Blog Entry

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:26 pm
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By Matt Moore

Imagine there's a U.N. debate. It's a discussion on global economics, centered around a few key and pivotal points, and a compromise must be reached in some form. The ramifications of this meeting are monumental dependent on the outcome (I know, it's the U.N., use your imagination). Both sides began on polar opposite sides of the issues. But as things have gone on, there have been more and more concessions from both sides, though clearly one side is expressing its overwhelming leverage from a position of strength, arguably to an excessive degree. 

To close this deal, with so much on the line, do you send in your experienced diplomat, the man who has the know-how and demeanor to establish guidelines, work to squirrel away as much as can be reasonably established,  and ensure that the lines of communication stay open? Or do you send in your slightly off-balance general who too often resorts to screaming and who considers everything to be a battlefield?

The owners sent in the warrior, and that at least partially contributed to the disaster of losing games so close to a deal.

Dual independent reports from ESPN today tell of the meeting that could have saved the season, and of the reported 50/50 deal that fell apart (which both sides claim came from the other side). And the conclusion came not with Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher dealing with the union, but with Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant... and Kevin Garnett marching in to tell the owner's what what.

The first report came from Bill Simmons in his column yesterday at Grantland 
During one of the single biggest meetings (last week, on Tuesday), Hunter had Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Garnett (combined years spent in college: three) negotiate directly with Stern in some sort of misguided "Look how resolved we are, you're not gonna intimidate us!" ploy that backfired so badly that one of their teams' owners was summoned into the meeting specifically to calm his player down and undo some of the damage. (I'll let you guess the player. It's not hard.) And this helped the situation … how? And we thought this was going to work … why?
via Bill Simmons Avoids a Few Subjects Before Making His Week 6 NFL Picks - Grantland.

OK, a vague report which doesn't name the particular player that went nuts. We can pass that asi...oh. From TrueHoop:
As Stern has recounted a dozen times since, not long after what was supposed to have been the hallway conversation that saved the season, something odd and wholly unexpected happened. There was a knock on the door where Stern was selling his owners on the idea. The players wanted to talk.

When they convened, instead of the union's head, Hunter, or their negotiating committee of Maurice Evans, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas and Chris Paul, representing the players were Fisher, Kessler, and three superstars who had been to very few of the meetings at all: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.

A bad sign: Pierce was still wearing his backpack.

The players had two pieces of news that shocked the league: 50/50 was not good enough. And there was nothing further to discuss.

...

And players who hadn't even been in the talks, and who seemed not to be on the same page with the crew that had endured more than 40 meetings, had been the ones to reject the best offer the league was likely to have, and to end the best day of negotiations prematurely.

What in the hell was going on? How had they so misread the situation? And where was Billy Hunter? Who spoke for the union? Should the league have been negotiating with Kevin Garnett all along?
via TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.

Ooh, ooh! I'll answer it! Me! Me! Me!

No.

Under no circumstances should Kevin Garnett be in charge of negotiating anything but an entry pass from Rajon Rondo on the left block. That's it. Not only should Garnett not be heading the conversations, Garnett shouldn't be allowed inside the building. He, Dan Gilbert, and Robert Sarver should be barred from the building, through court orders, if necessary. This whole disgusting charade has gone on long enough with ego, dramatics, and nonsense running the show. This is a business negotiation, and even if both sides want to approach it from the ruthless, cutthroat perspective, let it be done with the pen, not with petty shows of strength that only manage to detonate critical talks at a critical time. 

Garnett's going to get the most blame for this based off of his reported behavior. But Pierce and Kobe were both in the room, and should share the blame. The goal was to show the owners they won't back down. What they managed to do was weaken the union's position by making them look out of their league, which was reinforced on Friday with JaVale McGee's "folding" disaster. It's admirable that the players wanted to make a show of strength. But this wasn't the way to do it. Calmly standing behind Billy Hunter and reasserting their stand at 53 percent? Okay, not really helping the whole situation, but it's a reasonable position. 

Going solo with or without Hunter's permission and winding up in a screaming match with the owners?

That's not a reasonable approach. That's making a bad situation worse.

This entire scenario is reflective of the simplest terms of the lockout. The owners have been intransigent, manipulative, hypocritcal, and self-contradictory. They've pushed 50/50 as a compromise, when in reality it's a cave-in by the players to what the owner want. They've extorted and back the players into a corner. It's nearly shameful the power grab that's gone on throughout the course of these negotiations, dating back two years. 

And the players?

They're in that corner, and they can't stop themselves from running into the walls.

God save the NBA.  
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Comments

Since: Aug 5, 2009
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

@lumpoco
 When Brees, Manning, and Brady did it it was 3 highy educated guys have a civilized meeting with owners not 3 uneducated goons going in and making idiots out of them self. On the court all outstanding players and im sure great guys to sit down and have a beer with but outside of that they should keep themselves as far away from this situation as possible




Since: Oct 17, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 6:45 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

wait the nba is on lockout? who cares if they ever come back? most white guys like me that dont live in LA watch about 6 quarters of playoff basketball a year. i'll live. they still are going to play college hoops this year right?




Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: October 17, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

KG probably brought up how games have been FIXED and that the crooked refs in this league are determining the outcomes of games.   LOL .... at least I hope that's what he said.  NOONE CARES about the NBA cuz it's a sham.   And as far as the Celtic players are concerned, the shorter the season, the better the chance they have to win it all .. think KG and Pierce, and Kobe care about a shortened season .. lol .. hell no .. all they want is more championships ... and i'm sure a shorter season to get another one is fine by all of them, cuz it only improves their chances.  Ta hack with all of em .. cancel half the year for all I care. 




Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 4:40 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

These guys with little to no college education trying to negotiate. What a JOKE!!! If these guys were that smart why do they hire agents?! Dunking a basketball because your tall doesnt make you smart, all this is doing is making the players look foolish and unorganized. Do you think you would ever see the owners trying a bully tactic on the players?? No they are smart and in the end all this lack of communication will do in the players, they will fold and take a worse deal than what they already turned down and continue to be rich. The owners can see right through these guys and know its a matter of time before they buckle because most of the league (as rich as they are) cannot afford not to get a check.



Since: Oct 8, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 3:56 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 1, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Nice work KG!  Have you bothered to listen to all of the commotion about the lack of professional basketball in Boston this year?!  Oh wait....there is none!  NOBODY CARES!!!  With the Pats and the Bruins we're good without you!  Grow up!  Take what you can get.  And play ball!



Since: Aug 8, 2011
Posted on: October 17, 2011 11:39 am
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

The inmates are running the Assylum.  The only thing interesting about the NBA the last several years, is this TrainWreck of a contract negotiation.  Thank God this group only affects a game.



Since: Sep 17, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 10:16 am
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I wouldnt want Garnet negotiating anything for me. I can barely understand the man. He is a hall of famer but not exactly the most articulate fella. 



Since: Dec 2, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 9:01 am
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

XSGame: what happened? Did they kick you out of the occupy wall street protests? 



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:51 am
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

When Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning went toe to toe with the NFL owners...the media considered it a good sign...and yet when Pierce, Bryant and Garnett do it....it's called a disaster. The media cannot have it both ways...either having top players stand up to the owners is a good thing or it's a bad thing. You cannot have it both ways. I was really looking forward to the NBA season because I know Jerry West will help the Warriors get into the playoffs. But seeing as that the team is a few years away from that I could care less if they cancel 2 seasons worth of games. 


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