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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  79 responses

Kobe Bryant Wants Owners, Players to Avoid ‘Nuclear Winter’


by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Every day that passes without a labor agreement in the NBA is another day that Kobe Bryant can’t play for the Los Angeles Lakers. That, as you might imagine, does not sit well with the self-proclaimed Black Mamba.

Bryant, rumored to being agreeable to the owners’ proposed 50/50 split of basketball-related-income, tells Yahoo! Sports that he wants both sides to meet again prior to Wednesday’s deadline, in order to save the 2011-’12 season:

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant also has urged owners to resume talks with the players union and complete the labor agreement. “We need for the two sides to get together again before Wednesday, because we’re too close to getting a deal done,” Bryant [said]. “We need to iron out the last system items and save this from spiraling into a nuclear winter.”

The owners are threatening to pull their current offer at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday and return to proposing a 53-47 revenue split in favor of the league, as well as a hard salary cap and contract rollbacks. This act would almost certainly move the players to decertify the union, and could cost the NBA the entire 2011-12 season. The Players Association offered to drop its revenue split to 51 percent on Saturday, but wanted several system items – including sign-and-trade deals and full midlevel exceptions for luxury-tax paying teams – as part of a new CBA.

For Kobe, this lockout has to be particularly tough to deal with.

He’s clearly entering the twilight of his career, and there’s not a lot of time left to reach the personal milestones he’s set his sights on, to say nothing of his championship aspirations.

The decision to accept or reject the owners’ latest proposal, for many NBA players, will come down strictly to dollars and cents. However, for guys like Kobe Bryant, there are other overriding factors at play here.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Not sure if this symbolize’s a coming apocalypse or not but I agree 100% with Bean.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    I agree too.

  • Justin

    I’d say most of us are in agreement with this

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

    CLEARLY, THE PLAYERS WILL NOT BE OFFERED A BETTER DEAL.

  • bike

    The union has taken this thing as far as they can. It’s decision time for the players. No shame in taking what’s being offered and minimizing losses. If they want to go the antitrust route that’s fine too, but they should put the decision up to a vote. All players need to understand that decertifying the union may result in a league that looks a lot different than it does now and that does not mean better for them.

  • hillbilly

    Kobe should probably start stocking up on mentats & Fancy Lad Snack Cakes…(just in case).

  • Red Star

    It’s about time you step up to the plate Kobe!

  • robb

    It’s too late for Kobe to step up to the plate, it would have been great to a certain extent if the union had someone as cold blooded as Kobe dealing with those cold blooded owners. Unfortunately the players are in a lose-lose situation now and the offers from now on will only get worse. They need to vote now.

  • MtotheS

    This FALLOUT could be real horrible hillbilly

  • sam

    the players were in a lose-lose situation from the beginning. there is no negotiation when one side has all the leverage. there is no negotiation when one side is making major concessions from the beginning. this has been a back alley angus mutation.

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    Finally Kobe speaks! Back from China there buddy?

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Did Eboy just say he agreed with Kobe Bryant?
    Sign of the apocolypse?
    *checks calender*
    *it’s not 2012 yet*
    *What the f*ck?*

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So the players should behind over and take it with no vaseline?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Let it go JTaylor.
    They should just do what they want, it’s their money and their lives. If this is the deal most of them want, then they will take it and live with the consequences. And I won’t have much sympathy for them because when it was time to actually sacrifice, they caved.
    So be it.

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    Kobe should just say something like… “if your team isn’t working economically, sell your team.” irony’s a hctiB ain’t it?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The players should really stick it to the owners and League sometime in the near future. Like boycotting boycotting the next all-star game or stop talking to the media after games but I know these guys don’t have cojones to pull off show a bold move. They are too busy protecting their sacred image.

