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Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 9:25 am  |  7 responses

DeMaurice Smith to NBA Players: Union Decertification Wrong


Much like Derek Fisher did, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith emphatically told locked NBA players that, despite opposition from key agents, they must stick with their union in the battle against team owners. From NBA.com: “You must stay together, the NFL Players Association Executive Director told the 30-plus NBA players that made it for the union’s regional meeting here, piggybacking onto the ‘Lockout League’ playing at Joe Abunassar’s Impact Sports facility on Harmon Drive. Smith had a message for those who were looking for the NBA’s superstars to lead the way in labor negotiations with the league, instead of Derek Fisher’s group of hard hats. During the NFL’s lockout, most of its star players were not front and center either, Smith said. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was one of the few elite level players who was a constant presence during the talks. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady lent their names to the lawsuit the union filed against the league, but it was the rank and file, people like Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday, who did the heavy lifting to get a deal done–the same kinds of players who are leading the NBPA’s fight. In fact, Smith said, when Kobe Bryant expressed public support for the NBPA’s leadership last August during a regional meeting in Los Angeles, Smith had a PDF made with Bryant’s comments and sent copies to every NFL player. Smith’s words had the intended effect. A week that began with talk of agents plotting decertification and disparaging National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter’s leadership ended with three dozen players standing alongside Hunter and NBPA president Fisher, all wearing the ‘STAND’ t-shirts that they’d donned after a labor meeting in June. ‘I don’t think they were ever not behind us,’ a member of the union’s executive committee texted Thursday, ‘but getting that kind of confirmation can only help.’ Of course, many of those who were in the room were among the truest of believers. The question remains whether the solidarity inside the room will be matched by those who are not as engaged, and who could be swayed by family, friends and agents all looking to turn the money spigot back on as soon as possible.”

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  • bull22

    demaurice is right, but the problem is these players are not making $3.35 n hour, and the players that want the season apparently don’t want to lose their already high income. derek fisher talks a big game after 5 championships and about what?, an estimated $70 million worth of paychecks, please… there will be no lockout, too much to lose and his letter to the players is proof of trying to desperately keep everyone together and cause this season to go up in smoke.

  • Heals

    Is this more sound strategy or BHunter’s last grasp at keeping his job (public role and paycheck too). I’m leaning towards the latter, although to decertify at this point may be futile…

  • Chukaz

    If i’m a superstar player i come out and tell the owners “f*ck you! your league ain’t sh*t without me”. We’ll watch football no matter what. I’d rather watch the dolphins and the lions play each other than a game between the bobcats and the bucks. Superstar should come out and say “my contract is worth $100 million plus over 5 yrs when my true value’s $100 million plus yearly, and you wanna roll back salaries?” the real problem is that owners give big amount of cash to unworthy players. Front offices should get some ppl with business experience. You don’t pay Kobe Bryant $25 million a year because of his 25 ppg, 5 ast, and 5 boards averages. You pay him $25 million a year because of the ticket sales he generates, because of the merchandise sales, TV revenue, advertisement money. If he were to average 20 points, 3 assists, and 3 boards he’d still be worth the $25 million as long as ppl still wanted to watch him and rock his gear. Why do you think Kevin Martin isn’t a star despite solid stats? He doesn’t generate money. You’re literally paying him millions to play basketball. If you pay a model millions to wear your jeans it ok cuz they’re gonna generate sales, therefore you’re paying them to generate sales, not to wear your jeans. If you pay and average person millions to wear your jeans, you are literally paying them to wear your jeans and that would be stupid

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I can’t believe how much I found myself nodding at Chuckaz last post.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If y’all read Aldridge’s story it says that the owners initially proposed a 61-39 split with the players getting 39 percent.
    I can’t believe that said that with a straight face. That’s crazy man.

  • LA Huey

    ^Wow. I know it’s how all negotiations work but I hate that ish. Requesting the ridiculously extreme and trying to meet in the middle.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    49/50/1

    that 1 percent is my cut for the suggestion….?

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