Shannon Brown was one of the responsible ones. Not all of the 30 team representative to the NBA players union polled the players before voting on Monday to dissolve the union and take the battle to court. Brown, the Lakers rep, was one of the good ones.
The Lakers have union president Derek Fisher and also Steve Blake, a player who had been named as trying to rally players to accept the league’s 50/50 offer, or at least vote on it.
But Blake told ESPNLosAngeles.com that his position has been misrepresented.
“It has been my goal, throughout my career and even more so during the lockout to be a responsible and active member of our Players Association,” Blake wrote. “With that said, many of the reports published have been inaccurate. I have actively had conversations with my teammates, Player Representatives and the Executive Committee over the past weeks and months about the status of the negotiations and proposals. My stance is simply to make sure we weigh all proposals. I have not made a decision on whether or not a proposal was right to take, just simply encouraging all of our players and representatives to review everything carefully and then make the appropriate choices as a collective body.”
Well said. It may not be true, but well said. Why would I say it may not be fully truthful? Here is what Brown said of Blake in the same article.
“I spoke to (Blake) and he was one of the guys who wanted to take the deal,” Brown said in a phone interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com on Tuesday. “I respect his opinion. I didn’t try to sway it. I gave him the advantages and the disadvantages of taking the deal and not taking the deal. Going into the meeting, I understood that he was one of those people that were for taking the deal.
“I’m not going to say that everybody was for not taking the deal, but I can say it was a majority that was for (turning it down). I can say that much.”
You can make the argument that the players should have voted on David Stern and the owners latest offer. I would make the argument the smart move by the players would have been for player reps to modify Stern’s offer and send it back to him (if for no other reason that make him be the bad guy risking blowing up the season, not you). The players now are making the suggestion that they had no choice but to dissolve the union and take the issues to the court.
Whatever argument you take, know that not all the players are that informed on the issues.
(Shannon Brown) said he knew of player reps trying to reach out to their teammates only to find the phone number they were provided with had been changed or disconnected.
And whatever side you take, know that the union is not a unified front on this. There is a real diversity of opinion. There are a lot more Steve Blakes out there. Whatever his opinion is.