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 8, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 8:54 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

If the players hold out the league can find other players... If the owners shut this down the players cant find new owners.... the owners got this and the players should be thankful they are playing a game for a living. What i would give to do that

Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 8:46 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Yet another poorly "written" article, do these "writers" get paid for their 4th grade reading level pieces? I truly hope not. (or perhaps I should hope so, if this sort of dreck is what passes for journalism practiaclly anyone should be able to make $$$ at it). 

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:53 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

yes sea the owners are greedy, THEY ARE OWNERS.  they put up their money to build franchises and risk a lot if things to not do well. If the owners did not do what they did you not even care that much of the NBA because they cater so much to the NBA experience helping get TV deals, making the fan experience at games what it is.  Yes they are greedy, they are the ones that spent like 100 million dollars to buy the franchise. the players that ruined the meeting can not even get a college diploma so they should be greatful in the world we are in, they are valued much more than teachers.

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:41 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Not saying the owners are right in this, but come out folks.  The owners being greedy, cheap and whatever less Scrooge reference can used is pretty harsh.  It is not like hte players are hurting financially.  Each of these players is playing well over $5M a year.  Plus all of the endorsements and signings.  Each of these players charge $100 to sign a hat, card, or other object.  I have no heart burn about splitting this 50/50.  Without the owners there are no teams and no players.  Without players there is no league.  This is horrible and the ones losing is the fans.  Get to the 50/50 sign and let's play so we can cheer.  Maybe raspberries should be the cheer this year.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:10 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

The players know which owners are being hard asses about the lockout. If I was the players, and if the owners screw them into a bad decision, I would take it out on those owners when the lockout ends. If you are a star and you know which owners were responsible for this, refuse to negotiate or sign with their team. Leave those owners with players they draft and table scraps. And then convince the rookies drafted to get off that team as soon as possible when their contracts end. Leave the bad owners with scrapheap teams. Force them to sell their franchise when their team loses their entire fanbase. The bad owners believe this will to parity to the league. The players can cave in and still make sure that never happens. And this is smart. Why would you want to play for those specific owners anyway? When a player becomes a free agent, they can choose who they DON'T want to play for. Band together and put the bad owners out of business.

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:48 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

If I was hurting for money, I'd suck it up to keep my job.
If money wasn't a problem, I'd quit.....

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:42 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Intentionally involving Kevin "Irrational Showmanship" Garnett in any sort of meeting that involved any extent of confrontation? That's like sending a fireman wearing a gasoline suit into a burning building. Smart move.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:26 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

It's not so much thier combined education, it's the fact they haven't been involved in the negotations in any way.  Might as well have sent me in, I probably would have known just as much about the situation and probably would have been more professional.

Since: Aug 5, 2009
Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:14 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

You say not Kobe like he went to college or somehow picked up an education on the street. Pierce is the only one of the 3 who went to college, but its not like u need a degree to tell someone your demands to play ball. Was it the right thing to do of course not but if u were told your not going to be getting paid any more because your boss is a cheap greedy prick how would u handle it

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:23 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

What would make 3 retards who have about 2 minutes in college combined, think they have any business in the meeting. It's like bringing a spitball to a gun fight...which ironicaly i'm sure 2 of them actually had guns. It's because they are uneducated(not kobe) neanderthals who think you can win an argument if you're the loudest and biggest person. News flash, talking louder and screaming doesn't make you smarter and it sure doesn't help prove a point. You went in there screaming and pounding your chest like you just dunked on someone. I am so happy they did this, so happy the NBA (Not Balling Anytime soon) dropped the first 2 weeks. I can't wait for them to cancel the season. And I really can't wait to see how much they scream and beat their chests when they finally agree to pretty much everything the owners wanted.

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