Blog Entry

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:04 pm
It didn't take long for LeBron James' idea of creating a new golden age of basketball by eliminating teams to reach the ears of National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher

"I agree that the '80s was a great time for NBA basketball," Fisher told reporters Friday after practice at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo. "But I don't agree that contraction or arbitrarily trying to get Hall of Fame or All-Star guys all on the same team is necessarily how you re-create one of the greatest times in NBA history." 

Via the Los Angeles Times Lakers blog: Derek Fisher disagrees with LeBron James endorsing league contraction

When asked Thursday night in Phoenix – by me, if you must know – whether the anticipation of Saturday’s clash between the Lakers and free-agent-fortified Heat was validation for the decision by James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to team up in South Beach, James went on an articulate and controversial tangent about how the NBA’s overall talent is “watered down.” 

“Hopefully the league can figure out one day how it can go back to the situation like it was in the ‘80s,” James said. “… The league was great. It wasn’t as watered down as it is. You had more [star] players on a team, which made almost every game anticipated -- not just a Christmas Day game, not just a Halloween game. I don’t ever think it’s bad for the league when guys decide that they want to do some greatness for the better of what we call a team sport.” 

Via's BergerSphere: LeBron: Contraction would be 'great' for NBA

When it was pointed out to James that the NBA only had 24 teams back then, as opposed to the 30 it has now, James said, “That’s why. That’s my point.” 

Unsolicited, he then listed some of the teams in the ‘80s that had multiple All-Stars or Hall of Famers. But his soliloquy took a decidedly anti-union direction when he went so far as to name teams that are “not that good right now” – Minnesota and New Jersey were his examples – and spoke about what would happen if you took the good players on those teams and put them on better teams. Such a move would “shrink the guys” James said – a nice way of saying jobs would be lost through contraction, a concept that league negotiators have already confirmed is on the table as part of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. 

“I’m not saying let's take New Jersey and let's take Minnesota out of the league,” James said. “But hey, you guys are not stupid. I'm not stupid, but I know what would be great for the league." 

Fisher, whose union clearly would oppose such a move, said he disagreed with LeBron’s comments but didn’t believe they will hurt the NBPA’s cause in negotiations. 

"I don't think it's my place to tell one of our guys what they should be thinking or feeling or saying,” Fisher said. “But I don't necessarily agree with it." 

One of the biggest stars in the NBA talking about making the league great again by concentrating the talent on fewer teams? That’s certainly something the 30 worse players in the league can’t be happy about – considering that’s how many jobs would be lost if two teams were contracted. 

It’s also hard to see how the overall product wouldn’t be better. That’s something Fisher, union chief Billy Hunter, commissioner David Stern and his 30 (for now) owners will have to figure out.

Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:32 am

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

Easy for Lebron to say there should be less teams after he has joined an "all-star" team.  Ask any player 8-12 on a bench right now how they feel about contraction, including his teammates who would be out of a job if there are 6 less teams. Let the management do their jobs and shut up and play basketball.

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: December 26, 2010 2:16 am

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

Contract Miami!!  Look at that empty Lower Bowl when they play on TV!!  It's a Joke!! 

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2010 12:27 am

Contraction is not necessarily the answer

Contraction is the answer in some cases. It's the answer when you can't compete solely because there is no salary cap and your revenue prevents you from ever being able to compete in the league. This is different. Why is it that one of the most played sports in America not only has the smallest roster size of any major sport, but actually has a deficiency in talent at that?

I mean think about it. Not only does almost every college, university, junior college, high school, and hell even middle school have a basketball team, but we see 65 teams each year compete at the highest amateur level in the sport, and it's damn good basketball. It's fundamentally sound, it's competitive for the most part regardless of school size or status. We see international play driven by fundamental basketball and shooting.

Then we look at the NBA. We see atheletes, but not shooters or passers. Those who can put the two together are considered superstars. With the amount of people that play basketball in this world, it's hard for me to believe every team shouldn't have a Kevin Durant. Hell with 12 guys on a team a roster position should be a cutthroat, coveted spot. Still we see guys like Joe Smith last how many years in this league?

I know it's hard to find athletic guys 6'8" and above who can shoot, move, pass, etc. But I think the main problem and difference from now and then is the lack of fundamental basketball and poor roster building.

