Tag:Derek Fisher
Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:43 pm

Terrence Williams: 'Enough with the stare off'

Posted by Royce Young

It was probably inevitable. At some point, the players were going to just get fed and want to play basketball. Whether you buy into the reports of the union splitting at the seams or you think their letters are legit, there's some division going on. Glen Davis tweeted today, "Take the 51% man and let's play."

And on top of it, Terrence Williams of the Rockets added another:

The union's in a dangerous place right now. They still want a fair deal, which they won't ever get. But at the very least, they want a deal that they can present as being worth losing a month for. Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter want something they can take back to the union and say, "See, it was worth it guys."

Which is probably the current deal on the table, sadly. Players like Davis and Williams aren't going to influence Fisher and Hunter to cave toward an unwanted deal, but the more Fisher's phone buzzes with players echoing that feeling, the more he's going to have to walk in prepared to take something below 53 percent.

And it also means that there's some credence to the stuff about it being Hunter versus Fisher right now. The word is that players are taking sides between Hunter and Fisher right now. There are those ready to "fold" as JaVale McGee might put it and there are others willing to stick it out, if for at least a little longer.

Here's reality though: They played chicken with the owners. And they lost. They said they were drawing the line at 53 and weren't going to dip below. But they can't win that fight. They're going to have to give up their precious three percent to take a deal and get back to not just playing, but getting paid. Maybe they can convince the owners to meet them at 51 percent. But at this point, that might be a pipe dream.
Posted on: November 2, 2011 12:10 am
Edited on: November 2, 2011 12:16 am

Derek Fisher lawyers up, demands retraction

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

The only thing missing here is a reference to Scott Templeton.

National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher issued a statement on Tuesday night taking direct aim at multiple articles posted on FoxSports.com, formally demanding a retraction and acusing the site of defaming him.

Here's the full statement sent out by Jamie Wior, Fisher's publicist, and obtained by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. 
"The statements made in recent articles on the Fox Sports website are inexcusable.  Among the many baseless accusations, to allege that I am working with the league for my personal gain is unequivocally false.  The implication that I am doing anything but working in the best interests of the players is disgusting, defamatory and a flat out lie.  I have issued a letter through my attorneys demanding a retraction for the libelous and defamatory stories the site and reporter have continued to publish.

Regardless of the media reports, the Players Association, our staff, Executive Director and Executive Committee are unified and working side by side to serve our players.

There should be no more distractions.  We must continue to negotiate a fair deal for our players."      
The articles that Fisher objects to call out both Fisher and Wior by name. They accuse Fisher of being co-opted by Stern during labor negotiations, assert that there is a rift between Fisher and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, and suggest that the NBPA confronted Fisher about his stances on the all-important revenue split issue. They also call into question the aptitude of both Fisher and Wior. 

Earlier Tuesday, NBA commissioner David Stern issued a denial that he secretly met with Fisher. Also on Tuesday, Hunter sent a letter to the NBPA saying that he had no beef with Fisher. On Monday, Fisher sent a letter to the NBPA denying a rift with Hunter.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:16 pm

David Stern denies secretly meeting Derek Fisher

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

In case you were worried that representatives of the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association were actually meeting face-to-face, NBA commissioner David Stern is here to set the record straight. There were no meetings!

The New York Times reports that Stern flatly denied meeting with NBPA president Derek Fisher, although he was speaking about a reported secret meeting where a "side deal" was allegedly conducted without the consent of NBPA executive director Billy Hunter.
One report said that Fisher secretly met with Stern and the deputy commissioner Adam Silver in an attempt to make a deal.

“That would be false,” Stern said.

Fisher also denied the report that suggested he met with Stern in a letter sent to the NBPA on Monday. "Usually I wouldn't even dignify absurd media reports with a comment," Fisher's letter read. "But before these reports go any further, let me say on the record to each of you, my loyalty has and always will be with the players... There have been no side agreements, no side negotiations or anything close."

