Blog Entry

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

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

No.

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.  
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Comments

Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:14 am
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

They're all useless. I used to like the NBA a lot. In Salt Lake City the Jazz is all we have. It's all a bunch of barf now. Useless greedy bastards on both sides that have no regard for the fans. I hope they never play!



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:14 am
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

>>>Neither one of these idiots has a college degree and they are trying to negotiate or intimidate an entire group of seasoned lawyers and negotiators.

Just because someone does not have a college degree does not mean they cannot negotiate intelligently with "seasoned lawyers and negotiators." Men who've been dealing with agents and owners their whole careers should have some knowledge of how things work!

Having said that, clearly *these* 3 guys had no business interfering, because they were clearly out of their league.

Sorry to hear that about Kevin Garnett...I guess I lost track of him after he left my Timberwolves for the Celtics, but I always thought he was a stand-up guy. Sorry to see he's turned into a  diva just like the rest of them.




Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:15 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I dont know if the players are getting outside legal and financial advice or not, but they should be if they are not.  Call me crazy, but I am skeptical of Kevin Garnetts' understanding of or expertise in BRI and lease agreements and depreciation and merchandising deals and cost benefit analysis.  This is not to say that KG is not smart, cause Im sure he is a smart guy.  But he nor the other players are not investment managers or financial advisors or bankers.  They are players.   They should stick to playing and leave the negotiating to those who are skilled in that.



Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:10 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

nobody cares the writers would be out of a job



Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:07 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

no nba? nobody cares but the writers, they would not have a job



Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:02 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

the best thing for everybody. if there was no nba season



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:01 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Matt, your perspective lacks a financiall basis. You state this:
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.
The owners of these businesses would like to have the opportunity to earn a profit. That is what businessmen do. And before you try that old saw that thjs is a game and not a business I call as witnesses the two hundred and thirty-five players over the past five years that have faced being traded and said "It is a business". Ok, I made the number up but we all have heard that ad nauseum. The owners have lost $1.8B over the last six years. Yet the players have echoed Barack Obama in trying to create divisiveness and class warfare. That will boomerang as the lower 60% of the players in earnings discover an entire year of their careers is gone because of ignorance both by the star players and by the union to manage their negotiating team. That lower echelon will want to play next year for less than offered this year. And they will force the union to take it. The players lose $2B this year by sitting. The owners lose $300M in losses (in other words a net gain.) The owners have other businesses to run and earn their needed funds. The players have yelling and faked trips to Europe. It is show time and the players are not even holding a pair against the owners flush.

There is no shameful grab here. There is the righting of a sinking ship. Garnett and Pierce and Kobe can live comfortably on what they have already made. They are all part of the problem now being corrected. Asking a guy who earns over $400,000 per court hour worked to negotiate on behalf of the rookie free agents and second year guys is simply dumb.



Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:57 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

If I were in intense negotiations with the NBA and its lawyers, these 3 would rank among the bottom of people I would want to represent my side. Neither one of these idiots has a college degree and they are trying to negotiate or intimidate an entire group of seasoned lawyers and negotiators. They are idiots - plain and simple. It doesn't matter about who makes what money. All three of these guys are millionaires and if I was negotiating a deal at the local farmers market for a bushel of peanuts, I wouldn't ask either one of them for advice. They are obviously not informed and not prepared. They made the player's side look like a bunch of disorganized and uncontrolled morons. Owners have the players exactly where they want them. They probably figured one or more of these millionaired thug idiots would eventually screw the negotiations for the players side. The idiots just can't control themselves or keep their dumb mouths shut.



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:16 pm
 

Garnett, Pierce, Kobe win Nobel Prize

After curing Cancer and AIDS, then successfully negotiating the end of the Irish "troubles," the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and fixing the economy, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Paul Pierce were awarded a Nobel Prize by a unanimous vote.  None of the three were available for interviews, and all requests were forwarded to their agents and their posses.  

In related news, the NBA negotiations were found in a casket in a tacky halloween display at an unidentified Wal-Mart.



Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Who cares. I hate pro basketball. I wouldn't give a Rats Ass if it lives or dies. The next soap opera......What are Kim and Khloe going to do now that their husbands are out of work. You can take the players out of the hood but you cannot take the hood out of the players.


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