  • DieselMechanic

    Bean wants to play.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Taking JTaylor’s thought a step forward….really, what could the league do to players if they decide they don’t want to conform any longer once a deal is reached. What is Stern going to do, send local police forces to arenas if a dude that curses out a reporter or gets suspended decides “hey, f*ck it, I’m still going to play” regardless of a suspension that’s levied? Push the limit’s THAT way. F*ck protecting an image….what sterling images are there of NBA players today anyway? The non-NBA watching populace STILL thinks of the NBA as a “thug” culture, so really, who’s left to offend? Blow off charitable appearances, don’t show up for required NBA PSA spots, treat fans like sh*t, f*ck it, do all you can to tarnish the league’s image. Still play the games, but sh*t on everything that Stern lays his hat on about how he’s “re-branded” the league. I know it doesn’t seem feasible and there’s no one willing to go that route, but if they DO accept a deal, they can’t cry about as the season starts. Somehow, I don’t think that will happen though. Too many hurt feeling type dudes are out there and will complain as if they’re getting minimum wage while pulling down 10 mil a season. As the hipsters say, it is what it is.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Any thing that sticks it to owners will only tarnish the image of NBA players even more and reduce their leverage even more when the next CBA is up for discussion.
    Yes, the players are viewed as arrogant, semi-educated thugs who are lucky to be out of jail or not working at McDonalds by WAY too many fans, but sticking it to journalists and charity groups isn’t going to help.
    It will just give more ammo to certain folks and allow them to justify doing stuff in the future. What they need to do, is begin preparing for the next potential lockout.
    They need to establish a fund, they need to explore the option of how to start a temporary league if a work stoppage occurs. Basically, they need to prepare themselves for the next battle instead of crying about losing the last one. The players can put themselves in a great position to get back the money in the next deal, but they have to create some leverage.
    or they can keep going back begging billionaires to treat them fairly.

  • Dre

    Kobe’s not getting any younger. The man wants more rings!

  • #23

    its either listen to kobe and take the owners offer or decertify and make it a longer lockout. kobe makes more money from his endorsements than from his salary so the BRI split doesn’t affect him as much as other players.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2IXFqbmc38&feature=feedu EJ

    Just get the damn deal done. I don’t care what the split is, and I don’t see why anyone here would care. At the end of the day it’s not your friggin money they’re fighting for, I just wanna watch some NBA.
    Click my name for epic dunks from Sir Isaac. I swear this guy dunks better than VC in his prime.

  • Heals

    Eboy and JT – I brought that up before (thanks to Whitlock of Bucher). They should’ve boycotted the ASG or playoffs during the year. As soon as the buzzer sounded in Gm6 the NBAPA lost all leverage. Tremendous or Titanic PR hit aside it would’ve been the only way to get owners to negotiate in good faith. Judging how folks have deserted the players the past 2 weeks, the PR may not have been all that consequential afterall…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    AllenP, I see where you’re coming from but shouldn’t they at least boycott the next all-star game like Bill Russell and friends did back in the 60s?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have no problem with the idea, but what would it serve?
    They would get fined, it would be an embarassment, and people would say “Well you should honor your contract that you just signed.”
    They could have a “sick out” though, that might work.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    They should just take a vote. Sign it or decertify. Do it now, this situation is only getting worse by the day.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    i think most fans dont even care. if it was 70/30 the fans would be like TAKE IT!!! play the games!!. the owners making threats and take it or leave it scenarios. mann whatever. we all want the games we all love basketball but at 1 point is it ever gonna be somewhat fair?? the players got little to no leverage as is. if u keep going this way, u wont even need to have a cba. its just whatever the owners desire

  • LA Huey

    If they’re not willing to lose paychecks, I don’t see why they’d be willing to a) do things that would tarnish the league’s image or b) refuse to go along with things to improve the league’s standing with their customers. Reason being, that’s ultimately going to hit them in their wallets anyways.
    If they cave, I’ll still love NBA basketball but I’m not going to care about the people on the court anymore. Basically, how I treat video games: love the product but don’t pay attention to the credits.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yeah it’s hard to care about the rights of people who have the means to protect those rights, but lack the courage.

  • L-dub20

    Somewhere along the line all this lockout talk makes the players seem like they have lost their “love” for the game. I would love to play professional ball for even 30k a year. Granted your mentality would change a bit over the years after racking in 100′s of thousands or millions of dollars. Agreeing with “EBOY”…none of these dudes should have to worry about finances anymore. So how much would they really be losing? Instead of making 10mil, they make 9.2mil? Much Much more will be lost as far as revenue for both sides if this lockout wipes out the entire 2011-2012 season. (not to mention all the people who work the arenas) Damn shame!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    None of the owners have to worry about their finances and yet they locked the players out.
    All of the owners are worth at least $100 million. At least.
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  • bike

