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Blog Entry

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Posted on: October 24, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 10:56 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young

Billy Hunter was on the B.S. Report to discuss the lockout, spending about an hour discussing any and everything about the current state of labor talks.

He said he sees these negotiations as similar to 1998's lockout that resulted in 32 lost games, but felt that last week's long negotiations were going to yield something positive.

"I thought we were trying to reach compromise when we were there last week," Hunter said. "I suspect it's more about an internal battle that may be brewing or that's occuring between the big and small markets over the proposals we've submitted.

"We don't want to be totally exploited."

Hunter recounted a meeting with David Stern in Cleveland a few years ago during the postseason where Stern said his owners were ready and willing to miss an entire season to force player salary rollbacks.

Hunter said that the owners have acknowledged that 53 percent covers their losses and gives them the "possibility" of making a profit, citing specifically Peter Holt. And also said that players, having come down from 57 percent to as low as 52.5 in terms of Basketball Related Income split, are starting to dig into these negotiations for more reasons than just money, implying that it has moved past just dollars and cents, but is about the principle of getting a fair deal and they're willing to take the hit in order to get it. Now it's becoming a moral issue to them.

"They're principled individuals," Hunter said. "After a while, it becomes a principle ... the players are a little bit more strident."

Hunter said that during last week's long negotiations there were multiple ideas presented, with one interesting concept coming from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Hunter said Cuban came up with a structure called the "Game-changer" that included no salary cap. Hunter said he took that back to the players and they had a version of it they liked and then Hunter said two or three owners were very excited about it. And then a couple small market owners put the kibosh on it.

"We're open to the idea Mark Cuban put on the table," he said.

Hunter also commented on NHL player Bill Guerin's statements that holding out for a deal wasn't worth it, saying that he and his staff have been "very transparent" with the players about how much they'll lose per week, per month or even for a season. But also said the players are actively pursuing every opportunity to make a deal.

"We've indicated that we're ready to sit down and negotiate with them in a minute's notice," Hunter said. "I'm prepared to do anything within reason -- within reason -- to get a deal."

Hunter relayed that he had told the owners that concessions on systems issues might make the NBA's 50-50 offer "more palatable" to players. Meaning, I think, that owners could get their desired 50-50 BRI split if they'll work on some of their systematic demands. But Hunter said the owners will only negotiate system on the precondition of a 50-50 split. Which is when Dan Gilbert evidently told Hunter to "trust his gut" on the system.

Hunter was asked about Bryant Gumbel's comments that compared Stern to a "plantation overseer," simply answering, "I don't think David is racist at all." But he did try and explain why Stern's being so hard-headed on these negotiations.

"I think the reason David's being so stubborn is he's got a new crop of owners," Hunter said. "He's got all these guys who are extremely successful, making billions of dollars and they bought these franchises. And they just have a different perspective."

It's honestly easy to hear Hunter's side of the story and lean towards the players. He presents a side that's very open to every compromise, open to every idea but is being met with a hard wall of stubborn owners looking for a blowout victory in these negotiations. Is it encouraging? Somewhat. Hunter was very straightforward with how much the players are willing to concede to get a deal done. I think they're position is out in the open. They want a deal where they can feel that the owners didn't get everything they wanted and raked them over the coals.

If it eventually comes to that, the players will be ready to deal. How long that's going to take is the question.
Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:39 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Mark Cuban is the game's smartest man.  They have a young owner who thinks modern and outside the box and all these older owners just put him down.  It is time they start listening to Mark Cuban.  He could be the person who saves the NBA .  Why can't we listen to common sense!



Since: Aug 10, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:20 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

LOL fortyacres71 I love the postLaughing. These Guys in the nba are unreal. Then we have 2 listen 2 Lebron say how his life is so much better than ours.



Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 8:59 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Seems to me the NBA players could go play in other leagues if they so desired, thus fulfilling their great need for "free market capitalism".  Oh, and keep touting a system where players could go to any team they want at whim, that'll go over well with the consumers.
 



Since: Feb 6, 2007
Posted on: October 25, 2011 7:41 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Your point is ridiculous. Your engineering company is not the NBA. You operate in a free market with competion. The owners do not. They have a captive market. If they had to pay the start players what they were worth they would be in a different position. Jerry Buss says that Kobe brings in 70 million dollars in revenue for the Lakers yet they pay him 25 million. In other words, if as an employee you brought in a mllion dollars in business and your boss paid you 50,000 I do not think you would be very content. In fact you would leave and go to another firm. But in the NBA the owners collude and players cant go to other teams becasues of the rules. They in fact eliminate competiton. Is that a free market capitalism? I think not. 



Since: Dec 24, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:59 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

I WORK FOR AN ENGINEERING COMPANY AND I THINK IF MY CO-WORKERS AND I DECIDED THAT "WE" ARE THE COMPANY AND THAT WE SHOULD GET 53% OF THE OWNER'S PROFITS I WOULD THINK THE REST OF THE WORLD WOULD THINK WE WERE NUTS. THE ARROGANCE OF THESE PLAYERS THINKING THEY ARE BETTER THAN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY'S WORKING FORCE AND THAT THEY SHOULD GET THE "BUSINESS'S PROFITS" IS LUDICROUS. IT'S A BUSINESS AND THE OWNERS ARE TAKING ALL THE RISK. HOW ABOUT SURE THEY GIVE THEM THEIR BRI AND TELL THEM OKAY NOW HERE ARE THE BOOKS AND HERE IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE PAID HERE AND THERE. THEY WANT THE BUSINESS MONEY THEN THEY SHOULD GET THE BUSINESS'S DEBTS AND PAYMENTS THEY HAVE TO MAKE WHILE TRYING TO MAKE A PROFIT RIGHT......?



