Tag:NBA Lockout
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Fisher doesn't get paid to be union president

Posted by Royce Young



Derek Fisher made $3.7 million as the Lakers' starting point guard last season. Started all 82 games. Had another solid season.

But maybe the hardest work he's done this year has come off the court. And he's not even getting paid for it. Maybe that was common knowledge, but it's new to me.

As union president, Fisher doesn't get paid anything and get this: He doesn't even have an expense budget. Via the O.C. Register:
He is not getting paid anything for this. He digs into his own pocket even for meals while holed up in New York for bargaining meetings – sometimes packing for what was supposed to be a couple days and then having to agree to stay for a week or a week and a half. He pays for personal assistants to fly and stay and help him in New York, including a trainer to keep him on track physically to continue his old job as a basketball player at some point.

He tries to justify the expenses to his wife, in addition to his glaring absence at home at the usual offseason time when he gets to reconnect with his kids. Staying committed to serve his fellow players at this critical time, Fisher is left to steal away from New York and back to Los Angeles just to see his kid's soccer game and then jet back on a red-eye flight.
If you don't respect the hell out of Derek Fisher already, I'm sure you do now. Nobody wants a deal as much as him. He doesn't just have a salary at stake in this, but I'm sure he's ready to be done with this crap. Ready to stop playing unpaid intern as he spends late nights in a New York hotel arguing with lawyers and stubborn owners. It used to be a nightmare, but I bet he'd give anything to be guarding Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook right now.

Billy Hunter gets paid. David Stern gets paid. All the lawyers, economists -- they're getting paid. But Fisher has to just serve his duty while picking up his own room service tab.

It's not surprising. We're talking about a guy that spent all day holding the hand of his child during cancer treatment and then returned to a playoff game in the third quarter. The guy is committed. He does what he thinks is right. The NBPA is in great hands.

Fisher might not have made any money doing this -- and he won't with a good deal because the players are giving back money, mind you -- but he's earned plenty in respect.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 8, 2011 8:57 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 7:36 pm
 

NBA Labor Buzz: Latest updates



NBA Labor
Since there's going to be so many reports and tweets and nonsense today from both sides in preparation of tomorrow's deadline when the owners will pull their "generous" offer for a considerably stricter one, we thought we'd give you a thread to keep track of where everyone stands with what. This post will update throughout the day.

Tuesday 7:26 p.m:

  • Stern responded to the union's rejection of the current proposal by restating the threat of the worse offer. He also would not commit to a meeting Wednesday but said he would take Hunter's call, and denied that Christmas games would be cancelled if a deal was not made by the deadline. 
  • Luis Scola asked on Twitter the following (in Spanish): "The NBPA rejected the proposal to the owners, why not vote?" So apparently Scola's willing to at least talk about it. You've got to wonder how many players are going to be upset the deal wasn't discussed more.
  • Brian Cardinal followed the NBPA line that the players would bend on BRI if system concessions were made. They are also acting like this has been the case the whole time, after all the rabble-rousing over 53 percent. 

Tuesday 5:36 p.m.
Tuesday 12:14 p.m.
  • Spencer Hawes is taking his frustration out on Twitter. He tweeted: "Voting (and not for this completely irrational proposal from the NBA) rather local elections. Hard when democrats r the only choice #writein." I'm not entirely sure what his point is there.
  • Jamario Moon tweeted this: "Deal or No Deal?..........Deal!!!!! Let's play some ball!" I kind of wish Howie Mandel was David Stern.
  • Jonny Flynn tweeted this: "Starting to see why so many things are outta wack. Ppl aren't held accountable. Let enough things slide & forget what's right." One thing that's out of wack? The amount professional athletes are paid to play a sport. But nobody's talking about that.
Tuesday 9:40 a.m.
  • At the Salt Lake City charity game last night, several players weighed in to the Salt Lake Tribune. Jeremy Evans says take "whatever is given" and get a deal. Devin Harris sounds much more like a decertification guy talking about "tough decisions" but that could be the deal as well, and Derrick Favors has not paid attention to anything regarding the talks. So glad he gets a vote.
Tuesday 9 a.m.
  • J.J. Redick told the Orlando Sentinel that he's not necessarily in favor of decertification, but that he would sign a petition to decertify should a deal not be agreed upon in the next few days. You can interpret that as "I don't think this will work but the deal's not acceptable and I'm not willing to just lie down and take it." 
  • Anthony Tolliver of the Timberwolves, a players' rep who will attend Tuesday's NBPA meeting told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that "pretty much everything is split" when it comes to the players between decertification and voting to approve the deal as is. You can interpret that as a pretty good read on where things stand, with most statements from players coming down on either side. It's going to be a tense meeting Tuesday.
  • Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com has been an active optimist during this nightmare. He's predicted an end to the lockout about three times because he keeps assuming we have rational actors. He's back on that bus today as he says the two sides are 99 percent done, so they can't turn back now and we'll have a deal in 36 hours. This is us not holding our breath. You can interpret this as some sources close to the talks continue to be stunned that the two sides can be inches apart and still tossing grenades at one another. 
Previously on "Days of Our Lockout":
For more breaking news on the NBA labor front, follow us on Twitter at @EyeOnBasketball and Ken Berger (@KBergCBS).
Posted on: November 8, 2011 8:24 am
Edited on: November 8, 2011 5:48 pm
 

