Blog Entry

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 6:54 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver


Taking a break during a protracted negotiation is supposed to allow for a reassessment period, to provide time for a rethinking of positions and, perhaps most importantly, to allow space for cooler heads to prevail.

Instead, tensions are reportedly mounting, with frustration and impatience threatening to boil over.

Yahoo Sports reports that some portion of the the NBA's players are growing increasingly disenchanted with National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter because he has not yet delivered a deal for the entire union membership to vote on. 
From superstars to midlevel players to rookies, there’s an unmistakable push to complete the final elements of the system and take this labor deal to the union’s 400-plus membership. Beyond that, there’s an even larger movement to push Hunter, the Players Association’s executive director, out the door once these labor talks are done. All hell’s broken loose within the union, and no one is exactly sure how they’re going to get a deal to the finish line.

“Billy can’t just say it’s 52 or nothing, and walk out again,” one league source involved the talks told Yahoo! Sports. “That will not happen again. It’s time that the players get to make a decision on this, and there won’t be another check lost before they do.”
The site also apparently confirms previous reports of a developing rift between Hunter and NBPA president Derek Fisher, a rift that Fisher denied in a letter to NBPA members on Monday night.
“Right now, everyone has to choose sides: Billy or Derek,” one player involved in the labor process told Yahoo! Sports. “How the [expletive] did it come to this?”
What to make of this? Well, in the absence of actual meetings, which provide the potential for progress and thus the comfort of optimism, there are going to be a lot of hurt feelings. Panicking isn't an unreasonable response, especially if a deal was relatively close but now feels far away. Union members demand action and results from their leadership. Both Fisher and Hunter signed up for that.

For months now, as far as anyone can tell, the NBPA's strategy was to not blink for as long as possible and hope that the NBA's owners were bluffing about being willing to lose games so that they could overhaul the system. The owners never blinked even though they had multiple opportunities to do so. The strategy didn't succeed and the players are now quickly reaching the point where holding out becomes solely about principle rather than about economics. 

Whether it's time for a leadership shakeup -- or for the current leadership to publicly mend fences -- is a sideshow to the larger issue for the players: It's time for a new strategy. Holding out for the sake of holding out is self-defeating and will be, ultimately, very costly. The NBPA should be using this time away from the bargaining table to take the temperature of its members. As the calendar has changed, so too might have opinions about whether holding out is worth it. If the majority of the NBPA's members continue to endorse the current strategy, then Fisher and Hunter, together, should blanket the airwaves spreading that message, rather than letting rumors and innuendo undercut their authority. If not, what are they waiting for? Call a meeting and get it done.

Since: Apr 29, 2011
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:51 am

Sick of you Slackin ACE's Go Over Seas! G

Even though I LOOOOOOVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE Bastketball. I can do without this league. Its such a 2nd rate league and the people who run the league, Kim Jong-Stern and his his crony suckface buddy Stu Jackson is a clown. Officiated would be better if they would let go these old ace suckas like Bavetta and Crawford. Can we get a even officiated game please! The Tim Denehey scandal is true! I can't respect a league that only lets big market players and teams win. Its almost time for some college ball and well Melo, Lebron, D-Wade, lets try it again....Maybe next year

Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:36 am

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

HA! The players are looking ahead to November 15th when they start missing paychecks, and they are already feeling the heat. They can't keep forking out the dough for all of their hookers and gang-bangin buddies without a deal. The guys that are "skimping by" on only $3-$4 million/year are gonna want to kill the LeBron generation that is heading up these meetings with the owners. The owners have all the leverage. They should hold out, and watch the poorer thugs tear into the richer thugs. It'll be good theater, and eventually the owners will break the union, and bring back the NBA under better circumstances for all the teams. Lock'em out for 5 years. That'll put the LeBron generation that bankrupted the NBA near retirement, and then the NBA can throw that whole generation into the history books.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:25 am