Since: Dec 24, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:51 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

I SAY LETS BOYCOTT MORE THAN A MONTH. LETS SHOW THEM THAT WE ARE MORE THAN JUST "BRI" AND THAT WE ARE EVERYTHING TO THEM. WHEN THESE GUYS HAVE THEIR BIG ARROGANT SMILES ON THEIR FACES WHEN (AND THEY WILL) COME TO AN AGREEMENT LETS NOT GO TO ANY OF THE GAMES AND LETS ENJOY WATCHING STERN AND LABRON AND KING OF FOUL MOUTH KG GET ON TV AND BEG US TO COME BACK TO THEIR "PRODUCT". THINK HOW GREAT IT WILL FEEL TO WATCH THESE GUYS BEG US FOR THEIR FUCKING "BRI"..............



Since: Dec 24, 2010
Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:46 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Forget boycotting a month. I say just as soon as the players and owners start smiling their arrogant smiles after they finally come to a agreement (and they will, it's about (our) money), this is when we as fans stick together and not go to any of their games this season. Think about how they would have to go on tv and literally beg us "the fans" to come back to their games or as the players call it "their product". someone on here said they don't see anyone trying to please the fans here. we are just "BRI" to them and frankly I'm sick of it. lets show them who is in real control of their fucking BRI.



Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:26 am
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Reading comments here from people that support the players makes me laugh, just as is has in any strike where people support the union personel. Back in the 1970's the auto workers went out on strike, many supported thier strike, wow there were so many discussions about it all down at the union hall of the union I belonged to. I told them all then, and i was raked over the coals for it, " so in essence what your saying is you want to pay more for your car so these people can make more money". That statement is a fact no matter how you look at it people.  The people who support the unions are basically saying they want to pay more for that product.
Strange thing about the UAW, before that strike in the 1970's UAW members were all working and people being hired everyday and any car could be had for 5000 or less. After that strike and by 1982 a new car was costing 10,000, the UAW had people being laid off and the fall of the American car started. The union forced the auto companies to explore ways to lessen the impact of union scale, hello automation.

While the NFL, NBA, NHL and Baseball do not build any product the same rules apply.  When you raise the cost of doing business the price to the consumer goes up. If the players had any concern about the fans the would see that most of America is suffering tight now and would be calling on the league to slash wages and ticket prices so the common man could go to a game. Just think about it, the auto workers back in the 70's pushed thier wages up to well over 20 dollars an hr and forced the price of a new car to double, thus killing sales and a reduction in workforce. What if they had said hey auto manufacturers lets keep wages the same and just slighly change benifits, where would we be now? Unions have had a place for the worker but there comes a time when union people have to see that whats good for them might not be that good for thier children and the future.

As for the idiots that allways say the players should form thier own league. Get it through your head, the players make good money, yes, but they do not have the money that it takes to put a league together. Just look at MJ, heck he made literally millions off of basketball and can only be a partner in ownership of a team. Players come and go in sports leagues, they play 10 to 15 years and are gone and the next group is there. Players could never own a league.



Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:49 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

WHO CARSE ITS NOT LIKE ITS A SPORT WHERE ITS WATCHED EVERY GAME OR ONCE EVERY WEEKEND AND FANS ARE AMPED THERE TEAMS ARE PLAYING LET THEM LOCK OUT ALL SEASON THE OWNERS AND PLAYERS WILL SEE THAT WE WILL CONTINUE OUR DAILY LIVES WITHOUT BASKET BALL AND FOOTBALL IS A MORE EXCITING SPORT PLUS IT TAKES MORE TIME AWAY FROM HAVING TO HEAR A LOT OF COMMENTATORS GOCK OVER IM NOT IMPRESSED BRYANT HOPEFULLY HE ENDS HIS CAREER SOON TO THE WIND WITH THE NBA SEASON WE GOT FOOTBALL SO GO AHEAD SHUT DOWN THE SEASON IT REALLY ISNT A LOSS FOR THE FANS ESPEACIALY SINCE THEY PLAY SO MANY GAMES WE GET LOST IN THE SEASON UNTIL ALL STAR WEEKEND WHO CARES ITS BASKET BALL. BESIDES IT LOOKS LIKE THE PLAYERS WONT MIND DOING FUND RAISERS AND OTHER FUNCTIONS OUTSIDE OF THE NBA AND THERE HAVING FUN DOING IT DONT SEE THE OWNERS OUT IN THE COMMUNITIES GETTING FANS ON THERE SIDE I LIKE THE FACT THE PLAYERS ARE JUST DISPLAYING THERE TALENT AND ITS NOT ABOUT MONEY WITH THOSE FUNCTIONS ITS ABOUT DOING WHAT THEY LOVE PLAYING BASKETBALL AND THE OWNERS ARE AFRAID THE PLAYERS ACUTALLY HAVE FUN OUTSIDE THE NBA SEASON AND THE OWNERS LOOSE MONEY AS THE SEASON GETS LOST



Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:17 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

is that George Castanza or Billy Hunter in the picture?


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