Blog Entry

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:22 pm
 
This was all working out so well for the players. Deron Williams said hasta la vista to the lockout and took his talents to Turkey. Kevin Durant lit up Rucker Park with 66 points. Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony went to China and supposedly came back with lucrative offers for themselves and all their pals.

Or not.

To this point, no superstar has followed D-Will to Turkey or anywhere else. There are complications with these supposedly lucrative offers in China. And oh, we now bring you the widely anticipated and sadly inevitable news of Michael Beasley shoving a fan in the face and Matt Barnes punching an opponent during pro-am games on either coast.

We don't even want to get into the escapades of three former NBA players in the news this week -- Darius Miles, who was arrested for trying to bring a loaded gun through airport security, Rafer Alston, who was sued over his alleged role in a strip club fight, and Samaki Walker, who allegedly tried to dine on eight grams of marijuana during a traffic stop in Arizona, during which police also confiscated prescription drugs and liquid steroids.

Guns, strip clubs and weed -- the trifecta of ammunition for those quick to stereotype NBA players as outlaws, lawbreakers and menaces to society. Great job, guys.

It’s a lockout, so NBA players must be behaving badly. And they are.

I’ve written previously on my disappointment that the stars with all the clout aren’t speaking up for the union in the ongoing labor dispute, preferring instead to stay quiet and tend to their own affairs. The latest flare-up from the NBPA’s knucklehead contingent is proof why union officials disagreed with my premise all along. Simply put, they were happy that the players, by and large, had been conducting themselves professionally during the lockout and not stepping out of line – a la Kenny Anderson, who turned the public on the players when he lamented having to sell some of his luxury cars during the 1998-99 lockout.

The union, it appears, will give up a few sound-byte points to David Stern so long as it can avoid the Kenny Anderson moment. Except now, they have the Michael Beasley moment and the Matt Barnes moment.

The NBA has gone to great lengths in recent years to curtail on-court behavior, clamping down on gesturing, complaining to officials, and the like. But no such rules were in effect at New York City’s Dyckman Park, where Beasley “mushed” the face of a heckler Thursday night. Nor were they in effect at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco, where Barnes punched an opponent in a pro-am game on the very same night.

Such offenses in an NBA game would’ve earned an ejection, a hefty fine and a pointed rebuke from Stern. But the commissioner has no authority over the players now except in how he nonchalantly eviscerated all their bargaining positions with a smile on ESPN Tuesday night.

“They’re not serious about making a deal with the NBA,” Stern said, with no on-air response from any union representative. “They’re so busy talking about their decertification strategy, following the lead of their attorney, Jeffrey Kessler who did it for the NFL players, and engaging in conversations with agents about it and talking about it constantly, that we think that is distracting them from getting serious and making a deal.”

And now, some players are busy slugging playground wannabes and “mushing” the faces of hecklers from coast to coast, failing to realize that everyone in attendance has a phone capable of recording video and uploading it YouTube for all the world to see. Big difference from the last lockout, when we only got to read about a fraction of the follies the next day in the newspaper.

Making matters worse, just when it seemed that the players had a Kenny Anderson moment to pin on Stern – his bloated salary, which was reported to be between $15 million and $23 million – well, never mind. The Associated Press weighed in, citing multiple league sources who said Stern makes less than baseball commissioner Bud Selig ($18 million) and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ($11 million). A person with knowledge of the activities of the NBA’s advisory/finance committee – a group of 11 owners who set Stern’s salary – confirmed to CBSSports.com that $10 million or less was “in the ballpark.”

So to sum up, the best strategy the players have against the owners is to walk a straight line (except, now some of them are not) and the threat of stars going overseas (except only one star has done so). And even if more follow – even if 20 more follow – where does that leave the other 400 players? To stay home and receive weekly updates from NBPA president Derek Fisher about how the owners still haven’t moved off their “my-way-or-the-highway” proposal – or to go out and play for free in some exhibition game, where one union member or another might just have to slug somebody?

It’s a tough act to follow, but several star players will try. Even if a dozen or more of them get lucrative deals in China or somewhere else for $1 million a month, that’s still a small fraction of their NBA salaries. Don’t you think Jerry Buss would jump at the chance to pay Kobe Bryant $1 million a month? That’s a hefty discount off his NBA haul of $25 million a year.

