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: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:13 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

What a joke - you think these Billinaires are losing money on anything?  Especially the NBA or any of these other professional leagues?  It never ceases to amaze me what people will believe.  Besides that - what does an owner bring to the league?  Players should form a new league and let the crooked, unethical, thieving owners and David Stern figure something else out.



Since: May 23, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:00 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

These are the same players, Royce, who are fathering kids by women they aren't married to, contesting the paternity and being dragged into court to pay child support?  The same players who have cars sitting in garages because the cars aren't driven in rain or snow?  The same players who spend thousands on clothes but are lavished with gifts?
Men with money always have access to lots of women, and as a result, some will have a number of illegitimate children.  It doesn't matter whether we are talking about the "tatooed thugs" of the NBA or the tatooed thugs from any other professional league (MLB, NFL, NHL).  Public figures, whether they are athletes, politicians, actors, or pop stars all seem to have similar problems when it comes to spending money, run-ins with the law, gold-digging women, and drug abuse.  Personally, I don't care how many illegitimate children Shawn Kemp has, how many guns Gibert Arenas owns, or how many Bentleys and Escalades with 26" rims Shaq owns.  I don't look at them as role models, and don't allow my kids to see them as anything but gifted athletes who happen to be highly skilled in a particular sport. 

And they are ruining the game with their demands, their egos, their no passing dribbling exhibitions--well it's not dribbling it is really carrying the ball just about every possession.

As for how they play the game, the rules of the league and officiating are what determine the style and flow of the game.  If you don't like man-to-man defense and superstars isolating to take a less talented player off the dribble (which is what they are paid to do), there is always NCAA.  As for egos, I can vividly remember teammates with ego problems back when I was in HS; it is not exclusive to the NBA, it runs through our entire society.

But truly, to say the players "don't deserve" 50% of BRI because they suffer from the same vices that most humans do is unreasonable.  I can understand your frustration with the league, I just think you are focusing too much on the players and not enough on both sides.



mzracing76
Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 9:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:20 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

These are the same players, Royce, who are fathering kids by women they aren't married to, contesting the paternity and being dragged into court to pay child support?  The same players who have cars sitting in garages because the cars aren't driven in rain or snow?  The same players who spend thousands on clothes but are lavished with gifts?  These are the players whose position is out in the open?  No, man, these are the sleaze bags who think they deserve more than 50% of the Basketball Related Income!  The don't deserve any per cent.  They are the employees.  And they are ruining the game with their demands, their egos, their no passing dribbling exhibitions--well it's not dribbling it is really carrying the ball just about every possession.  There are a few kids looking up to them but those kids don't post on CBSsports and many of the rest of us believe them to be spoiled jocks who don't have half the game, the true game of basketball, that their pro predecessors had.
Yes you are right, they are bums, almost as bad as Hockey players!



Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:19 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Yes you are right, they are bums, almost as bad as Hockey players!



Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:18 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

KNICKS R BACK, you are exactly right.  All of this will be passed on to the fans through ticket sales, t-shirts and all merchandise, TV contracts and cable rates.  Oh, the players and owners say they are here for the fans but everyone of those at the bargaining table are looking for a larger piece of pie for themselves.  What are they paying Billy Hunter?  What sort of fees have the lawyers been receiving?  The Agents are looking for more money.  Yep, KNICKS R BACK, poor slobs like me, and you, if you don't mind being called a poor slob, are paying for it.  Here's to everyone who no longer wants to be a poor slob.  I am officially part of the NOLAPSA, No Longer A Poor Slob Association.  If you will be the President I nominate myself as treasurer.  Your job is to call out the players and owners, my job will be to tell you and the rest of the members of NOLAPSA how much money your are saving by boycotting the spoiled members of the professional hard court fraternity.



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:00 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

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.
Please don't get confused by empty rhetoric. The players are holding out for an ego-enhancing 'win' over the owners? The players want a fair deal that forces most owners to lose money? The players  believe the issues are not monetary? While the rest of the NBA community also goes without a paycheck? What I believe is necessary is to tell Mr. Hunter to take his moral issues to church and come back ready to be a businessman. This is business. You negotiate for what you can get.

To cancel games is to lose. And losing is on the players. Hunter himself said a hard cap is a 'blood issue' so the players are certainly not willing to concede or even negotiate the issues. They have recently said 53% is as low as they go, That is $150M of losses to the owners. It it why there is no agreement. Ego, principles, morality all have nothing to do with negotiating a business deal and Billy Hunter has failed in teaching this to his players.



Since: Aug 10, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

Heres an idea why dont they argue about giving back 2 the fans yea we really pay everyones salary, But no one wants 2 talk about that. How about us fans boycott the nba for a month when they do come back. Lets c how much them big money babies love that. Lockouts over money=crap.



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 24, 2011 6:42 pm
 

Hunter: Players, some owners open to Cuban plan

This article would be better if they gave us any clue as to what the "Game-changer" plan by Cuban might be....kind of hard to see how you can replace a salary cap system, help the small market teams and increase competitiveness (at least on a payroll basis) by eliminating the salary cap entirely.



Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Hunter: 'We don't want to be totally exploited'

These are the same players, Royce, who are fathering kids by women they aren't married to, contesting the paternity and being dragged into court to pay child support?  The same players who have cars sitting in garages because the cars aren't driven in rain or snow?  The same players who spend thousands on clothes but are lavished with gifts?  These are the players whose position is out in the open?  No, man, these are the sleaze bags who think they deserve more than 50% of the Basketball Related Income!  The don't deserve any per cent.  They are the employees.  And they are ruining the game with their demands, their egos, their no passing dribbling exhibitions--well it's not dribbling it is really carrying the ball just about every possession.  There are a few kids looking up to them but those kids don't post on CBSsports and many of the rest of us believe them to be spoiled jocks who don't have half the game, the true game of basketball, that their pro predecessors had.


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