Tag:NBA
Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Man jailed for threatening to bomb NBA office

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

I'm not totally sure everything that's involved in working as a security guard but I do know one thing: calling in bomb threats to your place of employment is not proper procedure.

NJ.com reports that Jose Quesada, a former security guard at the NBA's offices in Secaucus, N.J., has been given federal prison time for calling in bomb threats to his place of employment.
An Elizabeth man who formerly worked for the NBA in Secaucus was sentenced today to six months in prison and six months of home detention for making several phony bomb threats to the NBA office.

Jose Quesada, 20, pleaded guilty to making several calls to the NBA Properties office on 100 Plaza Davis from his cell phone over a two-day period in July 2010, according to federal officials. Quesada left voicemail messages saying he “put a bomb outside” the office and planned to “kill all the NBA,” officials said.
NJ.com reported at the time of his arrest that Quesada made multiple threats that led to the building's evacuation. The FBI eventually conducted the investigation that brought him to justice.
In one instance, he said, "I put a bomb outside . . . Gonna kill all the NBA.  . . . There's a bomb outside the complex in the parking lot. I put a bomb outside in the bush. No way out. Gonna blow up at 9:00 o'clock in the morning. Good luck . . . If you come out, it will blow up. "

As a result, the building was evacuated and police searched the area for hours but no explosives were found, officials said, adding that additional security measures were put in place following the threats.
CliffViewPilot.com reports that Quesada left at least seven messages in all.
In another, he said: "Leave the building. It's gonna blow up. Leave the building. Nowhere to go. It's gonna go up. It's gonna go 'Boom!' "

Quesada left a threatening voice mail on a Monday morning, five more voice mails in a 16-minute period on Tuesday night and a seventh voice mail on Wednesday afternoon, an FBI complaint says.
Quesada's motive for making the calls is not clear.
Category: NBA
Tags: Ben Golliver, NBA
 
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 2, 2011 10:37 pm
 

Jerry Stackhouse torches Derek Fisher, NBPA

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

National Basketball Players Association Derek Fisher is under attack. And it's only getting worse by the day.

After recent reports questioned his loyalty, his relationship with NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, and his leadership abilities, Fisher responded by sending a letter to the NBPA in an effort to mend fences on Monday and threatening to sue one media outlet on Tuesday for reporting that he might have been co-opted by NBA commissioner David Stern.

Those aggressive counterpunches appear to have done little to stem the criticism.

On Wednesday, 16-year NBA veteran Jerry Stackhouse, who most recently had a cup of coffee with the Miami Heat in 2010-2011, torched Fisher in a ESPN radio interview, delivering arguably the harshest critique of the union president to date. 

"Not to say anything against Derek Fisher, it's not that I don't think he's a great guy," Stackhouse said, "But I don't want him negotiating my contract. I want an agent who knows the lingo negotiating my contract. Derek Fisher, he doesn't negotiate his own contract. He has an agent. So why would I want him negotiating something even bigger than his contract? This [Collective Bargaining Agreement] is something more important to everybody." 

If that wasn't clear enough for you, Stackhouse went on to leave no doubt that he feels Fisher is outmatched in the current negotiation.

"David Stern, he's made this league what it is," Stackhouse said. "He's one of the greatest commissioners in sports. He's got that title, he's got the NBA at the place where it is because he's a shrewd businessman and knows how to work his way, play the media, play things up to get what he wants. We don't do that. Players are emotional. Players get emotional. So no, I don't necessarily, particularly want Derek Fisher or any of the executive committee negotiating a contract for me."

While Stackhouse sounded reluctant to outright accuse Fisher of disloyalty to his members, he clearly left the possibility open.

"I don't know [if Derek met with the NBA]," Stackhouse said. "I would hope not. I don't think Derek is  that kind of guy from what I've seen. But at the same time, he does have aspirations to possibly be a G.M. one day. If he can be the guy to bring the sides together in whatever way, maybe there would be an oppportunity for him to be a G.M. I'm not saying that he has an ulterior motive but the possibility lies there." 

If there was a silver lining for Fisher, it was that Stackhouse's frustration with the NBPA pre-dated Fisher's tenure as president, which began in 2006.

"Over the course of my career, the last 16 years, it seems like the executive committee is always making concessions," Stackhouse said. "More concessions, more concessions in each Collective Bargaining Agreement and this is no different. I don't think there's ever been a case where it seems like we have any leverage...  We need to have more people who are capable of going toe to toe with David Stern and I just don't think players who spend most of their time playing basketball and Billy Hunter are geared to do that."

Despite airing all of that frustration, Stackhouse said he didn't give much credence to reports that there is a developing rift between Fisher and Hunter.  

"I don't think they are necessarily at odds. But I think they are obviously are each feeling different pressures. I can imagine their voicemails are full all the time, text messages all the time about different items, from different players and different representatives... Obviously you're going to butt heads from time to time but I think for the most part both of those guys want to get a deal done."

But unity among the union's leadership isn't enough to convince Stackhouse the NBPA will deliver a good deal for its members.  

"I'm not sure they are going about it the right way, of actually getting a good deal done for the players," he said.
Posted on: November 2, 2011 7:05 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 7:52 pm
 

Player accuses NBA of Twitter harassment

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Social networking: it's not just for your teenage daughter and the dork that lives next door any more. 

