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: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 4:56 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I support the owners without question. The players are just overpaid babies. I have a GREAT business model. Pay the players modestly, but have the winners of the games get paid alot more then the losers. Throw that money down and maybe they will play each game like they care. The XFL had a great idea, it just didn't have the money to pull it off.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 4:40 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

This NBA lockout story continues to get better.  Just when I think the players can't be any more stupid they send these three geniuses in to "negotiate".  Whoever let these morons into the room to piss the owners off even more should be fired.  If I were a team owner the next time we go to the table the revenue split would go to 51/49 in the owners favor.  Each week following that I would increase owners share by another % until the players are choked out or surrender.  Yes the players are the talent just ask them, but how many of these guys are sports media created?  I do believe that you could continue the NBA with all new players; banning the current ones, and nobody would notice after 2 or 3 years.  New stars would be made and we could watch a new breed play ball like it should be.

Since: Feb 26, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

NBA is very low on my list of sports interests.  So I'm only reading these articles so I can laugh at the lockout because I don't really care.  I follow the playoffs and might watch the Finals just to see who wins.  But other than that, I don't care much.  The college game is much better.

I actually side with the owners a bit on these discussions.  Of course, I don't know anything about the financial situation of the NBA.  But it just seems to me that the NBA players have had the sweetest deals of all of the leagues.  Guaranteed contracts (in some cases, at least).  Small rosters to allow for a bigger slice of the pie.  It seems even the most mediocre players are making millions of dollars when you would think that they would be at $1 million at best.  It's a freaking joke.  I believe Stern and Ted Leonsis when they say that their system is broken and they need to overhaul it to get the finances under control.  I am sure that most of the money goes to paying the players anyways.  Look at the NHL.  They did this.  And now the NHL is starting to get bigger and better.  And now Winnipeg has a team again.  I'm American, but I think it's great that there is another team in Canada.

I believe that NBA players, especially Garnett and Kobe who never even went to college, have been coddled too long and moreso than players in other leagues.  I don't think they understand that money doesn't grow on trees.  It just doesn't come out of a bottomless wallet in the owners' pockets.  And they also owe big thanks to the fans for paying for expensive tickets and swag to support them.
I think it's hilarious that someone is pointing out that there are all of three years of college education between Garnett, Kobe and Pierce.  And of course, all three of those years belong to Pierce.  Did he finish his degree in three years?  (I don't know.  I doubt it.)  And I wonder what he was studying.  Probably not business.  (I just looked it up.  The major is Crime and Delinquency Studies.)

I'm hoping to see them lose a whole season.

little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:53 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 27, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:39 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

This league is a joke, and it shows more and more every day.  I bet the poor slob who sits on the bench and "only" makes the league minimum (like $800K or something) really appreciates these super star prima donnas negotiating for them and blowing up the entire process.  It won't be long before some of the low and mid level players begin speaking up and the union will crumble like a house of cards.  Even if these stupid ignorant players cause the season to be lost (along with the owners), I for one, won't miss the NBA at all.  Bring on the NFL, NHL and College Basketball... can't wait!

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:34 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I could easily live without the NBA!
 This is the crux of the NBAPA's problem. What they don't understand in their dream-like world, is few really care about if they play a full-season or even the year. They're not the NFL or even MLB. heck, they're not even the NHL. Let me expand on this...

The NFL is America's obsession. it's our soccer(heck, they're both football!). The fans would truly miss the sport. You have the actual games, then they're is the obsession with fantasy sports. There would be a real void in the sportsworld if the NFL was gone. Post-season baseball and college football helps, but it wouldn't fill those Sunday's. Hockey is popular regionally only in the US.

MLB fills the summer void when nothing else is going on. The Olympics are once every 4 years and are only 2 weeks. There is nothing else once the Stanley Cup Playoffs and NBA Finals are done. That's one of the main reasons it's missed.

As for the NHL, few will miss it in the US. However, it's Canada's obsession. They have nothing else sports-wise. The CFL is a joke and what's left curling? They live-and-die with hockey. It's their NFL.

The NBA players will get no sympathy from anyone other then their families and entourage. No one loves the owners, but they're losing money. The fans could care less, but understand it's their money. They also get it's their team. They invest all the risk. The players risk their health, but that's covered by their contracts and insurance. They lose only potential earning, not real money as long as the league is playing games.

The NBAPA should put a gag order on it's membership and negotiate to minimize losses. The longer it goes, the more money they'll lose this year and in the future. They have to understand like all unions, this country is in a recession and their lucky to have what they have. They'll get no support from the public. Too many are looking for work or working at jobs they hate until things get better. Man up.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:14 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

hockey is stupid and it sucks
I can say the same for this post.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:13 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Simply Amazing!  Three total economic morons attempting to discuss high finance.  But is anyone surprised?
 Remember 2 of 3 never even pretended to go to college. Honestly, what is wrong with the NBAPA? You pick a small cadre of players who understand the issues and tell the rest to STFU. No tweeting, no interviews, just let the "experts" handle the situation.

I've done union negotiations. You never say what you're discussing formally. You give the most basic info to your membership and go back to the table to negotiate. The membership have put their faith in you and you are one of them. No outside interference is going to help. It will just hurt. Let the chosen do their job. Hunter and Stern have made deals before.

Garnett, Pierce and Kobe are terrific basketball players. All 3 are gritty. They've won titles, have played big in the biggest of the games and at least one of them is a Hall-of-Famer. They are have high basketball IQ's. However, when it comes to real world issues and economics they're dullards. They should be working out, resting up and in Garnett and Pierce's case, planning their post-basketball careers.

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:16 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Simply Amazing!  Three total economic morons attempting to discuss high finance.  But is anyone surprised?

Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:14 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

hockey is stupid and it sucks

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