Report: Owners could be open to system tweaks

By Matt Moore



Many of the owners don't want a meeting, but the few that do think there's some room to tweak things so the players can swallow this deal. 

Yahoo! Sports reports that some owners are open to meeting and discussing system issues on the periphery, not the main elements, if it means a deal can get done to save the season.  
As one ownership source told Yahoo! Sports on Monday night, “If there were a couple of tweaks needed around the edges – not fundamental deal points – I believe there could be a deal if everything else is agreed upon. But there needs to be a meeting with David and Billy for anything to happen.”
via NBA owners, players could talk before deadline - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

Yahoo! also reports Billy Hunter is on the fence about taking a meeting. That's likely because his job is already in jeopardy over how this process has been handled and knows that if they meet which signals a readiness to accept the deal, and it falls through, the hard-line agents and players pushing for decertification will likely be able to remove him once the union reforms.

The report also backs up Ken Berger of CBSSports.com's reportfrom Monday night outlining hard owners who are still uneasy about the deal on the table now. This deal which lops off seven percentage points from the players' BRI, eliminating any advantage in that regard and implementing massive systemic changes isn't enough for some owners who still want more. In fact, ESPN reports that those owners are making their voices heard. 
A group of disgruntled NBA owners held a conference call Monday to express their displeasure with the 50/50 revenue offer commissioner David Stern has presented to the players' association, according to sources with knowledge of the call.

The deal, which the union sees as an "ultimatum" offer, calls for players to receive anywhere between 49 and 51 percent of basketball-related income, but the group of displeased owners, the sources said, are hoping the players reject it.
via NBA lockout -- Some NBA owners express displeasure with David Stern's 50-50 offer, sources say - ESPN.

Great idea! Let's not have a season so that the huge win you already have in your pocket can be scrapped for even bigger win. It's not enough to be up by 40 in the fourth quarter, let's make sure we can spike the football off the face of our opponent. That's what this comes down to.

It's not clear what peripheral changes could be made to the deal outside of some small amount tweaks in years, raise percentages or amounts regarding various elements like the mid-level exception. If a meeting is taken by both sides, it could very well detonate if the owners balk at any change that actually helps the union accept the deal, which is two percent less than they've sworn to accept, after dropping from 53 percent which they swore to hold at. You're sensing a pattern here, I suppose. 

Going to be a busy, acrimonious day in the NBA. Without games.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:14 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 12:55 am
 

Report: Of course the NBA doesn't want to meet

By Matt Moore 

Wednesday is the latest Judgment Day in a long history of Judgment Days during this lockout, the day when the NBA's "generous" offer to only knock 7 percent of the player's BRI off eliminating any greater share (after an expenses deduction, I might add), along with widespread systemic changes and the elimination of the sign-and-trade for tax payers expires and their new, stricter, more terrifying offer becomes the new reality. In preparation for that day, the NBPA has four options. 

  1. Decertify the union (or disclaim interest, if they want a quicker and riskier route) and file antitrust lawsuits against the owners, initializing a court-based nuclear winter that eliminates at least this season if not next and which will likely fail in court at one of its many risky junctures.
  2. Calmly wait for the deadline to pass and continue negotiating, effectively ignoring the threat. President Kennedy famously used this same tactic in talks with the USSR during the Cuban Missile Crisis. 
  3. Try and get the owners back to the table for a negotiation to try and sweeten the deal to a point where it's at least swallowable for the majority of the players. 
  4. Vote on the deal as it stands right now and go back to work, effectively caving in order to keep the season and the paychecks that go along with it, sacrificing their profession and pride for their paychecks and the fans. 
All in all, not an appetizing menu before them. 

