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NBA Lockout Watch, Day 56: Sides To Hold Negotiations Next Week
Published August 25, 2011
UNITED THEY STAND: In an extensive interview with SI.com's Sam Amick, Evans said, “The offers have been so pathetic that it's hard to even talk about it when we're informing the guys. We're $7.6 billion apart. ... (Players) are really starting to get it and they're willing to sit out for as long as necessary to get us a fair deal.” Evans: “It's not about who's more unified and having a battle of wills. It's about knowing what's right. We've earned the right to compete. We're the ones playing. You can't tell me their sponsorships and the package that they're selling is what has allowed the game to grow to what it is. That's not what increased basketball-related revenue 4.8 percent. We can go down the list about record television ratings and all kinds of different things. And for those guys to jeopardize that, you can't tell me that the owners aren't going to be hurting as well.” He added, “We don't want anyone to take a loss, not even the owners. But they seem to be hellbent on contracting (teams) and, as David Stern said, have a huge reset (of the entire system). If we're going to reset ... then they're going to have to reset the entire league. And even they're going to have to take a reset.” Evans said the “major, if not the most, misleading thing” Stern said in his ESPN.com podcast was that if NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter “just tells the players that all I'm asking for is eight percent salary cuts that there would be resolution.” Evans: “That eight percent is actually 40 percent over 10 years, and the actual total is $7.6 billion.” He added, "Our guys are willing to miss this season and more. We're willing to do what it's going to take because accepting a deal at the numbers that they're asking for will be worse than missing the season" (SI.com, 8/25). In DC, Mike Wise notes “beyond finding a more equitable split of income, stale contracts are why the union and the league may not come to terms this fall and perhaps beyond.” The players “are more proactive than they were in 1999, realizing the owners want to fix the system for the long haul, that if real progress isn’t made by the first two weeks in September they will most likely miss paychecks, and their earning potential needs to be tapped elsewhere” (WASHINGTON POST, 8/25).
|Vucevic becomes the first '11 first-round
selection to sign overseas during lockout
IMAGE OVERHAUL: In Newark, Dave D’Alessandro writes under the header, “In NBA Lockout, Players Are Fighting An Uphill Battle In Public Perception.” Free agent G Delonte West “tweeted about how he’s already broke, and that he had applied for a job at the local Home Depot.” D’Alessandro: “The players have pushed the wrong theme all along -- nobody who buys a ticket at MSG or Canseco or Staples cares who plays in Turkey or China this winter. It’s as irrelevant as a Kardashian.” The players “have to work to erase that stereotype, and they’re not getting any help from their leadership in this pursuit.” Bucks G and NBPA VP Keyon Dooling said, “I never understood the negative image we have -- we have a league of givers.” D’Alessandro writes, “They must find a real theme, as the NFL guys did. Get back and reconnect, show the public that you’re not obsessed with your next paycheck. Send each guy back to his neighborhoods once a week. Pick a day and give free clinics in every city in the U.S. Refurbish playgrounds” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/25).
HOW TO IMPROVE THE NBA: CBSSPORTS.com’s Ken Berger wrote there is “no shortage of creative minds across the league, but the emphasis is so squarely on changing the economic model and winning bargaining concessions that other ways to enhance the product and bring in more revenues are being ignored.” The NBA owners should “call a three-day session of the competition committee in a central location (Chicago or Dallas) and let them figure out some solutions that have nothing to do with how much money the owners and players get.” The NBPA should “seize control of the bettering-the-game dialogue and become the lone voice in the wilderness talking about issues fans care about." Berger lists several concepts that execs, players "or both could address instead of wasting valuable time arguing (and not arguing) over money," including "anti-tanking rules," the NBA age limit and improving the D-Legaue (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/24).