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: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:14 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I am I missing something??  I am in my 60's and worked all my life.  I can't even imagine having a job where I could insist that I make as much of my companies profits as my employer does.  How did this become an issue?  Why aren't these prima donna employee's (players) happy with their million dollar contracts and their cribs lifestyles??  I could easily live without the NBA!

Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:14 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Owners aren't getting rich by owning a team, they have others interests that make them money so if the season doesn't happen, they are still going to have money. On the other hand, this is the players job and I would believe that most if not all comes from them playing. No play, no money , its really that simple. There is no other place they are going to make the money that the owners are offering and every time the players speak, the owners get more and more money with more and more power. The players were going to go overseas and make money that way, yea that didn't turn out so well. Players were going to start up their own league, yea right, thats never going to work, but I would love to see them try. Talk about a mess.

  I could care less if the players play this year, but each day goes by, owners are getting stronger, while  the players are getting weaker. Take what they are offering before they will be getting 20% and having to sing and perform at kids birthday parties. 

Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:04 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

who gives a crap about these overpaid overated crybaby millionaires or billionaires i say keep not agreeing i for sure won't miss the nba crap its football season and it goes to feburary now, hockey will get more exposure college basketball is about to start anyway...then before you know it baseball is here again....forget these clowns 

Since: Oct 14, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:59 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks


NCAA* They play for 40 minutes* not 60, NBA only has 48 minute games anyway. something*

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:58 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

On pint #1: While I disagree I can'r prove you're wrong

On pint #2: Obama proves THIS everyday so you may be right about that too.

Point #3: it's the NBA, so, whatever.....

Point #4: completely correct.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:35 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

This is ridiculous.  On one side we have what is considered to be the player's brain trust? Kevin Garnett? Paul Pierce? The other side might be a bit more polished but by far more corrupt.  Let's not forget that David Stern took part in rigging the NBA lottery back in the early days when they used to put envelopes in a cage and then one by one Stern would pull them out.  By now everyone has heard the rumor that the Patrick Ewing draft day envelope was chemically treated to be cold to the touch.  If you don't believe that then think about this for a second...Imagine watching your state lottery drawing and then imagine that instead of a machine distributing ping pong balls....there's some person there putting his or her's hand in the machine and pulling them out manually.  Stern rigged the early lottery drafts...which makes him the most corrupt commissioner in sports history.  This whole negotiation process has been a joke.  Are you really telling me that a business as big as the NBA is being shut down completely because of one or two percentage points?  Fire everyone in the negotation process and start over....I figure it should take about a week to get a deal done. 

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:42 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.

These guys aren't rocket scientists...or economists...or air traffic controllers, policemen, firefighters...or even trash collectors.....we CAN do without them.  They aren't smart enough to understand that, or to shut their mouths and let someone that can at least DO the math, discuss it.  

The Union members are smart enough, that they will realize the union isn't negotiating for them....they are fighting for issues that benefit the top 2 dozen paid players, not 90% of them, and the people the union is fighting for, have made enough money to not need the NBA. They are defending the wrong people.

Let Garnett, Kobe, Wade, LeBron, etc...retire, or go to Europe, or start their own league and put their money (and intelligence) where their mouths are, and go forward without them. Owners need to redraw an agreement that insures plenty of profit, so us taxpayers can get some help subsidizing the people who sit home and watch NBA, instead of going to work to help pay for it.   

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:40 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Give me college basketball any day .... These egotistical idiots (both sides) will finally be the ruin .... All they need to do is look back at how long baseball took to get back on its feet after they went out.

Good luck NBA I really won't miss you

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:32 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

The longer the NBA is on strike the better it is for my beloved NHL so stay on strike you out of touch millionaires and billionaire owner, your both to blame and both to be thanked by this giant puck head!!

Since: May 28, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:27 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

You know, I do enjoy watching the NBA, and I am definitely a fan. To watch all of this go on though, through two groups of people that are supposed to be professional is crazy. Personally, if I was the NBA I would just let the players walk and hire other talent. Granted the league would not be as inticing, but there are other guys out there that are better than the pros. I know it sounds crazy but there are guys in the city parks that could give the pros a run for their money. They just made some really bad decisions in life such as not going to college or not trying out for an NBA team, but the talent is there. If I were David Stern and the owners I would be searching the areas around the cities, or even have an open tryout such as the little leagues and others do. I guarantee there would be players as great as what the NBPA have to offer and would come at a lot lower salary. Then, if and when the NBPA decide to negotiate fairly, let them come back at the owner's stipulations. I mean how many jobs do you get to go to and make your own price? And if you do, is the owner required to hire you? Just walk into a place and tell them that you have to be hired and they dont have an option. See how fast you are thrown out on your head on the pavement. Granted the players have great talent, and they would be missed, but it does seem they need a reality check and this scenario would give them one. As far as the players starting their own league, I dont think they have the resources to start their own league. Most players go through their money as soon as they get it, and very few actually save money. Then you also have to think about all of the other issues and costs such as arena renting, other personnel and things like that. I just dont see the players having those kinds of resources.

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