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Tag:David Stern
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 5:31 pm
 

David Stern calls in sick to NBA meetings

Posted by Ben Golliver

Billionaires and millions holding the sport of basketball hostage. Yes, it's enough to make you ill.

It's enough to make NBA commissioner David Stern sick too, apparently.

NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver met with reports in New York City on Thursday to inform them that Stern is sick with the flu and was not able to attend an NBA Board of Governors meeting and will likely not be able to attend Thursday afternoon labor negotiations with the National Basketball Players Association either.

"I'm sure David's flu was not helped, his symptoms were not helped by the fact that we had several late nights this week," Silver said. "It's been a long week for anybody, but particularly with our Board of Governors meetings and the negotiations, I think he just got a little bit worn down. He's still very active in this process and I'm sure he will be addressing our committe by conference call."

Silver said he and Stern remain in constant contact. 

"He's still actively working at home, my Blackberry is buzzing on my waist as I sit here," Silver said. "Most likely [he] will not be here at the bargaining session this afternoon. But, like I said, we will be fully engaged in the committee, led by Peter Holt. He will be an active participant even though he will not be there in person."

Reports surfaced on Wednesday evening that some progress had finally been in the labor negotiations during the 24 hours of negotiations that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Here's video of Silver's remarks.


Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Federal Mediator: NBA talks to continue Thursday

Posted by Ben Golliver

After leading 16 hours of NBA labor talks on Tuesday and more than eight hours of talks on Wednesday, federal mediator George Cohen issued his first -- albeit brief -- public comments to media members assembled in New York City.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Cohen "shed no new light on the status of talks. He emphasized importance of confidentiality."

Representatives for the league and its players did not comment on Wednesday but will meet again on Thursday, according to Cohen, with talks scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.

Here's video of Cohen's brief remarks.



NBA.com reported
that Cohen called the participants in the meeting "extremely focused on the issues" and that the talks have been "direct and constructive."

Yahoo! Sports reported that "progress was made on the BRI revenue split" according to two sources involved in the negotiations.

Berger reports that NBA commissioner David Stern left Wednesday's mediated session before its conclusion to attend to other league business. The NBA's owners are assembled in New York for Board of Governors meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Cohen met with both the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association on Monday in advance of Tuesday's mediation. Representatives for both sides refused to comment following Tuesday's negotiating session, which went into the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The NBA and the NBPA have made little formal progress towards a new collective bargaining agreement since the league's owners locked out its players on July 1.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:20 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 11:27 am
 

NBA, NBPA meet for 16 hours with federal mediator

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Representatives of the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association took part in more than 16 hours of talks led by federal mediator George Cohen in New York City on Tuesday but failed to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides will resume their negotiations at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The NBA's owners had been scheduled for Board of Governors meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in New York but Berger reports that the labor talks "clearly take precedence."

Specific details of the marathon negotiation session are unclear. Berger reports that a spokesman for the NBA "has asked both sides to refrain from commenting, and they are abiding."

NBPA board member Chris Paul said on Twitter: "WoW, 16 hours...I PROMISE we are trying!!!"

Yahoo Sports cited a source in the meeting saying that "very little" progress was made, that the two sides were "still not anywhere near a deal," that the only "gaps" that had been narrowed were "on small stuff" and that it was "hard to see where this is going."

Newsday reported that "nothing [was] achieved toward a deal. But there's always tomorrow."

Cohen met with both the league and the players union individually on Monday in advance of Tuesday's negotiations, which come eight days after commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 regular season.

Tuesday's meeeting, the longest since the NBA imposed a lockout on July 1, dragged on for so long that NBA writers staking out the talks reported receiving complementary cookies from the NBA and, later, ice cream and chinese food from the NBPA. The talks began at 10 a.m. Tuesday local time and concluded just after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

SheridanHoops.com reported the following attendees at the meeting.
Representing the owners were Peter Holt (San Antonio), Clay Bennett (Oklahoma City), Mickey Arison (Miami), Mark Cuban (Dallas), Jim Dolan (New York), Dan Gilbert (Cleveland), Wyc Grousbeck (Boston), Larry Miller (Portland), Robert Sarver (Phoenix), Glen Taylor (Minnesota) and Bob VanderWeide (Orlando).

Representing the players were Derek Fisher, Maurice Evans, Chris Paul, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason and James Jones.

