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Blog Entry

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

Posted on: October 4, 2011 8:29 am
 
NEW YORK -- Contrary to popular belief, the most important fight being waged Tuesday in Manhattan is not David Stern vs. Billy Hunter, nor is it the NBA vs. the players.

Fight No. 1 will occur at 10:30 a.m. in another happenin' hotel in the city, when Stern and his cabinet meet with the owners privately to set their strategy for what could be the last bargaining session with the players for a very long time. Fight No. 1(a) is Hunter's fight, and that one begins in earnest after the owners-player talks blow up spectactularly at noon.

One is contingent on the other. If Stern is unable to rein in his owners and insist on offering the players a fair deal that they will accept -- if he is unable to win fight No. 1 -- then Hunter's fight is inevitable. There is real frustration, venom and fury ready to be unleashed by a cadre of powerful agents who represent enough players to turn this process into a cataclysm that will bring basketball to its knees.

Billy "Giveback" Hunter, one agent referred to him as on the phone early Tuesday -- and it got worse from there, much more mean-spirited and unfair and too angry, honestly, to publish any more. There is real anger here among the agents, some of whom are advising their clients not to vote for a deal that gives back one dollar of the players' 57 percent of revenues -- even as the National Basketball Players Association is believed to have offered 53 percent and maybe lower. What the agents are fighting for now has already left the barn, hasn't it?

"Nothing has left the barn," one of the agents said. "The vote will determine what's left the barn."

The agents want their players to be able to vote in a private setting on any deal Hunter and the union agree too, and they want their clients to have more than 24 hours to digest the particulars. They don't want another show-of-hands vote like the one that ended the 1998-99 lockout, in which every player had the "opportunity to vote," as it states in the union bylaws, but less than half the membership actually voted.

"A Libyan vote," one agent characterized it as. "It was a pep rally."

The agents are furious with Hunter and want a piece of Stern and the owners, too. It is clear that even if Hunter reached a deal Tuesday on a percentage of BRI the union already has offered, there's no guarantee he'll get it past a vote -- only a guarantee that Hunter would be out of a job.

Hunter has always been in an impossible position in these negotiations, and I personally don't blame him for the bargaining and legal strategies he's pursued and for those he's left unexplored. The agents -- seven of whom wrote to their clients over the weekend urging them to dig in -- have only seen one viable option since 12:01 a.m. on July 1: decertification and an antitrust lawsuit. Never mind that decertification didn't work for the NFL players in their lockout, and that it resulted in a sweeping victory for the owners in that sport, too. Never mind that agents work in a profession that, by definition, requires duplicity to be successful. Never mind that the agents can't even seem to agree on what their letter says; one insisted Monday that it urges players to accept "no further reduction" in BRI from what the union has offered, while another said the line in the sand was 57 percent.

Union president Derek Fisher, thrust into a tempest of politics and age-old grudges that make Shaq vs. Kobe look like a game of pattycake, responded with a letter of his own Monday night rebuking the agents. This game of pen pal is nice and quaint, and now the powder keg gets wheeled into the room at noon ET Tuesday for the real fireworks.

It's a mess, a basketball Armageddon that only Stern and his owners, and then Stern and Hunter -- doing their last bargaining dance with jobs and legacies on the line -- can forestall.
 
Happy Tuesday. 
Comments

Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: October 5, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

"WOW.  Just when I think I've read the dumbest post in my life on this site somebody else steps up to the plate and delivers....  They [the players] live crazy lifestyles, and for the most part are stupid, stupid people"


Where you trying to top him?  First you claim a bunch of people you don't know are stupid and live crazy lifestyles.  Wait, not just "stupid&quo
t; but "stupid, stupid". 

Next you follow your statement about the NBA's "record profits" - in bold mind you -  with "the league IS LOSING MONEY"?





Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: October 5, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

"... let's say I'm the highest producing salesman at the dealership." 


So you've already lost the ability to make any kind of analogy that makes sense.  I've got a better idea.  Let's say you're Tom Cruise and someone comes to you and asks you to make a movie.  And you say fine but I want 25 million and X percent of the gross.  What do they say?  They say GREAT, we know if you're in our movie it's going to hit, sounds like a great deal.


See not every actor is Tom Cruise and although anyone, even you, might be the top salesman at the dealership you are not Wade or Kobe and no one else is either.  No one gives a rats a** who sells them their car but they do care who they're going to watch play basketball or act in the movie they're shelling out for.

You may not like the players now and maybe you can't afford to take the family to game but your whole line of resoning is backwards.  It's not the players that set ticket prices.  It's the owners.  And they don't set them so the average family of 3 can attend the game.  They set them as high as they can and still fill the seats.  

They're not setting the price of tickets higher because they have to pay James 25 mil a year, they're playing him 25 mil a year because they can then set the ticket prices higher and still fill the seats.  All those people paying $250 for the seats spend more on jerseys, food, etc than you and your family of 3.


That's why Forbes estmated the heat were worth 60 million more right after they signed James.   The guy that owns the Heat probley didn't get all that excited by the 60 mil increase in value; he has a net worth of 4.1 billion.  You can get all angry at James if you want, but the guy that owns the heat, the one with 4.1 billion in assets, he's the one that doesn't give a crap if you and your family of 3 can attend the game.


   


      
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 4, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

I'd like to see the players tell the owners to "shove it" and walk out of negotiations, daring the owners to cancel the season.  In fact, I think that a lost season would hurt the owners more than the core group of NBA players. 