Meanwhile, Hunter also denied that there was a rift between himself and Fisher in a letter sent to the NBPA on Tuesday, but also tried to redirect the discussion to the current state of negotiations. "We will not be intimidated by public threats, ultimatums and manufactured drop dead dates," Hunter's letter read. "We will stand firm in our resolve to negotiate a fair deal for our current membership and those who will join our ranks in the future," Hunter said.

Well, we now have denials from all involved parties but are still left without actual discourse on the issues. Labor negotiations broke off last Friday and there are currently no new negotiations scheduled.

At this point, it would actually be more productive if Stern, Silver, Fisher and Hunter all set of a series of secret meetings with each other and then continually leaked the fact that they were meeting to the media. At least they would be meeting!

If there's any upshot here it's that Stern told the New York Times multiple times that he's still trying. 
“We’re trying very hard to get a deal done with the players, or we were, and we don’t need any external distractions to that focus.”

I believe that a majority of teams are in favor of making the deal that we were offering to the players,” Stern said. “And I’m trying very hard to keep that deal on the table.”
Just to boil all of this nonsense and hot air down to its core: nothing is being accomplished but they still claim they haven't given up. Fantastic news. Don't keel over in optimistic over-exertion.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:23 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 11:20 pm

Hunter slams NBA, backs Fisher in letter to NBPA

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Another bleeping letter.

Yes, just 24 hours after National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher sent a letter to his union's membership urging solidarity and denying a report of a rift between himself and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, Hunter has penned a letter of his own.

Hunter's letter comes just hours after a report that suggested some segment of the union's members are getting fed up with his hard-line stance in negotiations.

ESPN.com has the text of the letter. Here's an excerpt.
"We will not be intimidated by public threats, ultimatums and manufactured drop dead dates. We will stand firm in our resolve to negotiate a fair deal for our current membership and those who will join our ranks in the future," Hunter said.

"A move of this magnitude guarantees operating profits for all owners irrespective of quality of management and does not allow players to adequately share in the growth of the league."

Hunter, in the letter, said the NBA seems determined to use hard bargaining tactics to get the deal it wants.

"They have given us 'take it or leave it' ultimatums, threatened to end the season prematurely, reached out to players in an attempt to divide us, misled the press, and pre-conditioned further talks on our acceptance of significant concessions," he said. "This is an unacceptable form of negotiation, especially where the respective fates of the players and the owners are inextricably related. Moreover, it does nothing but damage the relationship between the league and union."
SI.com has printed the entire letter. Hunter concludes by stating that he is on the same page with Fisher. 
Contrary to what is being said in the media, Derek, myself and the Negotiating Committee are of one accord. Derek is a fearless defender of player rights both at the bargaining table and behind the scenes, and he carries out his duties as President with the same degree of courage, focus and tenacity that he has exhibited on the court as a five-time champion. We are all well served to have Derek in a leadership capacity during these negotiations.
The NBPA is clearly in full-fledged damage control mode now with two letters sent in the past 24 hours and no negotiation meetings scheduled. The spirit of Hunter's message is on point: unity, common enemy, etc. But, at some point, NBPA leadership will realize that the only letters their membership cares about are "C.B.A."

This was a no-win situation. Hunter had to say something to calm tensions, but his audience -- not to mention the media -- is demanding action, not words. You can't help but wonder how many of this letter's recipients hit the "delete" button before bothering to read it.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 6:54 pm

Report: NBA players fed up with Billy Hunter?

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.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:15 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 11:20 pm

Fisher denies rift with Hunter in letter to NBPA

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Derek Fisher grabbed a pen, tooling up to reclaim his corners.

Over the weekend, a report surfaced that the National Basketball Players Association leadership team of executive director Billy Hunter and Fisher, the NBPA's president, might not be seeing eye to eye when it comes to recent negotiating positions.

