Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 9:10 am  |  10 responses

Kevin Martin: NBA Players Need to Accept Deal

It’s clear that NBA players are split on the latest offer from the League, and Kevin Martin is on the side of folks who are strongly for taking the deal from the owners, because it will only get worse if they refuse. Per SI: “If you know for sure [the owners] are not moving, then you take the best deal possible,’ [Kevin] Martin wrote in a text message to SI.com. ‘We are risking losing 20 to 25 percent of missed games that we’ll never get back, all over 2 percent [of basketball-related income] over an eight- to 10-year period [of the eventual collective bargaining agreement]. And let’s be honest: 60 to 70 percent of players won’t even be in the league when the next CBA comes around.’ Martin’s profile is a fascinating one in the current context. His agent is Dan Fegan, widely known to be among the group of seven agents who have spent recent months pushing for decertification of the union. Martin is also a member of Michael Jordan’s team of players on the Jordan Brand, a group that includes Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Ray Allen. Jordan, who as a player once famously told Washington owner Abe Pollin during the 1998-99 lockout that ‘if you can’t make it work economically, you should sell the team,’ was painted as the hardest of hard-line owners in a New York Times report last week, and numerous players were quick to criticize his perceived hypocrisy. But while Martin did not discuss Jordan, he clearly sees the risk of decertifying or refusing the proposal as greater than any possible reward. ‘When [players] are negotiating as free agents, we’re always saying, ‘Well I’m going to do what’s best for my family,’ he wrote. ‘So now we’re lying, because right now, losing money isn’t helping our families at all. I’m not criticizing the fight our union is doing, because they have been in every meeting adding up to countless hours and have been breaking down every number possible. I believe in them and know they have the best interest for us. My opinion — which is just one of 450 players — is that if it comes down to losing a season and 100 percent of the money, we all definitely have to sit down and think about reality. That doesn’t sound smart to possibly become part of the [country's] growing unemployment rate.’ Martin’s premise, of course, would change if he thought Stern wouldn’t follow through with the owners’ threat. But even the most ardent Stern critics don’t see this as a bluff, leading some to believe that the entire season is unofficially on the line long before it was expected to be.”

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  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    This man speaks the truth. Take the deal. This had better go to a vote or I’ll be calling for Derek Fisher’s head.

  • robb

    like I said, when you are negotiating there’s a time when you have to recognize when to stop pushing, otherwise you’ll end up screwed, specially when they got you by the balls.

  • http://t.co/ulnwjShF Allenp

    Or, if you’re getting bullied there is a time when you have to stand up to the bully or become a b*tch.
    All depends on the analogy you want to use.

  • bull22

    thank you kevin martin.. i have been saying that since the end of the season.. in the end the nba players have it made anyway and are not really losing anything in this except swallowing their pride a little.. no biggie just play ball..

  • LA Huey

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m through with it now Huey.
    If this many players are pushing to take the deal, they should take the deal.
    And live with it. When they are getting screwed on their contracts down the road, and the owners want even more, I’m not getting into any more arguments.
    when it was time to make a sacrifice and lose some money and feel some pain, they were ready to cave.
    Tons of hard working unionized Americans have been willing to lose checks and go on the margins to protect their rights as workers and if NBA players aren’t willing to at least miss some checks, then they deserve what they get.

  • LA Huey

    Allenp, I hear you. But let’s see what happens though. I’ve never asked pro athletes to be role models until now. I’ve always felt it’s ultimately on me to raise and mold my kids. However, I’m hoping a union of millionaires will be willing to stand up as the unions of middle class occupations have and still do. Because of the NBAPA can’t hold the line, that’s going to take the wind out of the sails of the smaller guys.
    But if they cave and take the deal, pro athletes will remain as non-role models in my perspective. The only thing that changes for me is I’ll join the likes of Bull22 and tell the Kevin Martins and Kobe Bryants to suck it up the next time they express a gripe about their work environment.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I won’t tell them to suck it up, but I won’t be trying to set the record straight as much either.

  • Lloyd

    Realistically, the players have to accept the deal. Most of these owners don’t exclusively own franchises…they’re businessmen in their own respects. They’ll still be rich regardless of owning an NBA team or not. Will they lose some money? Sure they will. Will they still be rich for the rest of their lives on other sources of income? For sure. The players can’t say the same. I say they have no choice but to accept the deal. Those individual players who don’t like it…you can always go overseas and try to get bigger contracts there.

  • Nguyen-Luan

    If the players don’t get to vote, NBAPA will be an mess more than it is or if it hasn’t yet.