In radio interviews last week, Stern said that nearly two months of the season could be in jeopardy if a resolution was not reached on Tuesday.

"Deal Tuesday, or we potentially spiral into situations where the worsening offers on both sides make it even harder for the parties to make a deal," Stern said. "If we don't make it on Tuesday, my gut -- this is not in my official capacity of canceling games -- but my gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day."

Further game cancellations are expected to come in two-week increments. The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the season came three weeks in advance of the scheduled start date of Nov. 1. If the same lead time is necessary for the next cancellation, an announcement should be made by Monday, Oct. 24.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:16 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Bryant Gumbel evokes slavery in David Stern rant

Posted by Ben Golliverbryant-gumbel

NBA commissioner David Stern sat through more than 16 hours of labor negotiations on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, but the harshest words aimed at him came from outside the bargaining room.

Emmy-winning television commentator Bryant Gumbel closed Tuesday night's episode of HBO's Real Sports with a pointed editorial aimed at Stern, whose league has made little progress in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement since it locked out its players on July 1.

Gumbel's statement evoked slavery with reference to a "plantation," "boys" and "hired hands". Gumbel and a vast majority of NBA players are African-American. Stern is not. The following is a transcript of his editorial. 

"Finally, tonight, if the NBA lockout is going to be resolved any time soon, it seems likely to be done in spite of David Stern, not because of him," Gumbel said. "I say that because the NBA's infamously egocentric commissioner seemed more hellbent recently on demeaning the players rather than his game's labor impasse.

"How else to explain Stern's rants in recent days. To any and everyone who would listen, he has alternately knocked union leader Billy Hunter, said the players were getting inaccurate information, and started sounding 'Chicken Little' claims about what games might be lost if players didn't soon see things his way. 

"Stern's version of what has been going on behind closed doors has of course been disputed, but his efforts were typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It's part of Stern's M.O., like his past self-serving edicts on dress code and the questioning of officials. His moves were intended to do little more than show how he's the one keeping the hired hands in their place. 

"Some will of course cringe at that characterization but Stern's disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent. Yes, the NBA's business model is broken. But to fix it, maybe the league's commissioner should concern himself most with the solution and stop being part of the problem."

Here's the video of Bryant Gumbel's editorial against NBA commissioner David Stern.



These are not Gumbel's first controversial remarks concering racial issues.

In 2006, SportsBusinessNews.com reports that Gumbel had harsh words for then NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and then National Football League Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw.

"Before he cleans out his office, have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw's leash," Gumbel said. "By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch."

In reference to the 2006 Winter Olympics, NewsBusters.org reports that Gumbel said: "Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Back in March, Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson made a reference to slavery during the NFL's recent lockout.

"It's modern-day slavery, you know?" Peterson said. "People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too." 

Hat tip: ProBasketballTalk
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:37 am
 

Adam Silver zings David Stern

Posted by Royce Young

The NBA's mindgames in these labor negotiations have really gone to another level. Because now Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver is praising Derek Fisher and zinging his boss, David Stern. I don't even know where I am right now.

Via the New York Times, Silver was talking about Fisher as the union president and said this:

“In the well over 30 bargaining sessions, I cannot remember a single incident where he raised his voice. And, just a reminder — David Stern is in the room.”

Stern probably gave a coy smile when he heard this Silver quote and said something to the effect of, "Me, raise my voice? No way." But certainly credit to Fisher for that. Because like Silver said, Fisher's bargained with Stern some 30 times. Dwyane Wade did one time and (reportedly) got into a shouting match with The David.

It's interesting though because Fisher has become the face for the players instead of Billy Hunter. Which is opposite of the NFL. DeMaurice Smith was on the forefront for the NFLPA. So much that I have no idea who the player president is. That's how Hunter wanted it. He wanted Fisher up front.

“I told him, ‘I think I’m going to let you take the lead on a lot of this,’” Hunter told the TImes. “Over a year ago, well before the lockout, I pushed him forward. I’d say, ‘Rather than you stand around, you should be the one out in front.’ And he’s been doing a great job.”

