Blog Entry

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:26 pm
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!


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.  

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:37 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I personally view this as good news.  I was once a true fan of the Lakers and the NBA.  Without going into any details its enough to observe that the NBA has become an extention of New York playground basketball and has little in common with basketball which once had rules and every player was judged (by the ref) against those rules.  Now it common the take three or four steps to the hoop and if you are a veteran player the refs rule one way.  If you are a "star" they rule another and for the poor ordinary player yet another.  The rules are changed to accommodate an actual inability to play "basketball."  I can only hope that group of players stays with their demands until the league is ruined.  If I want to watch this brand of ball, I'll watch the Globe Trotters.Innocent

Since: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:37 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I am so fed up with these high paid players that can only do one thing.  That is put a basketball thru a hoop or prevent another player from doing so.  The vast majority of them don't have enough education to contribute to society by getting any other job.  Without basketball they are completely lost.

I don't feel sorry for them or the owners.  Their product is so overpriced and pricing a lot of people out of seeing them play.  I could not care less whether they play or not.

College basketball is about to start, who cares about the NBA.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:36 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I hope the onwers just cancel the season.  The players are idiots.   The owners have all the risk, they deserve some of the reward, or at least to break even.  The players get paid to play a game, and they are crying over a few percentage points.  So they player avg dips from 5.8 mil to 5.3 mil,  cry me a river.   Owners, please, please, please, cancel the season.  Acutally, do what you want, I hate NBA hoops anyways.  I rather watch womens golf.

Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:35 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Is anybody really going to miss these goons ? I'm looking forward to a year without having to see a pseudo-sport, where the last team with the ball is the winner.

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:31 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Maybe the three of them can use their time off to go back to school and take a business class. Imagine doing that to your boss..... What a joke, the players should shut up and go play elsewhere if they don't like the millions they get overpaid in the NBA! Just a bunch of useless humans who have no idea what is going on in the rest of the world!

Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:28 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

So the NHL never had such a long drought of offtime...

Even though they lost a full season not even a decade ago...


Since: Oct 11, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:28 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

These morons do not get it.  Just when the league was making progress, they are going to shot themselves in the foot.  The perception around most basketball players whether fair or not is that they are overpaid and generally not compensated for performance (see all bad guaranteed contracts) and generally care more about outside endorsements and selling their sneakers than their fans.  They make more than most other players in profoessional sports by a long shot and their bodies are not subject to as much stress.  They will find out quickly how much people really do not care about them soon enough if they don't resolve this before football is over.  The average fan who tuned in last year to either love or hate the Heat won't care and the league will be all that worse off.  

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:23 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

What do you expect? Most of these players are angry, uneducated, semi literate males that subscribe to a primitive and tribal culture based on uber masculinity and violence. They mark and paint their skin with tribal graphics and markings to reflect social standing within the male community, and to establish their tribal association. They screech, make faces, and other hand gestures at other males as a form of intimidation. Prior to contests with other groups of males, a group will gather in close quarters, jump up and down, make grunting noises, and sometimes even dance in unison. Good grief. It's like watching something from National Geographic. Within the culture itself, masculinity and mating worthiness are measured by the size of rims on their vehicle, or by the selection of music carried on their iPods. In some areas, the size of subwoofers in the vehicle also denotes worthiness to mate. Males are seldom monogamous, and generally attempt to mate with as many females as possible. It is not uncommon for groups of males to mate simultaneously with a female. The act is called "running a train".  In a bizzare effort to show their social standing, alpha males particularly enjoy throwing cash in the air at naked females. The act is described as "making it rain up in here." And somehow you expect these people to be able to negotitate with the most educated, wealthiest, and elite class of people in the nation? Yeah right.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:22 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Culture-wise SMOKINGGUNS has a point even though it comes off as racist. In baseball each team representative is fairly well educated. Most baseball players from the USA have gone through 4 years of college and the negotiations have been sound enough to get a resolution. The black community continues to go through disarray even when they are rich. Proof of that is apparent with the difficulty both the NBA and NFL had. MLB and NHL have never had such a long drought of offtime because of difficulty with attitudes, egos, and lack of education getting in the way of negotiations.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:21 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

that's racist!!

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