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: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:09 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Just cancel the season already and be done with it. No one outside of the players, owners, ESPN/ABC, Ken Berger (whose job depends on it) and Obama will care. Meanwhile we won't have to listen to this crap every other day.

Since: Feb 2, 2007
Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:07 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Stern needs to be leaned....dem thugs besa college edumecated, dey no the game and playas gonna turn Stern into der and no NBA...still dont care, but do find all this funny

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:04 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks


Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:03 pm

Who cares??

The NBA blows. Overpaid thugs, only 10% of whom care about defense, crying about revenue sharing when they make more money per player than any other professional sport. I hate this.

I hope the NBA folds as a league.

Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:54 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

is anyone suprised it was KG? What an idiot. I really have no feelings on this whole issue, but when i heard that someone went off, and it was KG, I had to laugh. This guy is an idiot.  Can you imagine what he would be doing if he wasnt a pro athlete? Hilarious.

Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:52 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

Maybe Pierce should have flashed his gang sign and intimidated Stern into giving it up and KG could have pulled out the lead and bandoleros.  Som bodi gon pay!!!!

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:51 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

This is a rare time that I agree with your obnoxious ass -  I cannot believe they can't come to the table and put something together - - 

Since: Jul 29, 2008
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:44 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I say who cares. I lost interest in basketball years ago and don't watch it anymore. I was an avid fan. It's not a problem that the players make a ton of money because the owners do too. The problem is the game has changed for the worse. Traveling, palming, poor defense and a bullshit attitude. Here's my impression of an NBA coach..."run the #1 play" which of course is 'every body get out of the way so Kobe (insert any superstars' name here) can go one on one.' No Thanks. It's a team game and that is gone and SO AM I. We need the likes of Bird and Magic back. Great quality players with all around talent. Time to turn on some baseball playoffs, hockey, football, college football, MMA, rugby, beach volleyball, arm wrestling... and thank God that TV time isn't being wasted on the NBA.  

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:40 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

This article just further illustrates what kind of person is playing in the NBA these days. Greed is what drives these modern day thugs, there is no love of the game, no care for the team, no love for the fans. These guys are un-educated street thugs passed through the education system strictly based on their athletic ability. Most of these guys can't even speak proper English much less handle any type of business negotiations. There should be a mandatory IQ test for each player drafted into the league.........but if that happened there may be no NBA which may not be a bad thing at this point. 

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:39 pm

Report: Garnett, Pierce, Kobe intervened in talks

I really find myself struggling to find the right commentary for this saddening situation.  I feel like I am saying the same thing over and over again.  So nothing to say today about KG's involvement.

Ultimately, the NBA has evolved from Sports into Entertainment ... so the lockout is just part of the drama to the viewer.  The storylines are unreal.  I am surprised 'The Negotiations' do not have a corporate sponsor.

Sports fans have been led astray.

Money.  Money.  Money.

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