    They should do a “fake a groin injury” week.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    whats with the fans anyway? all i hear is “well we wont care anymore” “you’re gonna lose us as fans”. mann what the f*** ever lol whenever the games get back going the ppl who always watched still gonna watch. the ppl who dont wasnt watching anyway! nobody owe u cause u sit on your couch and watch games.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    STOP BRINGING UP HOW MUCH THE PLAYERS MAKE AS JUSTIFICATION FOR THEM BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF. If you worked for a company that made 7 Trillion Dollars a year, and you and 459 other people are the main attraction you would want a fair share of that money. You wouldn’t say, “hey well, I made 40K as a school teacher, so whatever they want to pay me as long as its more then that” you would say (if you have a backbone) “hey f*ck you, I earned a fair share of that money, I think I should be compensated to reflect that, we make 7Trillion Dollars a year, we are the attraction, we should be making more as a whole then you as the owner, nobody comes to watch you watch us.” – Anyone who brings up the money an athlete makes compared to a normal person as justification for them being taken advantage of are ignorant, or haven’t really thought through their own opinion.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    nbk….you’re not looking at it from the bare bones perspective of the “average” fan. In basketball, moreso than any of the other major sports, the bulk of the players are faceless and carry a stigma. If all their sports headlines are populated with “players greed” “owners greed” whatever, the “average” fan is going to continue to be turned off to the NBA product. Why, you may ask, from your humble home in the Arizona sunshine? Because, and let’s keep it REALLY real here, the typical American ignorant white sports fan thinks that a black NBA player crying about making 10 million a season as compared to 11 million is “a slap in the face to us hard working, blue-collar workers”. Don’t believe me? Get out more. Trust me, I’ve been all over this country and have been in circles of people that ranged from broke-a*s motherfu*kers to the richest of the elite and the NBA is a stepchild to NFL and MLB, even with ratings that favor the NBA’s product. I’m not certain why (I always say that, compared to hockey, basketball is the sport that requires the most coordination and skill of ANY sport) and that so many common people were terrible at it growing up, the large majority of them choose not to back it in it’s professional state. So yes, when cats are crying on Twitter about “su*ks not having a job” when the dude just made 20 million last season,everyday cats can’t justify their plight. That’s the truth.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I understand why the average fan doesn’t support the players in the lockout. But how many average fan’s are coming on Slamonline to complain about the players? If anything this is the place for us “crazy fans” or whatever we are called to interject when people complain about something that really doesn’t make sense like players wages compared to normal wages. I do get out plenty, and work in an office, with the “average” fans that you talked about. They complain about the players role in the lockout, how much money they make, and how they don’t even try (yeah, people think the players don’t really try, mainly because of LeBron and his recent end of season performances, I hear it multiple times a week). I don’t go around trying to correct them, it would take days upon weeks to explain all of the aspects of the lockout and professional basketball to the average person. So I vent on Slam.

  • LA Huey

    Well, L-dub, there are semi-pro leagues around the world where you could net you that kind of salary. You’re welcome to put in the sacrifice in an attempt to qualify for one of those contracts. Oh, wait? You thought playing pro hoops consists of playing pick-up games at the park a few days a week for a pay check? You didn’t realize you need a high degree of skill (Not just a simple desire to play) in order for someone to give up their hard-earned money to watch you play? Well, then you just stay on that register, keep delivering pizzas, or whatever is you do that 30k a year fulfills your dreams, hopes, and desires.

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    There is a fine line between “sticking it to the David Stern” and violating the terms of your contract and having it REVOKED. Hey I’m all for a revolution but that’s pretty much called a strike. And anything the players do (boycott allstar games, no interviews, not attending nba public relations events, stuff like that) it’s going to make the players look like the bad guys. NOW is the time to make the stand… not AFTER a deal is agreed to and signed.

  • LA Huey

    nbk, just a friendly word of caution. Don’t try to engage in a discussion about the lockout with folks that aren’t from the SLAMily. I did that on Halloween with my girlfriend’s relative and I apparently came off to everyone as a “crazed fan” or a “know-it-all d-bag”. It probably didn’t help from their POV, as it was a 20-something Halfrican in a black ninja costume trying to explain the lockout to a middle-aged White man dressed as Fred Flintstone.

  • LA Huey

    co-sign Gametime

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    There is no right answer here. Both parties f*cked up. Stronger leadership would have better helped the players. A unifying presence from EVERY big-name player would have justified their stance. A couple of top guys showing up here and there really doesn’t solidify a strong union.

