Blog Entry

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: October 31, 2011 11:11 am
Posted by Royce Young

Tensions are high right now with the NBA's labor negotiations. Both sides are pushing hard for a deal, fans are getting more and more restless and there are players out there that are looking at a 50-50 revenue split and saying, "Let's just play."

The union has always tried to stay on message: Stand united. But the deeper it does, the more opportunity there is for something divisive to split up opinions. And with Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter leading the charge for the players, it would only be natural that the two butt heads a bit. Which they are, says
This is fact: The belief that NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher has been co-opted by commissioner David Stern — and promised the commish he could deliver the union at 50-50 — caused NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and at least one member of the union’s executive committee to confront Fisher on Friday morning and make him reassess his 50-50 push, a source familiar with the negotiations told Friday afternoon.
That, however, isn't true so says Hunter. Hunter and Fisher are still totally cool, via Sports Business Daily:
NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter disputed a report that indicated there was a rift between himself and union President Derek Fisher. Hunter, in a telephone interview with SportsBusiness Journal late Sunday evening, said he did not confront Fisher about him pushing for players to take a 50-50 split of basketball revenues on Friday morning, hours before talks to end the NBA lockout broke down.
Whew, this isn't getting less and less fun by the day.

There's so much random, sourced information flying around right now that it's incredibly hard to sift through and figure out what's real and what's not. It's hard to judge if it could be a PR tactic planted by the other side, if it's real or if it's just something misunderstood.

And as frustrating as it is for fans to have to deal with all this stuff, imagine what it's like for Hunter, Fisher, Stern and Silver. They have a message to deliver and it gets intercepted and corrupted half the time by an anonymous source. Has to be frustrating.

You know what would fix all of that though? A labor deal. Just saying.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 1, 2011 1:25 am

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

in fact, the only people guaranteed to lose in the deal the owners have already made, are the working class people that are employed by the industry, endorsement sponsors that have paid these 30 would be armed robbers more millions than their max contracts pay them.   

Take a cut,  or take a hike. THAT is the bottom line. DANCE and like it, or get off the stage...There is a basketball player for every square foot of asphalt from Brooklyn to Watts.  FIND SOME

The best and funniest post of the day, hands down.  I love the "30 would be armed robbers" comment because it's not too far off what most NBA players would have become if not for these billionaire owners giving them a job.  And although your last line to some seems far fetched, it's also a fact there are THOUSANDS of kids out there great at the game of basketball that would love to make a living playing a game.   Thousands of highschools with 10's of thousands of kids playing basketball.  U.S colleges with a crazy amount of athletes with terrific talent.  There are probably a thousand players in about 5 countries overseas that are good countries for the game of basketball with at least a few star players in each country we haven't heard of because we don't follow their leagues.  

Believe me, the NBA could start all over a lot faster then most people think.  The NBA has become such a terrible product in comparison to what it used to be, people would hardly notice the difference.  Yeah, it would take 4 or 5 years for the owners to get a new league going but time flies, 4 or 5 years is nothing.  Heck, 10 years is nothing...... soon enough the league would be just fine.  That being said if the NBA went bankrupt and started over, the hilarious thing is probably 50-75 percent of  TODAY'S PLAYERS would be BEGGING for a job in the new NBA..... so no worries, the new league wouldn't need 400 new players....  maybe 1 or 200 new players, wouldn't take long to get that done.  There are probably at least 50 new players on NBA rosters every season anyway.... they would just play instead of riding pine.....

The owners are in control here.... and I love how they are already making the players squirm....

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:38 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

Did this article really say: "fans are getting more and more restless"? LOL! As an NBA fan, I'm just enjoying the end of the World Series... and the NFL season in middle of a great season... NBA? What NBA season? LOL... I haven't heard too many fans who are getting restless. I believe a better term would be apathy...

Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:52 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 8:49 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

Stevesf47.  As a Cleveland "fan" (in "" as I hope this lock out goes on all year), you say the NBA promotes the athletes?  As I recall, and I am not sure, but I think Nike was the one to sign LeBron to a 90 (?) million dollar contract as soon as he said "I'm going pro." before he was even drafted, so...who's promoting who now?
If I'm an owner and I look at my books and I only see bleeding red (as I have to pay everyone from my star point guard to the guy who sells my customers the $10 beers (etc)) PLUS utilites...blah blah blah, I would be locking them out too. Point is, all the owners are in this for the money.  Period.  If the contract (CBA) sucks...change it after it expires.  If 50/50 is what it takes to get me a profit, I will be standing firm to get that.  I, as an owner, will not except a deal, that does not give ME some money in my pocket too.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 7:14 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

Moses Guthrie says:
The owners are at fault because what they really want is self-contradictory.  You cannot have a mutually beneficial model where teams are all profitable (at the expense of the players) while maintaining competitive balance.  Pick one (either profitable for all or balanced for all), and lets go with that. 
Your economics are not correct, my friend. There are two separate issues here and each needs addressing in the new CBA. First it necessary that teams (although not all teams, at least most teams) are profitable. Without profits no business survives. The BRI split is the largest expense item by far. So bring the BRI down to 49% and the teams can at least break even. Bring it down to 34% and nearly all would be profitable. This is an overall issue. First make the league profitable overall and then you can address competitive balance. Your use of accounting terminology is also not correct. There is no depreciation for the purchase of the franchise. Depreciation is of fixed assets within the franchise which do, in fact, need replacing. Depreciation is the actual cost spread over the life of the asset so each year pays toward the use of that asset in the business. There is no accounting term for 'making money'. Profit or loss is shown by the Income Statement. Cash Flow is shown by the Cash Flow statement. Each has different messages. The income statement is presented according to generally accepted accounting principles and audited by independent CPAs. The players would have you believe that their personal brand of accounting (not accepted) is a better way to measure the results from operations than the accounting industry or the Federal Government (SEC) measures it.  The players want to negotiate profit and loss based upon cash flow. This is a misuse of the term and is the height of arrogance and only deceives the fans who do not look at the facts.

The second issue is competitive balance. The best example of this is the NFL. A hard cap and full revenue sharing are both used hand-in-hand to achieve this parity. In the NBA you are not going to get full revenue sharing. New York Knicks take in $300M on their local TV contract. LA Lakers take is $150M. Those revenue streams allow each club to spend whatever they can on player salaries. But a hard cap will go far in helping the problem. The players do not want this. They want to control the league and not be controlled by the league. The players who risk none of the money want to tell the owners who have all the risk where they can go and when to play wherever they want. The players deny competitive balance by denying a hard cap. There does also need to be revenue sharing so that a team that spends at the salary cap will at least break even so long as well managed.

Some say this current situation is caused by owners overpaying players. This is not true. Whether Joe Johnson is paid a max contract does not affect the amount of BRI paid to the players as a whole. The owners in 1998 and again in 2005 were foolish to agree to those contracts and have paid a dear price, especially the $1.8 billion in losses from the last six years. Guaranteeing owners profits is not the point because individual franchises will still be better or worse than others. Guaranteeing the opportunity for profit is only prudent business.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:16 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

Redsfan1507 - the problem with your "logic" is that it isn't a matter of finding players who are fine being bent over a barrel. There is a lockout in place, genius. They didn't lock out this group of players. They locked out any and every player. For a team to "FIND" players (let alone for an entire league to find 400 players, which is completely absurd), several things have to happen. First, every player under contract has to be released, which cannot happen during a lockout. Second, every team would have to sign new rosters, which cannot happen during a lockout. Third, someone would have to collectively bargain for these players sometime after they form a Union, which they currently do not have because they don't exist. I know you're a hater because NBA players make a lot of money, but think a little before coming out here and showing your ass like that. And just so you know, the owners would NEVER do that. They want and need these players, not scrubs from a playground in Newark.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 6:05 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

OWNERS put themselves in this position, by overpaying players. They readily admit that.

They're intent on correcting their's why they locked players out.

