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: Apr 9, 2010
Posted on: October 17, 2011 12:31 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I can't blame the players here. 53% is a very solid offer considering they used to have 57%. A 50/50 offer represents a 14% change in profits. The players lose 7% and the owners gain 7%. 

However, you do not under any circumstances, send in Kevin Garnett to do negotiating. He is a great player, but he seems like a d*** otherwise. Perhaps sending in other intelligent, but important players or former players would be helpful. I think Shaquille O'Neal would be a great negotiator as well as perhaps somebody like a Pau Gasol who is also pretty smart who can also represent the foreign-born players as well as kind of scare the owners by talking about foreign teams.

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:51 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Of course the guys making $20 million per are going to stand tough.  They're set.  It's the 12th man on the bench and the league minimum guys that will be hurt.  Kobe, Garnett, Pierce, etc. are set for life.  Who is representing the average players?  What a joke.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:25 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

philertoo just nailed it.  exactly why the nba sucks

Since: May 5, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 8:25 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I hope the NBA never comes back - I would love to see the league disolved with my Mavs going out on top!!  It can't get any better than this, so let the league die!  If it manages to survive, I would like to see a 40 game season so the older Mavs can have fresh legs to win it again.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 7:36 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

the nba is a players only league.  large market teams can offer players more incentives (with marketing) than smaller market ones.  instead of having the yankees and red sox, there are boston, la, chicago, new york and miami.   stars can play their early years with the smaller markets and cash in in the large markets.  free agents don't want to go the the small markets.  the only way smaller market teams can compete is to get a superstar through the draft.  the current lottery system gives the worst team a 43% chance of drafting #4 and the 2 nd worst team a 50% chance of drafting #5 (very hard to land the superstar).   the nba would benefit from a hard cap and no lottery, just like the nfl.  i'm sick of watching players and agents control the league for their own gains.

Since: Mar 29, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 7:04 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:57 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

so sell the franchise. if you dont like the way this industry runs there businesses SELL THE FRANCHISE. No NBA owner has never lost money selling a franchise. Look at history NEVER. You want to make money sell the franchise. Get into something else. Franchises are not even a money maker anyway they knew this when they bought it. It looks great on there portfolia with there other multimillion dollar assets. It great to take business partners to games and even better to close deals. They DONt Like it Then Sell The player dont have this option this is there career. This is fun for the owners. 

Since: Jun 12, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:51 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Well it could have been worst..They could have brough Lebron instead of Pierce to tell the owners and commish how to settle this thing...Then we would have had a bunch of high school graduates who probably never even attended a class in their high school years (other than PE) settle the strike....LOL, what has the NBA come to?
I say let's skip the season and enjoy baseball/football and college and high school basketball and tell these guys to go screw themselves...

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:48 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I think that if the fans stood up and indicted they were tired of this madness. A fan would not have to boycott the entire season. or even a month or week, just one game each month.

The fans of certain cities would have to ban together for one single game. Say the boycott would start with a game in New York, no fan would show up. You would follow that up with boycotting the games in Washington, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Chicago, and so forth.

Do this for one month every three months.

If the fans would do this, very soon the owners as well as the players would wake up to the fact that fans matter.

The owners and players take the fans for granted and rightly so. As soon as the lockout is over the fans will be in line or on line getting tickets as if they need a drug or alcohol fix.

You should advertise on the internet through Face book and other social internet outlets to set up this ban of at least one game in each city every 3 months. You would still get your fix, but you would be sending the message to the players and owners that they should not count us out.

We are the driving force behind the league being successful.

If we don’t attend the game, purchase team merchandise, pay for parking and the over priced food in those food courts no one get paid.

If we stopped complaining about the players and owners, stand together for one single game this could be accomplished and we, the fans, would not be taken for granted.

I know I would and could stay away from one Laker game every three months.


Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 6:28 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

The XFL had a great idea, it just didn't have the money to pull it off.
The XFL problem was not financial since they was founded by Vince McMahon who has deep pocketts, but that an lot people think that XFL was bad joke.

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