  • Nguyen-Luan

    Owners were the ones that decided to lockout the players. More the lockout drags at this point, things will get a lot worse in a hurry.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t. Most people I see on a daily basis already know not to engage in an NBA related conversation with me unless they want to argue or listen. Lol

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    They already portrayed as the “bad guy”, so I don’t see how boycotting the all-star game changes or improves that perception. They have to take a stand somewhere, either by decertification or by costing the league millions of dollars sitting out the next all-star game. The players have to retaliate somehow with the way the League has treated them this past few months or I will lose all the respect I had for them.

  • LA Huey

    Yeah, my lady doesn’t say a word when I bring it up. She just nods and listens. But we both know she’s elated that she hasn’t had to compete for my attention this fall.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    No way in hell am I agreeing to playing professional ball for 30k, sorry. I don’t give a f*ck how much I love the game. If the owner of the team I’m playing on is raking in millions of dollars, why shouldn’t I?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    lol my girl is just happy she gets to watch her shows at a normal time of night rather then during the day or after the games are over.

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    Anybody on this site is an above-average fan. Our rants don’t mesh well with regular society lol… that being said the common fan doesn’t see the players as “bad guys”… they just want them to sign a deal already. The “fans” who DON’T like the players aren’t REAL NBA fans anyways. They are football and hockey fans or they aren’t sports fans at all. And I can respect your potential loss of respect. Thats just the Malcolm X in you opposed to a MLK.

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    retaliation

  • LA Huey

    JTaylor, because you’re just a thug doing circus tricks. People come to the arenas to sit in very expensive seats whilst consuming overpriced goods from the concessions stand. You just happen to doing your clown ball routine while partake in this activity. You’re not the main attraction. Pay attention 8)

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    By Any Means Necessary.

  • Mburb321

    Its not only about having the courage, a lot of guys simply cant afford to lose checks which is ashame because they knew this was coming. Allenp is right they need to start preparing for the next labor deal. Making a stand now will achieve what…..NOTHING. Courts ruled in favor of NFL owners and they were MAKING money why wouldnt they side with nba owners? Yes the players are worth much more then 50% but bottom line its a lesson learned,theyll still do just fine under the new system. Hopefully during the next negotiations they are MUCH more prepared and unified!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA, HA! Don’t disrespect clowns like that, those guys have more “talent” than NBA players.

  • One

    I really hope Kobe gets the best chance possible at getting the 2nd best scoring title and some more rings!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^They won’t be.
    And, let’s keep it real. The average fan thinks NBA players should be happy with whatever they get because :
    1. Most Americans have been trained to be happy with a decent slice of the pie and to not pay attention to how big the pie actually is.
    2. Many Americans believe that NBA players would be flipping burgers, robbing folks, selling drugs or in prison if it weren’t for the NBA.
    Those are the two mindsets driving many of your angry fans, aside from the general selfishness that they can’t get what they want, which is NBA basketball, and a tendency to lash out at those folks they respect the least as human beings.
    It is what it is as this point. Players either nut up, or they fold. It’s on them.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    ^The realest sh*t I’ve ever read.

  • Heals

    Gotta agree with nbk’s assessment of “average” fans. That “they don’t try” argument makes my brain turn inside out nowadays…

  • qasclk

    Kobe:”Start the damn season, I am getting my sixth”
    Jordan:”No you don’t, no you don’t”

  • LA Huey

    One @ 4:30 must not know about the owner’s proposal of the salary cap and added restrictions to free agency. If they don’t budge from that, Kobe’s running in place for the rest of his career and the Heat will be good place to “invest” your money.

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    Look, the players voiced their concerns and their demands early on. The current proposal doesn’t come close to meeting what they wanted so the union reps have to sit on it.
    Stern has to appease the owners – both big and mid market owners. Sure, the Jerry Buss’s of the NBA are fine with this deal, but the Dan Gilbert’s aren’t. This isn’t a bluff, this is the best offer the players will see. Look how much friction there is in the union already. The owners will crack them.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I can understand certain players wanting to hold their pride and get that next paycheck for their families, but ultimately in the long run they are screwing the future players. I suppose that doesn’t mean anything to most of them, though, because the average NBA career is what, four years?
    It’s similar to how we know 100% that the planet’s resources and sustainability are constantly threatened, and that our grandchildren will inherit an environmental (and economic) sh!t storm, yet we do nothing to stop it. It’s their problem, right? Meanwhile Big Brother gets richer and richer.

