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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 21, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 8:32 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

This has long been a legue of thugs ruled by thugs. Basketball is not going to survive if they keep allowing these uneducated, self centered thugs to rule meetings. Its not street ball downtown where top dog calls the shot. Did you actully expect more from these guys? 

 I'll take NCA basketball over the NBA any day of the week. These guys play hard for 60 minutes and with passion. Somethingg the NBA only does in the 4th quarter. Who even cares if the NBA season folds. Everyone is watching football, baseball and now hockey! Watch what you ask may end up getting that $8 per hour job at Burger King you so justly deserve. The owners invensted and they should make money. The real world does not allow us to tell people what we can make and what we must pay! 

Since: Nov 18, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 8:23 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Cowpoke, I'm guessing you are one of the smart ones that didn't go to college.  Lern howe too spel!!  garantee=guarantee 
; Maybe you aren't as smart as you think you are!!!   Hahahahhahahaha!  Out!

Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 8:10 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Cowpoke wrote:  "Just to remind everyone a College Degree is no garantee of Intelligence."

1)  Yes, just as President Bush proved day after day for eight years

2)  That said, I think the point was less about intelligence than it was about experience, both in the classroom and out.  These clowns had none.

3)  But, as I'm concerned, there is no bad news here.  The NBA is 60 minutes of the same crappolla that 90% of the time boilsdown to the last two minutes of the game.  Maybe with these superstars going for a year without getting paid, the cost of shaving creme and beer will go down as no one whill care what these overpaid crybabies endorse.

4)  If the NBA cancelled its season, no one would care. College football goes until the 1st week of January and Pro Football to the end of Janaury.  Two months later, baseball season starts.  And, in that gap, there's college basketball and the NHL. 

Good Riddance, NBA.  No one will miss you 

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 7:52 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Just to remind everyone a College Degree is no garantee of Intelligence.

Since: Oct 30, 2009
Posted on: October 16, 2011 4:31 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Are they sure Kobe was there? Did anyone get his picture on their phone to prove it? That might have been what blew things up.

Since: Oct 27, 2010
Posted on: October 16, 2011 3:58 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I have a feeling the season is going to be lost. What a shame. I wanted to see the Heat lose again this year.

Since: Oct 29, 2010
Posted on: October 16, 2011 3:19 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Does anyone remember the post-game interview of KG when the Celtics won the championship? Enough said, the guy is an embarrasment to professional basketball and the Celtics organization. I could just imagine what he sounded like in there trying to negotiate. As dumb as they get.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:17 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Anyone who closely follows the NBA knows Garnett is a prissy little b_itch of the first order.  On the court and now apparently off the court as well.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:14 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

As a life-long NBA fan going back to the Milwaukee Bucks expansion team of the late 60's, I believe I can speak for many fans when I say this:  WHO CARES!

I heard Jon Barry say on television last spring that no players in the world of professional sports lived from paycheck-to-paycheck as did players in the NBA.  Hang tight owners...  this union will crack faster then LeBron James nerve during the last 2 minutes of a playoff game.  And, if the season is cancelled, as I said above...  who really gives a sh*t? 

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:27 am

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

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.

The owners???  I didn't know that KG was an owner?  KG went in and sounded off like a warfaced general.  KG is a player and not an owner.  The NBPA sent in the warrior, not the owners.

Unless I am completely misunderstanding this line, the writer himself is quite confused and off-base. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or