There's no way that you should need to not only get a lottery pick, but a top 1 or 2 pick to actually get a good player. That just shouldn't be the case. I can't believe it is the case. The whole system is screwed because in order to even get better, you have to completely tank. You can't be a middle of the road team, because without a superstar you'll never compete. The league can take steps to make it a less player-driven game, but then it wouldn't be as exciting to those teams with superstars.

basically, the NBA sucks, but not because of too many teams. If anything too many teams get in the playoffs. I know 8 is a nice round number, but when you have atrocious teams getting in the playoffs basically just placeholding, it's something nobody wants to watch.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 25, 2010 9:34 pm

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

Said it before...I'll say it again & briefly at don't contract teams that are drawing fans & making money...why the hell would you?

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 25, 2010 7:54 pm

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

Teams that need contraction:

L.A. Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, and New Jersey Nets.

I'm pretty sure the majority of the people in the NBA will agree with the idea of getting rid of the Clippers more than any other team, because L.A. does not need 2 teams.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 25, 2010 7:02 pm

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

and yes i did alllowed on purpose

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 25, 2010 7:00 pm

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

If I could be alllowed to say something instead of "aloud"..........The games in the 80's playoffs were most often over 100 for both teams.........physical play is not the answer today...........the players today can't shoot like the guys from before..........the game today is plenty physical enough.............guys just need to learn to shoot better rather than worrying about getting on sportscenter with whatever kind of dunk they can come up the games.........

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 25, 2010 6:49 pm

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

I'm sorry but announcerguy84 it looks to me like you are the idiot..........All he did was talk about the league in general and how it was better( and those of us around in the 80's agree with him) and how it could be better.........Did I miss something where he said hard working honest people should be jobless..........The nba is watered down right now and would be a hell of a lot better if they took a few teams away......All the players union would have to do is agree with the owners to add 3 players a team.........Nobody loses any jobs and the league would be much much more competitive and a lot of the guys that are close to being stars on bad teams that LeBron mentioned would have a chance to flourish...........The league would go through the roof with this............

Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: December 25, 2010 1:44 pm

LeBron James is a Management Tool!

And Derek Fisher is way too polite and sophisticated a politician to call him out!  Does anyone think that LeBron James came up with a "contraction" lead he gave to the reporter on his own?  Don't for a minute think that Lebron is capable of original thought.  The owners allowed his coup de tate take take place (remember, it was Dwayne Wade's idea) and someone has made sure simpleton LBJ knows it.   

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: December 25, 2010 1:43 pm

NBPA prez Fisher disagrees with contraction talk

Hmm, lets be a little less obvioulsy anti-lebron here folks. If there was still defense like back in the 80s Id like the NBA a whole lot more, but to say that Lebron wouldn't be where he is because of that is ridiculous. He is the strongest of all the big stars in the NBA so he is the one guy that could probably fair best against a tough, hands-on D. and even if you don't believe that, Kobe gets the most calls out of anyone. He would be greatly affected by less calls against the D. He's a better shooter than Lebron is, but James has improved and has that ability to just plain out-muscle people while Kobe relies on a lot my finesse and body control. ALL big stars in the NBA would see a different type of game if the defense was actually allowed to play in the NBA.As for the contraction, hes absolutely right. I don't think its because that they should try to get all the stars on the same teams, but there are teams, year after year winning 30 games or less in small markets that simply can't support them. There is no reason why their needs to be 30 teams if 1/3 of them cant compete on 9 out of 10 nights. I live in Milwaukee so Im cheering for one of those teams so its not like i dont have to worry about losing my team if the NBA decides to get smaller, but the fact is, we dont need ten bad teams when we could make them into 5 mediocre teams. And for the arguement that Lebron doesnt appreciate the secondary players and really complete teams? Really guys? those aren't the people taht are getting dropped. There are 12 people on the team and 4 of them never play, thats 40 people across four teams and even more if you cut a few of those guys from across the league. If these guys arent good enought ot play in the NBA regularly, they shouldnt be in. There is no room for feeling bad for players that dont make the cut...that's why theres a D league. no one here would care at all if the 9th-12th guys got cut, only if Lebron says they should. Stop hating Lebron, he owes none of you or me and in the fact that the league is watered down, it is. That's why teams are struggling year in and out.

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