  • scholl-boi

    Look at the audience at your average NBA game. they might look like fans but..

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ They’re texting instead of watching the game?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Who else is watching a lot of Hardwood Classics on NBA TV to curb their basketball withdrawal?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I have been watching an extreme amount of 90′s finals games. Last night I caught game 7 of second round Phoenix v Houston in 95, that was nostalgia and heartbreak all wrapped in one. For a week straight NBATV played the Phoenix Chicago Finals. — Basically 95% of the games on NBATV over the last month have included one of either Michael Jordan or Charles Barkley.

  • Mburb321

    Players seem ready to take 50/50 just need owners to make changes to the system. If we dont have a deal tomorrow it is all on owners now because players have given sooo much.

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    I’ve just been drinking and looking for a girlfriend to help with my basketball-withdrawal (see site)

  • DeeDre

    How about this: both the owners and players cut their income in half and create jobs in every city they’re located. That would be sure to revitalize the economy and they can still stay filthy rich. Smh

  • jeremy corbin

    i just wanna be able to watch kobe (tha black mamba) win another championship and this lockout is BS, needs to be over with and watch my favorite athlete do his thing…

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    “Alright now, you guys are really starting to f**k up my sh1t. Y’all know I’ve got agendas…”
    (Kobe)

  • One

    LA Huey, how will that effect the Lakers?

  • James Aka…

    @ allenp 1:43 pm
    I wish that statement could be bronzed as a monument. So many people in the real world fail to lay the groundwork for a better tomorrow and only lament today. Even if its a trivial matter like how many millions these guys get, strategy is important.

  • MikeC.

    NBATV’s classic games has been barely tiding me over. However, seeing Barkley in his prime again (and not the hobbled Houston version) was very nice. In the words of Chuck D “give me the lane, I’ll throw it down your throat like Barkley”.

  • http://bedotwater.bandcamp.com BE.water

    Kobe’s face for this post is comedy.

  • NR

    This is a bunch of BS, there will always be Owners and Players and when you are the Owner you get the Lions Share of the profits. These players are just to spoiled making millions for working only part time. The superstar that you say everyone comes to see should get what he wants, BS, no one forced them to sign a employment contract, not a partnership contract, do you see these players diving out money to the owners when the owner has a loss, hell no, they are just players then. So the players should accept this 50/50 and count themselves lucky they are getting a share at all. LET’S PLAY BALL, ENOUGH OF THIS B.S.

  • Justin

    I’m loving Hardwood Classics right now. There are a lot of games that are bringing back a lot of memories and I’m getting to PVR a lot of the ones I used to have on tape but got taped over. Watching Jordan vs. Magic in an ’89 game at Chicago Stadium where MJ had 42 and 8 while Magic had 32 and 12 was just awesome to watch. @AllenP, it’s not just Americans that have that perception of what the players would be doing without the NBA. Not a lot of these guys were in college for very long, if at all, and it’s pretty safe to assume they wouldn’t exactly be office execs had they not been great at basketball. Just listen to the way half of them talk.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The players are required by contract to return money if their salaries in total exceed a certain percentage of BRI. That is what the BRI split is about.
    So yes when the League loses money the players lose money. I doubt that will change your opinion though.
    Of and it is illegal under NBA rules for a player to have an ownership stake in a team while playing. Remember Jordan had to sell his stake in the Wizards to play.

  • Justin

    I’m not sure why all the hate on MJ though either. Correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m pretty sure someone will) but when he said what he did to the Wizards owner, it wasn’t with the current deal in place was it? It was before the current deal was made? Because if it was, it makes a difference. If it was after then that’s different. Would it matter to people on here if he came out and admitted to making a mistake back then? Probably not because people on here have to hate on something (or someone). He hasn’t exactly been owner long enough to make the team as profitable as he wants either. So many seem to think that it’s so easy to just make a team profitable, or make them into a contender. “JUST get rid of this person” or “JUST trade this person”. So simple.

  • generic

    Players are on a lose-lose situation? we have to remember that their income is still higher than most employees in america, let alone the world. Plus, they are forgetting the fact that they are getting paid thousands if not millions to be doing what they love to do. As employees you cant ask for a pay rise when the company you are working for is making a loss.

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