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

The NBPA should fire Billy Hunter and restart the negotiations from zero.  Billy Hunter is becoming a conflict of interest by representing the agents' best interests and not the players' interests.  The owners are going to work on this rift in labor and feed like sharks around blood.  The onwers and players may not get along, but the owners and agents are openly hostile and really hate each other.  The owners think the agents are lying sacks of s... something and the agents think the owners are lying sacks of s...something else. Because of this adversarial relationship a deal will never get done.  These two sides will fight to the death over nickels and dimes on principle to choke each other out.
The lockout in 1998-1999 could be distilled into  a fight between the agents and the owners.  So, 13 years later, we are witnessing the same battle.  On the other hand, this can only delay the season, so I am very pleased that this development is news, so we can another reason to cancel the season.  Death to the 2011-12 NBA season!!

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:23 am

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

You nailed it.  Why do so many waste so much to see one game?  I haven't been to a professional game/match of any kind in 5 years.  I don't plan on attending anything in the future due to all sports insanity of prices.  I would prefer to park, enter facility and eat a decent snack meal and drink or two for less than a days pay, but that is basically impossible these days.  

No way will I pay more than $3 for a soda or $5 for a dixie cup sized beer.  I wouldn't pay more than $4 for a hot dog or cheapo frozen hamburger that couldn't rival McDonalds.  

Parking is skyrocketing...$10, $12, $15, $25 or more, depending on venue and city.  Tickets are crazy.  Forget it all, there is just not enough entertainment value (sitting during breaks or timesouts, all the crap in pre-game, halftime and post game that is just boring as can be).  I would rather watch the shopping channel for 4 hours than drive, park, sit and drive back for about 1 hour of total entertainment and overpriced food and parking.

Attending professional sports, suffering through all the costs (gas, parking, tickets, food, drink, souvenoirs, etc) could be classifed as masochism.  It is a sickness for the heart to over-ride the mind that is telling you "are your freaking stupid?  Don't pay for this crappy product and over-priced spam-equivalent food!"

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:03 am

Back On

The moment a "deal" is signed, chump fans will come rushing back to pay the obscene prices charged by owners for everything from tickets to parking to beer.  $12 beer?  coming soon!!!  Got to keep the millionaires and billionaires richer than ever!!!

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:02 am

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

Fantasy is pretty big business, I'm sure the various hosting sites will be blasting you with ads and notifications as the season approaches (if it does). I'd wait for that.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:52 pm

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

Frown how about my fantasy draft what should i do???

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:14 pm

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

Why Ben, have you had a change of heart? I really do understand why all the media has backed the players until now. The players and, more importantly, the agents are the source for most of the NBA scoops these folks make their living from. But the situation now has become so obvious that nearly all fans see it as players being greedy. Healing the rift between Hunter and Fisher will not help that perception. Frankly Hunter pulled a power play. After saying Fisher was handling the negotiations (probably to hide from the wrath of the agents) he discovered that wrath was there anyway and jerked Fisher out by the collar. It is solely about principle ego. And it has gotten worse. Because the 50-50 is off the table. Once the players reneged on the 50-50 deal Fisher made with Stern it became 47-53 favoring the owners. This is because the owners lose money at 50-50. And even if the owners could cut the $100M in other expenses to get to breakeven at 50-50 why would they? Work for another six years with no return on their investments? Are you happy to buy a bank CD with $10,000 for six years with 0% interest? No, I didn't think so. Hunter id indeed done. The question is how much more money will the players lose while getting rid of him? Ben, you are correct. Put it up to the players to vote. And let's play some basketball.

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:04 pm


Haven't these idiots realized by now that nobody misses them acting like morons.  College basketball starts soon and then the NBA won't even matter.  It's useless anyway...who cares of they play or not.  Nobody seems to mention how much damage it's doing to the little people that depend on it to make a living.  They don't care.bunch of useless overpaid hoodrats anyway.

Since: May 30, 2011
Posted on: November 1, 2011 10:58 pm

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

As soon as College Basketball starts...who cares?? NBA is just something to watch during commercials

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