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Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:11 am
Angered by commissioner David Stern's assertion that greedy agents are imperiling the possibility of reaching a collective bargaining agreement, high-profile agent Mark Bartelstein fired back Sunday night -- telling that it is the owners, not the agents, who are being greedy.

"The greed that's being exhibited in this negotiation is strictly on the part of the NBA owners and nowhere else," Bartelstein said. "When the union has shifted well in excess of $3 billion over the course of this deal from players to owners and that's not good enough for the owners, that's the definition of greed."

In a phone interview with the Association Press, Stern said this weekend that agents appeared to be engaged in an "orchestrated" campaign to conceal details of the owners' latest proposal from their clients and are choosing instead what he called a "losing strategy" of decertification.

"By some combination of mendacity and greed, the agents who are looking out for themselves rather than their clients are trying to scuttle the deal," Stern said.

(Mendacity isn't the same thing as asshattery, but it's close. Google says it is the act of being untruthful.)

Bartelstein, one of the most powerful agents in the NBA with dozens of clients, also is among a group of seven influential agents who have collected around 200 signatures on decertification cards to be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board in an effort to dissolve the union in response to what they view as a decidedly one-sided negotiation favoring the owners.

"If the players are going to make the concessions to address over $300 million a year in a shift in revenue from the players to the owners, the one thing the players should get back is flexibility, freedom, freedom of choice and a more vibrant and free-market system, because it's a zero-sum game," Bartelstein said. "Instead, they're ratcheting down the system in the name of competitive balance, and that's completely disingenuous.

"A negotiation is supposed to be about making trades," Bartelstein said. "The biggest part of any negotiation is the dollars. That's the biggest part of this negotiation. The players are giving the owners the dollars. If the owners are concerned about competitive balance, it can absolutely be handled through revenue sharing. And the myth they're putting out there that they can't share losses, there's no truth to that argument whatsoever. Revenue sharing has nothing to do with sharing profits and losses. It's about making sure low-revenue teams can have more revenue so they can be more competitive and you can have a better product. That should be done through revenue sharing, not through getting concessions from the players."

Bartelstein said he has spoken with union executive director Billy Hunter in recent days to share his thoughts about the state of the negotiations and the options at the players' disposal. Hunter convened a meeting of the players' executive committee Sunday night in advance of a meeting with player reps and potentially other players at 9 a.m. ET Monday in Manhattan. As was the case last week, the player reps will decide whether the owners' proposal should be presented to the full body for a vote, or whether it should be rejected or sent back to the league with suggested amendments and a request for further negotiation. Stern has said the league does not plan to revise the proposal again, and that it is the last one that realistically could provide the players with a 72-game season starting Dec. 15.

It also is the last one that would give the players a 50 percent hare of revenues. If the players reject the offer, Stern said the owners' negotiating position will shift to an offer in which player salaries would be derived from a 47 percent share of revenues with a hard team salary cap and rollbacks of existing contracts.

As of Sunday night, no final decision had been made on when the players would file a decertification petition with the NLRB, but there is widespread assumption in the agent community that the players will not accept the league's offer or put it to a vote. Also, there are indications that the decertification movement could push forward early this week regardless of what the player reps decide to do with the proposal.


Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 10:11 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

Listen you backwoods "I dont know what" . Great I agree with you, don't split  your profit with employees 50/50. But they should have completed free agency right out of college. Just like you and I have just like every american.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 8:09 pm

power on

the agent mad that he have to hold off on updating his new bentley till his people start bringing in some more green. 

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:37 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

Your also forgetting about there wifes making 5 mill a year and never show up a day there kids make  1 mill a year and never show up for 1 day and what ever other family member wants a million dollar job. It funny that the ownerss spend all this money on other stuff not related to the team and the players have to pay for it. Look at the dodgers now watch there payroll dwindle. 

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

Stern's a pussy.  He's always talking big, and swinging a big fake stick, but without him... guess what... The NBA would still be bounding along wonderfully.  He gets tons of props for amazing developments, but ALL sports are in their heyday right now-- you'd have to be a fool to NOT do well in sports right now (Hell, the Pac 12 just signed the biggest tv deal ever in college sports-- and are they the best conference in NCAA?  Hardly.  Their deal just came up at the right time).  The NBA will ALWAYS do well in this media driven age, because unlike baseball and football, they have smaller rosters, and fewer people to share the money with.  And therefore, by necessity, the players are worth more (as in- take the value of the league, divide it by the number of players, and per player this league is worth the most).

They play the 2nd most games of any major sport in their season, have incredibly high ticket prices, and even to an NBA player, noticeably take in LOTS and LOTS of money and have fewer players to pay.

