Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  17 responses

Derek Fisher Calls for ‘Unity’ in Latest Letter to NBA Players

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Players Association president Derek Fisher is single-handedly bringing back the lost art of writing letters.

In his latest missive to locked out NBA players, D-Fish urges players to stick together in this tough battle, and once again alludes to some kind of “divide” between team owners.

Most critically, however, Fisher says that it’s imperative that the richer NBA teams agree to a revenue-sharing model with the struggling ones.

From ESPN:

Fisher wrote: “Our game has never been more popular and we’re poised to see tremendous revenue growth over the next 5 to 6 years. … We must share fairly in the continued growth of our business. Any deal that decouples us from a fair share of the revenue growth in the years ahead is a deal we cannot accept. Period!” Fisher said he still firmly believes that the NBA’s 30 teams do not share the same goals in the lockout — a point he made in a letter to the union’s membership last week. “There are a number of team owners that will not lose the season over the hard cap system. We’ve been clear from Day 1 of this process that we cannot sign off on a deal that attempts in any way to include a hard salary cap for our teams. That has not changed,” Fisher said. “Unless you, the group we represent, tell us otherwise, we are prepared to hold the line for as long as it takes to preserve the system we’ve worked so hard to build.”

The owners also remain divided over a revenue sharing model, Fisher said, adding that the union still believes a stronger revenue-sharing system would help resolve economic issues facing the league’s smaller market teams. “The same way our max players sacrificed for the larger body of players in the last collective bargaining agreement, it’s time for our large market teams to share some of the wealth with each other. We continue to remain firm on the idea that not all of the purported loss figures should be made up solely through the reduction of player salaries,” Fisher said.

Fisher’s message for NBA players not to accept what is viewed as an unfair deal under any circumstance seems to be getting through. To some of the more established League veterans, anyway.

What’s unclear at this point, is if the rank-and-file players (read: those not so financially well off) are going to be so willing to stand strong once they start missing paychecks.

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  • Tano

    Ciao Ciao NBA Season….first!

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    And he’s still good friends with Vlade Divac.

  • Cizzo

    This situation is very petty… I see that the Game is no longer a game…and the love is long gone…. I use to love Pro basketball..use too…key words…

  • Heals

    Between his daughter’s illness, the 18 month bulid-up to the lockout and the Lakers’ run the last few years his guy has just got to mentally drained. As a C’s fan who despises his flops and is still haunted by this 4th quarter in the Finals (gm 3 or 4 in Bos), I can’t think of a better guy to fight this fight…

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Well, that Malcolm Gladwell article made it pretty clear that owning an NBA team is like having nice suits: it alone may not generate money but it can be used to expand your fiscal opportunities.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Wasn’t sure where to post this, but the 2K12 player ratings leaked. The highest rated players outside of LeBron, Wade, and Kobe are Dwight and CP3 at 93 each. Durant and Rose are both 92. The most shocking thing was Rudy Gay’s rating of 86 and Dirk’s rating of 85. Go crazy SLAM.

  • Heals

    Caboose I’d say this wasn’t the right spot, but appreciated nonetheless (just a week away)…

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Haha I know, just figured I’d put it in a place that would get some traffic.

  • CubicleWorker

    I wish the top 20% of NBA players would stop speaking for the bottom 80%. I’ll bet 10+/15 players on every team will take a deal today.

  • letsrun

    @cubicleworker…well that’s what a union is really isn’t it?

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    U beat me to it. But yea Dwight too close to Kobe imo

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    I’d disagree Tae. I’d have no problem honestly seeing Dwight as #2 on Slam’s Top 50 list. His beast stats in the playoffs came from a much improved jump-shot. He could easily go for 25-15 next year. Kobe is moving in the other direction unfortunately.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    @letsrun, agreed. The union mainly represents the rank and file players.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    Man, everybody would make a deal today.
    If the deal was right.
    The fact is, the top 20 percent can EASILY negotiate a deal that benefits them monetarily. LeBron is getting paid regardless of a hard carp or soft one. So are Wade and Dwight Howard.
    The players who will suffer are the so-called “bottom 80 percent.” The proof of this truth just started its season over in the NFL.
    The salary structure in the NFL is what the NBA owners want, and the players in the League would be fools if they didn’t notice that the NFL system rewards “stars” over everyone else.
    Quarterbacks and legit stars get the massive signing bonuses with guaranteed money, everybody else scrounges for the best deals with no security. And when you get old, you get cut. Quickly.

  • Heals

    Preach on Allenp; I’ve seen numerous snide comments here towards higher profile players for their supposed selfish willingness to miss the season. This isn’t all about them, they’ve got theirs and will get theirs. This is mostly about the rank and file. This is about careers not Nov’s paycheck…

  • http://sonictails.com/ tails sonic

    Yes. Sonic has officially been released.