The NBA has opened an official, verified Twitter account -- @NBA_Labor -- to add their message to the labor discussion during the ongoing lockout. The account's profile promises to provide "Collective Bargaining news and facts directly from the NBA office."

The account currently boasts more than 1,000 followers, even though it has only posted four messages. All four attempt to correct the record on a labor issue, whether it's the amnesty clause, player compensation or the all-important revenue split.

On Wednesday, the account sent a message to Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva and Oklahoma City Thunder center Nazr Mohammed to dispute their understanding of the revenue split.

"Owners last proposal was a 50/50 equal split of BRI, the agreed-upon revenue share between the league & players," the message read. The National Basketball Players Association disputes that the owners offered a true 50/50 split because of the deductions taken off prior to the splitting process.

The NBA's official account then retweeted the message to its more than 3 million followers.

Mohammed replied: "Don't tweet me during this lockout! Isn't that a fine or something lol?!?! #NBALockout That's hilarious! I can't workout at our team's facilities or have contact with coaches but @NBA_Labor & @NBA can harass me on twitter lol SMH"

Mohammed is referencing the NBA's gag order, which provides NBA players and their teams from having contact during the lockout.

Correcting the record is one thing and a noble goal, but this feels like a heavy-handed and petty approach from the league, especially when no real negotiations are taking place. 

NBA players: there is only one way to respond. Hit that block button and lock out the league from your Twitter feeds. Make this a lockout blockout.
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 8:06 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 8:13 pm
 

Reports: Federal Mediator won't rejoin NBA talks

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. 

Two weeks ago, Federal mediator George Cohen agreed to oversee more than 24 hours of negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association in hopes of ending the ongoing NBA lockout. He was not successful, throwing up his hands and bailing after talks broke down. "No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time," Cohen said in a prepared statement upon his depature.  

Apparently, Cohen still sees no useful purpose in his presence. 

Reports broke earlier this week that Cohen might re-enter the NBA's labor quagmire, but multiple reports on Tuesday indicate that will not happen.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that it "looks like the federal mediator will not be rejoining NBA labor talks. Nor are any (non-mediated) talks scheduled."

SI.com reported that Cohen's decision came after he conferred with both sides: "Source says federal mediator George Cohen spoke with both NBA and NBPA officials about another joint session but it will not be happening. No new meetings scheduled."

How to read this? The glass if half full approach would argue that a mediator is unnecessary because compromises have been forged on so many of the system issues and that the two sides, after a pretty active negotiating period, have a clear understanding of each other's positions. The glass is half empty approach would argue that a mediator who listened to the two sides state their respective cases for their stances on the revenue split might reasonably conclude that he would be wasting his time by showing up unless one, if not both, sides indicates to him they are willing to make a substantial move.

In that vein, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote on Tuesday that the lockout won't ever be resolved by a mediator. Rather, an agreement will only come from the two central figures: NBA commissioner David Stern and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter. 
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:53 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2011 11:15 pm
 

Heat owner Arison passes the buck on NBA lockout

Posted by Ben Gollivermicky-arison

Silence, please. Miami Heat owner Micky Arison would like to make an announcement: The buck does not stop with Micky Arison.

Hours after negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association broke down in New York City, Arison, recently ranked No. 75 on the Forbes 400 richest Americans list with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion, took to Twitter to engage in conversation with fans about the state of the talks. NBA owners have been almost uniformly silent during the lockout, adhering to a league-imposed gag order, but Arison opened up on Friday night.

His message: Don't blame me.

An angry fan directed the following mesage at Arison: "How's it feel to be apart of ruining the best game in the world? NBA owners/players don't give a damn about fans.. and guess what? Fans provide all the money you're fighting over.. you greedy a** pigs."

Arison replied: "You are barking at the wrong owner."

Less than an hour after that message was posted, it had been deleted from Arison's account.

But that's not all Arison, who inherited both the Heat and Carnival Cruise Lines from his father, had to say.

When another fan said that NBA owners don't care about fans, Arison tweeted, "Wrong, we care a lot."

Asked for his thoughts on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, he simply replied, "lol."

Certainly, we can all agree to laugh about Donald Sterling. He's a joke.

But, ladies and gentlemen, we've found our NBA owner equivalent of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley, who recently said that it was "kind of retarded" that the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association were fighting over 3 percent of the league's Basketball-Related Income.

Arison's tweets offer a rare peak behind the curtains at the philosophical divide among the owners. While NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver have tried their best to project a message that the NBA's owners are all on the same page when it comes to issues like revenue sharing, competitive balance and restructuring the Basketball-Related Income split, it's clear that there's at least two camps -- call them haves and have-nots, if you like -- among the owners. This is a point that NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher have alluded to throughout the negotiating process. 

With a veritable dream team assembled and guaranteed sell-outs for the next decade in hand, Arison is clearly a have. But while he might not want to admit it -- or even realize it -- Arison is, in fact, part of the problem. All 30 owners bear responsibility for their collective positions. That's how this thing works.

To point the finger at his fellow owners only makes the negotiation that much more charged. The players, who have already made massive concessions, clearly feel like they have been lied to. The last thing this tenuous process needs is a billionaire throwing his colleagues under the bus in an effort to save face and be "the good guy" on a social network.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com