There is more money per "unit" in the NBA so of course the owners are more voraciously fighting for those units than any other sport.  That fighting yields higher personal results for each owner.  Yet in typical Stern fashion, when the players gave an inch (or in this case, almost $3 billion) he decided "well hell, if they give an inch, they'll give a foot then-- 'cause I'm a badass and the players are a bunch of wusses".

I mean, what an arrogant prick.  He is NOT an owner, no batter what you think of the owners versus players paradigm.  He's supposed to be looking out for the good of the league, above and beyond the greed of the owners.  Think of sports commissioners as the board chair of a corporation, or University- they should balance the interests of all parties, for the good of the organization.  So, what a joke to tell the players, like little kids, you better take this deal or we're never offering 50% again.

And I'm sorry, comparing the NBA to "what other business" blah blah blah is just stupid-- what other business' employees are worth $100 millions each, depending on the team?  The owners want the most money, and the most control.  Because they're rich old white guys who have always muscled their way into getting just that very thing.  They didn't become super wealthy, excellent businessmen by giving in lots throughout their lives.  But surprise, the players aren't going to give it to them.  Not anymore-- because they were dumb enough to let the players become more valuable than the teams over the past decade.

Reap what you sow, owners.  Valuable players have higher demands.  And can't be shut up as easily in the NBA, where their power is higher per player (whereas Major League Baseball's negotiations should go much more smoothly-- based on the high number of players).

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:05 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

The NBA players have conceded in negotiations up to $1 Billion..... read here: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.



The owners want you to think the players haven't tried to cut a deal. The 52-48 was cut down from the old CBA of 54/46...

Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:44 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

Bartelstein has the most to lose as an agent, so of course this is about his wallet, not the players or owners.  Nice try to attempt to mask your own greed with a bunch of trash.

Bartelstein states that the players have shifted $3 billion to the owners already.......wrong, they have shifted nothing, there is no deal in place, the players want more than what is being offered.

He further states that the players are giving the owners dollars....wrong again.  Every dollar that is earned by the team belongs to the owner.  It is up to the owner to determine who gets what for their role in the company.  If the players would like to rent time on the team, then they can start paying the owners for the right to don the uniform and play.  Until the world is turned upside down, I am sure we will not see the players give the owners any dollars.

Bartelstein tries to address revenue sharing in the interest of parity in the league.  If we follow his logic, we should all pay more in taxes so that those less fortunate then us have a competitive chance to have the same.  Who cares if your job has a limited pay scale, we'll make it right by giving you someone else's money.  If I am an owner, I do not wish to have to share my good fortune that my town and team earn more than yours..........contraction is the smart move.  Stern is a greedy idiot who allowed too many franchises that were placed in markets that cannot support what it costs to be successful.

Bartelstein should shut up and get his players on board with the deal otherwise he is earning a total of 5% of nothing.....

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:48 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

What a Joke the Players don't own the teams and they split the revenue, tell me what business splits half the revenue with employees BEFORE expenses?  More than half go broke 5 years after they retire and they make millions.  Oh and it costs 300 bucks for 2 people to see one meaningless regular season game in OK seats .  Their whole economics on both sides is GARBAGE!!!

Since: Jun 3, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:04 pm

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

Actually the fans have always had, and always will have, the leverage in any of these professional sporting cases. The NFL was smart and realized the money they were missing. The only problem with the fan is they don't realize they have all the power. Stop going to games if you really want lower prices and think players get paid too much. Stop buying jerseys and other apparel if you think owners are greedy. Stop watching NBA on TV and the internet if you think they're fighting over TV revenues is a big joke. YOU THE FAN provide this $4.47 Billion they are fighting over. The sad truth is....when all of this is said and done, and games begin again, YOU THE FAN will be paying these salaries and owner profits like YOU THE FAN have always done.....
So YOU THE FAN, please stop whining about greed when YOU THE FAN don't do anything about it....

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:37 am

Agent fires back at Stern over 'greed' comment

REALLY?  The players should start their own league?  Where do you suppose they will play these games?  Who will run the business?  Where will they get the capitol to start this venture?  Who will televise the games?  The NBA can hire "scabs" or just wait until the next crop of NCAA players are ready to join.  If you honnestly believe that the players hold the leverage here you are mistaken.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:32 am

Bartelstein Is 100% Spot On!

This is exactly what my thoughts have been through out this strong arm process of the owner's.  The players are being taken to the cleaners and told to accept it or else.  That is not negotiating, it is bullying.  They need to decertify and sue the owners for everything they can get.  Better yet, they should start their own league and leave this group out in the rain.  An NBA team with no players has no value, from where I sit.  The players should make these bullys aware of that.  "Hey owners, wanna lose $500 million overnight?  Well keep screwing with us!"

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