Decertification of the union has been something some agents have pushed for from the start, and it appears that those same agents had a heavy hand in this week’s players decertification talks behind the players’ backs.
Names have started to leak out of who was on the call from several sources.
Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade were the most vocal, the leaders on the call, reports Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski. ESPN added that Dwight Howard and Ray Allen were in on the call. Other players we know of include Jason Kidd, Blake Griffin, Al Horford, Tyson Chandler, Spencer Hawes and DeAndre Jordan (according to Yahoo).
Howard is represented by Dan Fegan, one of the agents who led a push for decertification in September. Allen, whose agent is Jim Tanner according to DraftExpress’ indispensable agent database, is the only player out of the 10 reported to be involved in the talks not represented by one of the seven agents who sent an alarming letter to their clients in October pushing a hard line in lockout talks and warning them not to vote for a settlement presented by union leaders without giving it a full review.
New story, but the same old players.
Billy Hunter and the union leadership resisted decertification back in July (which was the time to play that card) because, in part, it would have done away with the union and given individual players — and their agents — more power. That’s also why the agents wanted it, they didn’t trust Hunter.
In the end, I don’t think the agents would have had any more success. The owners still had the leverage and the deal still would have ended up at 51-49 split of BRI (that is where the deal should and will land, sorry owners). However, the agents might have been more willing to sacrifice a season to get there than union leadership.