Players and fans that believe that a problem caused by owners, should continue forever are dillusional. The NBA a business, not a charitable contribution set up to give millionaire players more millions. It's not the government, where they can print ever more worthless money and force taxpayers grandchildren to cough up the money. It's not government housing where you get a bigger apartment and more welfare just because you have more kids. Players are arguing over issues that speak to their lack of intelligence, or at least their lack of recognition of the problem ...The NBA needs between $100-$200 Million a year BACK from players to turn a profit- the profit is what keeps Billionaire owners invested in the NBA, AND gives taxpayers who paid for arenas a CHANCE to get their money other words, to keep the business that pays them an average of $5 million a year, PAYING them.  

This was destined to be a fiasco...the NBPA union memebers are standing "united" behind the agenda of the top paid 30 players in the NBA-the ones that can wait forever....while 90% of the NBA players are "standing" on issues that won't effect them at all, except not making a dime until the NBA is back on the court.  Hunter and Fisher are all about "winning" something-anything they can say is something the NBA "lost" in negotiations to fact, the only people guaranteed to lose in the deal the owners have already made, are the working class people that are employed by the industry, endorsement sponsors that have paid these 30 would be armed robbers more millions than their max contracts pay them.   

Take a cut,  or take a hike. THAT is the bottom line. DANCE and like it, or get off the stage...There is a basketball player for every square foot of asphalt from Brooklyn to Watts.  FIND SOME.   

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: October 31, 2011 5:48 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

Clifford, you had me going.... until the very last word.  MLB?  There is no cap or floor in baseball, so in that regard, you and I are on the same page.  But competitive balance?  When is the last time KC or Pittsburgh was good in baseball?  NOBODY goes to the games in Florida, even when the teams are in the pennant chase.  Does Baltimore REALLY have a chance to make the playoffs in a division with Yankees and Red Sox?  

Other than the baseball reference, I think you have a point, basketball has always been built on morality plays.  Magic-vs-Bird was an obviously one with racial overtones, but Jordan (the BRAVE) versus the evil bullies in Detroit and New York was the same thing.  The selfish Lakers against all comers in the early part of the millenium, and then the whole We-Hate-Lebron-all-the-way-to-the-b

ank are definitely proof of your argument. 

I would say this, though, the NBA has no choice.  The competition itself is not a worthy draw.  Games mean more in football because their are so few.  Logically speaking, an MLB starting pitcher is going to start 33-35 games at most in a season, so your chance to see Halladay or Sabathia or VerLander are limited.  And if a pitcher plays poorly for 10 minutes in baseball (a half inning), you could end up with a bad team beating them 4-3 or something like that.  Everytime you go the stadium, there is a remote chance that you might see a no hitter, even if two bad teams are playing. But in basketball, Lebron is going to suit up 80 times.  Kobe is going to be out there night after night.  Do the Wizard fans REALLY think they are going to see a good game when they go watch their team take on Celtics?  Or is there ANY chance that something as special as a no-hitter could happen when the Bucks play the Wizards?  No.

The true response to your point is that the NBA season is too long to promote the competition night-in-and-night-out.  Morality plays is the best it can do.  I don't think its quite of the level of WWE, but then again, I haven't watched wrestling since I was a kid, so it could be. 

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 5:16 pm

They be cool

derek and billy--they tight---they want a lot more than 50% of revenues and a soft cap, or they will order their people not to play.  The owners need to come up with more than this chump change to get all these superstars back.

Since: May 20, 2011
Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:44 pm

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

The NBA has many more serious problems than whether the BRI split should be 52.5% or 50%. When James, Wade, and Bosh decided to join forces last summer it seemded as if the inmates were truly running the asylum. What happened was that television ratings shot up. It seems as if basketball is approaching the same level of comptetitiveness as Monday Night Wrestling. The regular season has truly become an exhibition season and many fans do not even tune in until the playoffs. 

The owners and players must actually agree on what type of league they want. A WWF version of sports that generates television ratings, sells paraphenalia, and stages sham morality plays disguised as athletic competition or a balanced competitive sports league. Ever since the early seventies when the NBA was on life support, the league has concentrated on marketing itself. It is time for both parties to concentrate on the competitive nature of the sport and create a professional sports league comparable to the NFL and MLB. 

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