WOW.  Just when I think I've read the dumbest post in my life on this site somebody else steps up to the plate and delivers.  The owners would be hurt more then the core players?  Guess what dumbass.  Every owner probably makes more in interest then the highest paid NBA players.   Don't kid yourself, the players don't have the ability to miss a season and not be hurt.  They live crazy lifestyles, and for the most part are stupid, stupid people. 

 A lost season would seriously damage the NBA's momentum of record profits.

Have you not been paying attention man? There are no profits !!! That's the problem here.  Even the UNION admits the league IS LOSING MONEY.... the PRESIDENT of the UNION admitted that.  The question and what they are fighting about is how much are the owners losing? They did a full audit that PROVED the owners aren't profiting.

You think record REVENUE and PROFITS mean the same thing..... there is a big difference, I could never explain it to somebody as stupid as you. 



Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: October 4, 2011 4:14 pm
 

Just Cancel the Fracking Season!!!

I'd like to see the players tell the owners to "shove it" and walk out of negotiations, daring the owners to cancel the season.  In fact, I think that a lost season would hurt the owners more than the core group of NBA players.  Most of these guys should be able to live off of the interest their pay generates.  A lost season would seriously damage the NBA's momentum of record profits.  The NBA was in a great place before the lock out.  Fans were going crazy for the sport.  Teaching fans that they can live with out the high ticket prices, expensive apparel, and week nights without pro hoops on TV hurts the owners more than the players.  "This is what you wanted, owners.  Live with it!"  Eventually, they are going to start to see the value of their franchises plummet head over heals down the hill, like Jack and Jill.  The owners would be begging the players to come back to negotiations and have an entirely different attitude.  That is when some genuine negotiating can be accomplished.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 4, 2011 4:06 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

the players need to hold out long term and get all the money they deserve from the greedy, billionaire owners!  The owners have plenty of money to keep paying the 57% plus benefits.  The players are multimillionaires and can hold out long term if needed to get all the money they want!

First of all any money the owners have comes from other business ventures, they don't owe the players ONE PENNY of that money. 

Second of all and most importantly, the last line of your post was HILARIOUS... I honestly laughed a little out loud.  The players can hold out long term to get all the money they want? BAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA   Now that's some funny stuff man, you should do stand up comedy or something, you'd be great at it.

The players for the most part can't afford squat.... you think they can because they make a lot more money then we do but not a chance they can afford too much time off. Why do you think there are NBA players willing to leave their wives and young children behind to play overseas?   You honestly believe the players love the game so much they'd leave their families behind to play basketball overseas for a fraction of what they make in the NBA if they didn't need the cash?  If you believe that, you're an idiot.

Players are maxed out... as in debts coming out their you know what....  these guys don't owe 20 or 30 grand in credit cards and loans like a normal person might.  And they don't have 200 thousand or 300 thousand or 400 thousand dollar mortgages like a normal person has. They owe MILLIONS in mortgages and loans and with those debts come huge payments... not to mention they don't live the life you and I live either.... they spend and spend and spend all season and all year long.

The owners can hold out... as a matter of fact the league could fold and not one owner starves.  But the players?  One season off and half of them are so screwed it's not even funny. 



Since: May 20, 2011
Posted on: October 4, 2011 3:05 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

The NBA has followed a business plan that promotes its 'stars' at the expense of its teams. If there is a lock-out and the union decertifies, the NBA could hire replacement players. But who would go to a game where you prbably don't recognize one out of ten players on the floor. The players could organize exhibitions that would be better attended than an NBA game with scab players. The VERSUS Network would be happy to work out a television agreement (ESPN would not because of its current NBA agreement). 

The owners would quickly find out who is more important to the league. It doen't take a brain surgeon to run an NBA franchise and it would not be difficult to arrange television rights and advertising for an exhibition schedule. This could eventually lead to the formaiton of a league in competition with the current NBA.  Stern had better get the owners straightened out or we could see the demise of his league. Once the NBA gets back to playing basketball, the owners should show Stern the door.  His misguided and limited vision has hurt the NBA irreparably. 



Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

The business model of the NBA has been broken for some time, and Stern has been at the helm.

What happened in Seattle is a prime example of Stern's mismanagement, allowing a team with a
41 year history to be moved to Oklahoma despite having strong fan support.

It's old news and I am not here to beat THAT dead horse.

However, it's representative of Stern's performance as Commissioner.

Stern sided with the new the Sonics new owner that the Seattle Center Coliseum
(Key Arena) was not an acceptable venue, and that refurbishing it was not a viable
option to keep the team in Seattle.

Then after the team moved, Stern said that refurbishing Key Arena would be acceptable.

The guy talks out of both sides of his mouth to get whatever he wants, regardless of
what's in the best interest of the long-term viability of the NBA.




Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Hold Out!

the players need to hold out long term and get all the money they deserve from the greedy, billionaire owners!  The owners have plenty of money to keep paying the 57% plus benefits.  The players are multimillionaires and can hold out long term if needed to get all the money they want!



Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:07 pm
 

To: Gary Bettman

Now would be a great time to start offering a boatload of NHL games on the cheap side to the networks.

Signed,

Captain Obvious
(or at least, it better be obvious....)



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 4, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Clock ticking for Hunter, Stern

I hope it goes away permanently.  The NBA sucks anyway and has for at least ten years now.  Ever since everyone wanted to be Michael Jordan the NBA has become increasingly boring to watch.  Good riddance. 


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