But don't worry. The owners are going to make sure that third option isn't one. Because, really, why would the NBA want to negotiate more? They might get a season then! From the New York Times
 
NBA official says no meeting scheduled with union tomorrow, and none being attempted at the moment. (But things change quickly.)
via Twitter / @HowardBeckNYT: NBA official says no meeti ....

Things do change quickly, but with the NBA owners ready for a scorched earth offer on Wednesday, and with as many owners pushing for a lost season as there are, a meeting doesn't make sense. If the players don't take the deal, they look like the bad guys, and the owners can say they hung themselves. The owner want to keep talks closed because starting Monday, reports started filtering in about players being open to the 50/50 deal. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that NBPA officials will be "open minded" about a vote on the current offer.

The owners smell blood in the water. So they will resist anything that gives light to the tunnel the players are strapped in. On Tuesday, they'll fight it out amongst themselves, the decertification hard-liners, the weary 50/50 sympathizers, and the Executive Committee in the middle, desperately trying to hold onto a situation they've never had the reins on.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 7:12 pm
 

Kevin Martin OK with 50-50; Blake pushes for vote

Posted by Royce Young

Derek Fisher, and thereby the union, rejected the NBA's proposal Sunday. But the question is, would the majority of players actually vote to accept it?

That's the subtle brilliance in David Stern laying it out to the public and then taking the message on talk shows, podcasts and wherever else Monday -- he's not trying to win the PR battle anymore. He's trying to talk directly to the rank and file players. He's begging them to consider this deal regardless of what the union representation and power agents are saying.

One player, Kevin Martin of the Rockets, says take the deal and run. Via SI.com:
"If you know for sure [the owners] are not moving, then you take the best deal possible," Martin wrote in a text message to SI.com. "We are risking losing 20 to 25 percent of missed games that we'll never get back, all over 2 percent [of basketball-related income] over an eight-to-10-year period [of the eventual collective bargaining agreement]. And let's be honest: 60 to 70 percent of players won't even be in the league when the next CBA comes around."

[...]

"When players are negotiating as free agents, we're always saying, 'Well I'm going to do what's best for my family,'" he wrote. "So now we're lying, because right now, losing money isn't helping our families at all. I'm not criticizing the fight our union is doing, because they have been in every meeting adding up to countless hours and have been breaking down every number possible. I believe in them and know they have the best interest for us. My opinion -- which is just one of 450 players -- is that if it comes down to losing a season and 100 percent of the money, we all definitely have to sit down and think about reality. That doesn't sound smart to possibly become part of the country's growing unemployment rate."
Kevin Martin: Efficient on the court and even better with his words. I'd say his WER (Word Efficiency Rating) was a quality 30.5 there. And he's not the only one. Glen Davis tweeted he'd take 51 percent. Samardo Samuels of the Cavs tweeted he was fine with 50-50. Shane Battier said on Jim Rome a couple weeks ago that 50-50 was fine with him as long as the system was solid.

And to add to that, Steve Blake has been calling players urging them to ask their player reps to push for a vote at Tuesday's manadatory rep meeting in New York. That's all players want at this point. The some 450 players want to have their voices heard. They don't want to be told what's best for them. They want to make their own decision. Agents and attorneys claim to be looking out for them, but we all know where their bread is buttered. The better the deal for the players, the more money they make.

David Stern detailed the offer very specifically in a letter to players. Would the majority of players vote to take the deal? Who knows. But enough have spoken out that should at least give it consideration.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Stern sends letter to Hunter detailing offers

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

NBA commissioner David Stern told reporters during a Saturday evening news conference that he would be presenting to the National Basketball Players Association with two offers in writing. The first, a more favorable one, would be valid only if agreed to by end of day Wednesday. The second, a less favorable one, would kick in if that deadline passed.

The New York Times reports that Stern communicated both offers in a letter to NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, ending the communication with an expression of hope that a deal could be reached.
“Rather than simply proceeding, as we could have, to offer a less favorable proposal at this time, the N.B.A. is providing an additional period of time for the players association to consider our 50/50 proposal,” Stern wrote. “We are hopeful that the prospect of a less favorable outcome for the players will prompt the players association to realize that the best deal that can be reached is the one the N.B.A. is prepared to make right now.”

