offer: Under it, he thought the Mavs would have a tough time keeping some of their core contributors. While Nowitzki, Terry, Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd are under contract, the Mavs have a long list of free agents that include Stevenson, center Tyson Chandler, guard Jose Juan Barea and forwards Caron Butler, Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic.

“Look at our roster,” Terry said. “Free agency is going to hit us hard. We don’t know what our team is going to look like.”

The fact is now nobody is talking. Maybe the union’s attorneys will call the league attorneys soon and set up a settlement conference, if not that a judge will force the two sides to talk again, a source close to the negotiations told PBT.

But when that happens the attorneys — including Stern and Hunter — have to strike a deal both sides will ratify. And right now they can’t get their people to a middle ground compromise.

Shed a tear: Agents are hurting during lockout, too

NBA basketball spaulding

David Stern has tried to paint NBA agents as a malevolent force during this lockout — maybe not Voldemort himself (that would be Jeffry Kessler) but more Dementors. Men who suck the joy out of the game.

But this lockout hurts the agents, too. They all hustle because they live on commission, you’ve got to get clients and keep them happy. They tend to take a long-term view of things (they’ll fight for larger salaries and more player movement because it will help them make more money) but in the short term they are working for free.

One of the biggest agents, Mark Bartelstein, spoke about it, via CSNChicago.com.

Since he and his fellow agents are paid by commission (usually 3 to 5 percent on team contracts according to ChicagoBusiness.com), Bartelstein is losing a lot of money from this lockout as well.

“I’m actually working harder than ever — 18-, 19-hour days,” he said in theChicagoBusiness.com article. “There’s so much you have to deal with on a daily basis. And to not be getting paid…it’s not fun.”

Bartelstein is clearly siding with players every step of the way, saying, “Just because something is painful, distasteful, doesn’t mean you say, ‘OK, fine, I’ll take this horrible deal.’ The owner’s strategy was based on the thought the players will cave when they start losing money. That’s what they were banking on.”

That’s true. Some owners (many maybe) really are waiting for the players to just cave in. The agents do not want that to happen because it’s not in the best interest of the agents. Nor their clients. The interests of agents and players are not completely concentric circles, but there is a lot of overlap.

But neither the players nor the agents can go without paychecks forever. And the owners know that.

Baron Davis to host latest charity game, this one in L.A.

Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, Corey Maggette
Leave a comment

And the charity games keep on rolling in as we wait for lockout negotiations to start up again.

Baron Davis and Tina Thompson will be hosting one in Los Angeles this Sunday at Southwest College benefitting the Kids in LA Sports Foundation.

On the list to play are some guys with Los Angeles ties — Paul Pierce, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, DeMar DeRozan, Nick Young, Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and the Collins brothers Jarron and Jason.

If you’re in LA for the weekend and want to get tickets, follow this link (sadly family obligations have me out of town or I’d be there).

Allen Iverson wants to set up four-city barnstorming tour

Allen Iverson
1 Comment

You’ve got to love Allen Iverson’s drive.

He tried to put together a charity All-Star game in Las Vegas but it fell apart. So his response? Set up a four-city tour, reports Chris Palmer of ESPN. Stops would include Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Already LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade are putting together a four-city tour. And by saying they are putting it together what we really mean is CAA (the agency that represents) is putting it together, and has lined up a sponsor in Google+. It takes that level of organization to really make one of these things work.

We’ll see if Iverson could pull it together. It’s not like the players really have anything else to do.

Even escort services getting hurt by NBA lockout


On a macro level, the NBA lockout really isn’t going to hurt cities much. Studies show the money you would have spent on NBA tickets you will spend on movies, dinners, maybe seeing a hockey game. It still gets spent and the city still benefits.

But on a micro level people will get hurt — people who work in the arenas, the guy who bartends at the pub across the street from the arena, hotels where NBA teams stay…

And escort services.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell took a look at the pains of some small businesses and added this about the ladies of the night.

A 30 percent decline seems to be the magic number, even for Henry, who runs an escort service in New York that he says charges between $400 and $4,000 an hour, depending on the woman.

Henry says he takes between 65 and 80 percent of the total cut to match the players and other high-profile fans, who are with the client an average of four hours.

“There are replacements but they aren’t as consistent and not nearly as high paying,” Henry said.

There are players who prefer paid professional escorts to the many groupies that follow teams around because the pros are discrete and go away quietly when it’s over. There are no Internet postings or stories among friends. Discretion matters.

So if you can help out the economy, go spend some money and help out the bartenders and hotels that are feeling the pinch with the loss of the NBA, as well as the… no way I’m going there. How you choose to spend your money is up to you.