How is all of this intertwined? Everything is intertwined during a lockout, and must be viewed through the prism of whether it helps or hurts the players’ bargaining position. Going off on a heckler or opponent at some exhibition game does not qualify as helpful. Except to the traffic on YouTube.
Comments

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

This is really a sad and a pathetic situation. Athletes in a sport that is not popular with the majority of Americans that are not satisfied being so rich in a down economy playing a game which is all that the majority of the participants could do in life. Most of the players would be working in fast food restaurants if not for basketball. How soon they forget the hard life that they had growing up. If the players actually expect sympathy from most Americans, they are sadly mistaken. There are so many thugs in pro sports that are so filthy rich, it is pathetic. Look at Larry Johnson in football, Albert Belle in baseball, John Daley in golf to mention just a few. These athletes do not have the worries of the average American, having enough money to survive. Let them all go overseas to peddle their skills. I could care less. Pathetic. I always remember the most stupid statement of all time when I think of the strike . The famous statement by Sprewell, after he turned down millions of dollars and before he filed for bankruptcy. I can't feed my children on that. Case Closed.




Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:57 am
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

I personally hope the lockout/strike goes on for years. Can you imagine the possible headlines that these dudes who aren't pulling a paycheck anymore will produce? The lead story every night will go, "NBA player________." You fans can fill in the blanks, but here are some possibilities. "NBA player tazed by Atlanta police." "NBA player arrested over lack of child support." "NBA player detained by airport security for drug smuggling." "NBA player in altercation @ a Miami strip club." "NBA player caught doing 135 mph in a school zone." "NBA player mushes fan @ NYC playground." Wait; that one's already taken.



Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: August 6, 2011 10:59 am
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Oy.  More zombie journalism from CBS Sportsline.  Why not try an original take rather than just condemning the entire NBA because of the actions of a few screwballs?  What percentage of the entire workforce or even humanity in general are screwballs?  Can we go a little deeper next time, Berger?  Try working for your money rather than just churning out the same, tired perspective.



Since: May 12, 2010
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:09 am
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Why cant these folks get through their thick heads that manners and common decencey is a part of life. Just because they play in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL and make more money in a year then I make in 20 years. Some guys I know have these so called possie's that hang on for what ever reason. It is not that hard to use a designated driver or hold your temper and not beat up your wife or girl friend. You do not need to try to eat your stash and hide from reality doing all the drugs floating around. Having your possie brother go doctor shopping to get you drugs. David Stern has major problems as does the Commissioners of the NFL,MLB and NHL. All these people are showing the world that they think they are above the law if a few more of them like Micheal Vick, Plaxico Burris, and others. Kenny Anderson and Micheal  Beasley and Matt Barnes or even Derrik Jeter great roll models for kids eh!




What's sad is that people like you categorize this as basketball players behaving badly. People in general act this way pick up a local newspaper and read it . The only reason it gets so much attention is because their famous. Are you really writing about fighting?  That's human nature to fight. It's ok for hockey players to fight in the rink. This is not acceptable in any of the three other major sports. They are just human like everyone else and Matt Barnes and Rafer Alston aren't viewed as role models...just role players...... and why is Derek Jeter on your list, what did he do that was so bad? 



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 11:12 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Why cant these folks get through their thick heads that manners and common decencey is a part of life. Just because they play in the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL and make more money in a year then I make in 20 years. Some guys I know have these so called possie's that hang on for what ever reason. It is not that hard to use a designated driver or hold your temper and not beat up your wife or girl friend. You do not need to try to eat your stash and hide from reality doing all the drugs floating around. Having your possie brother go doctor shopping to get you drugs. David Stern has major problems as does the Commissioners of the NFL,MLB and NHL. All these people are showing the world that they think they are above the law if a few more of them like Micheal Vick, Plaxico Burris, and others. Kenny Anderson and Micheal  Beasley and Matt Barnes or even Derrik Jeter great roll models for kids eh!



Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: August 5, 2011 11:06 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Just wanted to give Berger a thumbs up for the addition of planking to the logo. Nice!



Since: Oct 26, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2011 9:25 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Guns, strip clubs and weed -- the trifecta of ammunition for those quick to stereotype NBA players as outlaws, lawbreakers and menaces to society.


'cause the boyz in da hood are always hard....  



It's always a good idea to be strapped.  You never know when someone might try to run up on you.





Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 7:42 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Why dont I write a story about all the writers out there and there personal issues.  YOu are a joke.  3 players have issues and it's news....Let me share something with you.  There are plenty of stories about cbs employees or former employees that have run in with the law, included 11 DWI so far this year.  Why dont you write about CBS's issues.



Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 7:31 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

Some people wonder why the NBA. Isn't doing as good as baseball or football or even the NHL anymore , all you have to do is look at Barnes or Beasley , just look at most of these players .... The look like the should be playing in a prison yard and probally would have if they couldn't make the NBA



Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 7:13 pm
 

Sadly, it's players behaving badly

the comment about no one following wiliams is in correct

Jordan farmer signed With Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, Marcon Bilenli is clos eto Sign with Siena in Italy

and Two other NBA players signed with turkish teams this week 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com