Via PBT
Posted on: October 17, 2011 2:57 pm
 

Report: NLRB could block NBPA decertification



There have been reports for the past month about the powerful agents of some NBPA members circling the union authority like vultures, wanting to undermine Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher and push for decertification, followed by a barrage of lawsuits against the NBA and its owners. Today NBA.com's David Aldridge reports that a lawyer for the union doesn't believe that the NLRB would allow the union's decertification until after the NBPA's complaint with the National Labor Relations Board is complete. From NBA.com:
"They would block any decertification petition," he said.

The decert talk has cooled in recent weeks, but if union members decided they wanted to dissolve the union, they would need 30 percent of their members to sign a petition declaring they want an election to decertify. The NLRB would then hold a hearing to determine if an election was warranted. If it approved, the election would proceed, and a simple majority of union voters voting yes would decertify the union. A tie would also mean decertification, because the union would not have received a majority of votes.

Yet Katz says the unions pending complaint against the NBA would make decertifying an impossibility.

"The vote on decertification is a vote controlled and run by the NLRB," he said. "In my opinion, they could not process the petition for a vote because of the pending petition."
via Competitive balance? NBA has always been about dynasties | NBA.com.

This could explain why the agents have gone quiet recently and why there's been more support for the union. The court process will be used as a weapon by the NBPA, it's their last weapon, the nuclear option. But it won't be on the agent's timeline, it'll be on the NBPA's. 

The NLRB's regional ruling has been filed and the national board is in the process of reviewing the complaint. There's no timeline for that decision, but rest assured the NLRB will drag its heels as much as possible to wait for both sides to reach a settlement through negotiation. Avoiding precedent is a pretty big deal in this case and the NLRB will want to dodge the buck as long as possible. 

The NBA's suit agains the NBPA seeking to block decertification is set to begin opening proceedings on November 2nd, the day after the regular season was initially intended to begin. But really, what would you rather see, the opener of the NBA season or a court battle?

Don't answer that.  
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 6:23 pm
 

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

NBA commissioner David Stern minced no words in countless radio and television interviews this week: If a labor agreement can't be reached with the National Basketball Players Association during a Tuesday negotiation session led by federal mediator George Cohen, then the league's annual Christmas Day games will be put into grave jeopardy. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com recorded the clear, repeated threats.
"It's time to make the deal," Stern said,  "If we don't make it on Tuesday, my gut -- this is not in my official capacity of canceling games -- but my gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day."

"Deal Tuesday, or we potentially spiral into situations where the worsening offers on both sides make it even harder for the parties to make a deal," Stern said.
NBPA president Derek Fisher and executive director Billy Hunter pushed back hard against those threats following a union regional meeting at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Friday.

Fisher made it sound like the deadline and the urgency surrounding it were simply figments of Stern's imagination.

"That's an arbitrary deadline just to throw out on commissioner Stern's part," Fisher said. "We don't see it that way. Obviously he's entitled to make the statement but it just seems very arbitrary and with no real purpose other than to sway player sentiment. I don't agree with the way it's been done but I'm not him so I can't speak to that part of it."

Hunter called out the NBA for choosing to limit its availability for discussions next week.

"George Cohen, the federal mediator, was proposing that we actually set all of next week aside," Hunter said. "The entire week, for mediation. It's because of the NBA's schedule and the commissioner's alleged inability to get together with us over four or five days, I think he set the sort of superficial, arbitrary deadline saying that if it doesn't happen by Tuesday then all these other things will evolve as a consequence." 

Hunter also noted that its unrealistic to expect a single day of negotiating to produce a new collective bargaining agreement.

"My attitude is that if they really want to get a deal, we've been negotiating for over two years," he said. "The probability and likelihood of getting it in one day, because we'll only be together one day on Tuesday, then I believe the NBA has scheduled Board of Governors meetings and other meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So that's why it's limited to one day and one day only."

If Stern's purpose in launching the media blitz and ramping up the threats was to appeal to rank-and-file union members, Fisher said it won't work. 

"For our players, we've made a pledge not to continue in any way to allow what is say or written or printed in the media or statements that would be made to frustrate us or sway us in any way," he said. "To make sure we're thinking as businessmen and we're being very smart about what we need to do."

Hunter even resorted to a firearm metaphor to underscore how undeterred he was by Stern's threats of cancelled games and "vaporized" player wages.

"I think it can only get worse for both of us," Hunter said. "If somebody is pointing a gun at my head, I'm going to point one back at him. That door doesn't swing one way. It's not just the players who will suffer if games are lost."
Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:06 pm
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com