Stern closes, “Billy, I sincerely hope that we can reach an agreement over the next few days.”
The differences in the two offers, the paper reports, are significant in every meaningful way. In addition to roughly a 3 percent drop in its offer of Basketball-Related Income, the new offer would also promise shorter guaranteed contracts, smaller raises, a smaller mid-level exception, a reduced maximum salary figure and a flex cap rather than a strengthened soft cap.

With these details being released publicly, and thus available to every NBA player, it's possible that calls for a vote on the 50/50 offer will increase. There are reports that Houston Rockets guard Kevin Martin is in favor of the league's current offer and that Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake is agitating to get a deal.
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:05 pm
 

Tyson Chandler: New CBA could keep him from Mavs

Posted by Royce Young



A new collective bargaining agreement could greatly affect a whole lot of teams. The Lakers, the Heat, the Celtics and potentially, the defending champion Mavericks.

The next salary cap is supposed to be in the $58 million and the Mavs are already above and beyond that with about $60 million committed. And that's without having re-signed Caron Butler, J.J. Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Tyson Chandler. If the new luxury tax that's been proposed is adopted, it'll start at $70 million and with it being potentially dollar-for-dollar, the Mavs might not be able to keep all their players.

Tyson Chandler realizes this. And he's blaming the new CBA, via the Dallas Morning News:

“With the collective bargaining agreement and some of the things that they’re trying to enforce, it would basically prohibit me from coming back,” Chandler told KESN-FM FM in Dallas. “It would take it out of my hands — and the organization’s — because it would almost be pretty much impossible for me to re-sign. I just think that can be the worst thing that can happen.”

“For years, the Lakers have been able to win championships and re-sign their players and keep them there so they can go out for another title,” Chandler said. “Now, to put that deal in place after we win ours, I don’t like it one bit.”

Really not much else to add to that because Chandler's right. The new system would greatly change the way teams re-sign and retain their big name free agents. But then again, it also means that a team like the Mavs can't continue to stockpile big name players year after year. Instead, the talent is supposed to be more evenly distributed.

At least that's the idea.

Here's the thing though: The luxury tax doesn't mean anything to Mark Cuban. Make it dollar-for-dollar or five dollars for every dollar over and he's going to spend how he wants to. If the Mavs want Chandler back, they're going to figure out a way to keep him.

Via PBT
Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:34 am
 

Report: NBPA asking for team reps at meeting

By Matt Moore 

The players have a lot to talk about Monday, and they want a full house for it. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed an ESPN report that the NBPA has asked representatives from all 30 teams to attend their meeting in New York on Monday. The range of topics on the table will include the NBA's latest offer, though union leadership is firmly against bringing the offer to a vote as it deems it "unacceptable." On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum is the issue of decertification, and whether or not the NBPA should break apart its union in order to pursue antitrust suits against the league as individuals. So there's kind of a wide gap in how the union might go. Accept the unacceptable and get a deal in the face of the league's strongest bullying tactic yet, or decertify and commit professional suicide in order to gamble on a miracle favorable ruling on three different levels. 

Who's bringing punch and pie?

As we outlined here on Friday, decertification is certainly an option, but the odds of its success are extremely limited. It's best used as a negotiating threat, a threat which of course is wasted if you actually, you know, use it.  But there are players for whom this has become as personal as it seems to be to the league. The league wants to prove a point to the players, and the players are responding the same way most anyone would if you pushed them around enough. They want to fight back. Behind that is a group of agents who have larger investments long-term in the league beyond just the players playing now and want to make sure they fight for every dollar they can get over the next 20 years, not five or ten. 

But as Berger pointed out on Sunday, there are a number of agents who don't support decertification and understand what it means financially. Perhaps in July it could have been used as a viable weapon, but Billy Hunter understood the risks involved in taking this to court and putting this conflict into a trench-warfare-type environment. He gambled on being out in the open, able to maneuver and possibly regain some ground. His gamble didn't work, as the owners' onslaught pressed on. So now the union is torn apart, with some players just wanting to go back to work, some players needing to go back to work, some players wanting to talk more, and a number of players and several All-Stars (with the bank accounts to back it) wanting to blow everything up and commit to a full-on battle.

Might want to order the butter knives and not the steak knives for lunch today. That meeting's going to get really serious very quickly.  
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com