FoxSports.com cited a source who said that Fisher was amenable to a 50/50 revenue split with the NBA in their ongoing labor negotiations, while Hunter was not. The report also noted that there had been some sort of confrontation in which Fisher's allegiance had been questioned by his fellow players.

On Monday, Fisher sent a letter to the NBPA membership assuring them that the report is false and that he and Hunter are on the same page. ESPN.com obtained a copy of Fisher's letter.
"Usually I wouldn't even dignify absurd media reports with a comment. But before these reports go any further, let me say on the record to each of you, my loyalty has and always will be with the players.

"Anyone that questions that or doubts that does not know me, my history and what I stand for. And quite frankly, how dare anyone call that into question? The Players Association is united and any reports to the contrary are false. There have been no side agreements, no side negotiations or anything close. We are united in serving you and presenting the best options and getting everyone back to work."
Hunter also issued a denial of the report on Monday.

Fisher probably should have just stopped after the first sentence, but he didn't, and the messaging that follows isn't surprising to anyone that's followed this lockout. Solidarity. Loyalty. Service. Honesty. Integrity. United. Etc.

This is not the first correspondence from Fisher to his membership. Earlier in the fall, he sent a letter critical of agents who he saw negatively influencing the process, another one to urge unity, another one to launch a social media campaign, and he also gave a speech critical of Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee after McGee said that some NBA players were "ready to fold."

We've reached the point where there are only two letters from Fisher that anyone -- even those sympathetic to the NBPA's cause -- actually wants to read. The first begins: "I'm happy to announce that we have reached a new collective bargaining agreement." The second begins: "I'm happy to announce my retirement from basketball."

Fisher's response to the charge of disunity came on the same day that NBA commissioner David Stern fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 for comments made on Twitter that appeared to reveal a fissure in ownership's negotiating positions.
Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: October 31, 2011 11:11 am

Billy Hunter denies rift with Derek Fisher

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 FoxSports.com:
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 FOXSports.com 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.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 5:35 pm

Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher want 50/50 BRI split?

Posted by Ben Golliver


Is the NBA's highest-paid player prepared to accept the league's offer so that he can get back to work?

FoxSports.com reports that Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant and his backcourt mate, National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher, are ready to accept a 50/50 split of Basketball-Related Income with the NBA's owners. The NBPA's official proposal as of Friday stood at 52.5 percent for the players.
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 FOXSports.com Friday afternoon.

According to my source, at least one five-time champion, NBA superstar with the initials K.B. was on board with Fisher’s push for a 50-50 split. Hunter is firm that the players should not accept less than 52-48. According to my source, Hunter and a member of the executive committee convinced Fisher to stand firm at 52-48 after they questioned the Lakers point guard about his relationship with Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver.

According to reports, Hunter ended Friday's negotiating session, telling Stern the union would not budge on 52-48.
An ESPN Radio host also reported that Bryant and Fisher are open to a 50/50 split. 

In recent press conferences, Fisher has actually played the "bad cop" to Hunter's "good cop," keeping a dour expression even when Hunter exchanges laughs and jokes with NBA commissioner David Stern after Thursday's day of progress. Bryant, meanwhile, has preached union solidarity multiple times over the last year.

Circumstantially, both Fisher and Bryant have more motivation than most players to get a deal done. For Fisher, he must deliver an agreement or he will catch major Heat if a season is lost. For the aging Bryant, every season from here on out counts. He's chasing Michael Jordan for rings and for the all-time scoring mark, and a lost season at this stage of his career would be a fairly major setback in both quests. Bryant also possesses a no b.s. personality and a killer competitive instinct; both traits have to be raging any time the NBA cancels games or whenever lawyers prevent him from practicing his craft.

But, at least for now, the reporting is thin. With offers on both sides constantly in flux over the last two weeks, and with those positions likely to continue to see significant change during the next two weeks, it will take more than this to make reports of a divide among the NBPA's leadership stick. 

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