Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 10:30 am  |  18 responses

Star Players to Sit Out Next CBA Meeting?

CBS reports that the League’s marquee players’ feelings are too hurt to take part in the next meeting with owners: “The NBA owners and players will meet next week for their first negotiating session since All-Star weekend, three people familiar with the meeting told CBSSports.com Wednesday. It’s a key step in what has been a futile process thus far, with both sides tempering the rhetoric in recent months but still far apart on a deal that would avoid a work stoppage at the worst possible time for the league. But it’s not so much who will sit at the negotiating table on Aug. 11 or 12 in a swanky Manhattan hotel, but who won’t be there that sends the strongest message about where these negotiations are headed. The last time owners and players sat down, two days before the All-Star Game in Dallas, you’ll remember that the session was charged by the presence of 10 All-Stars — led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony — who were sufficiently offended by the owners’ rabble-rousing. In particular, the star players were rankled by comments in a CBSSports.com article Jan. 29 in which an NBA team executive ridiculed their objections to owners’ desires to slash the length and value of maximum contracts, as well as impose a hard salary cap. The quote that prompted James, Wade, Anthony, and other All-Stars to blow off their “day of service” activities and attend the meeting in an act of defiance to the owners was the following: ‘If they don’t like the new max contracts, LeBron can play football, where he will make less than the new max,” the team executive said in the article. ‘Wade can be a fashion model or whatever. They won’t make squat and no one will remember who they are in a few years.’ At the time, National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said such rhetoric had “inflamed” the players and united them in their opposition to the owners’ draconian proposal, which Hunter said the owners rescinded at the All-Star bargaining session. ‘The players came in there and said, ‘We don’t want a fight,’ Hunter said at the time. ‘But if we’re not given any other choice, we won’t run from a fight.’”

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  • Coney Islander

    First. These owners seem to have forgotten that it’s called the National Basketball Association and not the National Owners Association! The players are what make the League, not the owners!

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    A lot of the players that are mad about what the owners want were just awarded giant contracts this summer by the same owners. The NBA is certainly headed for a work stoppage next season. I don’t see any way around it right now.

  • WangChung

    What’s to stop these guys from playing overseas in the event of a work stoppage? I bet Bron could be that billionaire in China.

  • unrel

    @Coney.. i hear what you’re saying.. but that doesn’t mean to pay players whatever they want to keep them happy.. while you have a whole staff of employees and a business to look after.. because it’s not the National Players Association, either.. there’s two sides to everything, i think.. so the mentioned all-stars were put on blast then came to the ‘fight’.. got their new contracts.. and have nothing to say now?.. that’s kind of weak…

  • http://dez@nba.com dez

    Rich vs. Wealthy. Someones going to make a reality show out of this

  • The Philosopher

    It baffles me that the owners are doing all of this complaining. It doesn’t baffle me that the players are complaining.
    To me, it is simple:
    If an owner doesn’t want to pay what he/she may feel is too much money, or if he/she feels like they are losing more money than it is worth, why not sell the entity? Why go through unnecessary changes?
    Aren’t these guys smart enough (I’m sure they are) to spot what is hot and what is not hot?

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out to Donald Sterling.

  • total scrotal implosion

    Darko just got 20 mil

  • JTaylor21

    The philosopher is right, the players are not putting guns to these owners head and making them pay all these money. The top players deserve to get paid what they’re making but when guys like Darko (20 mil) and Juan Howard a few years back (100 mil) it’s all the owners fault. If there’s a strike, they should all go to china where fans there actually love the game and players. american fans are too bit*hy and wanting, FU*k them.

  • MikeC.

    People have been saying this for years: “If the owners don’t want to pay the huge salaries, they need to stop offering them.” Year after year, contract after ridiculous contract. Jon Koncak. Calvin Booth. Jerome James. Darko Milicic. It goes on and on. Sure, the players ask for whatever they can get, but, in the immortal words of Rasheed Wallace, it is the owners who “Cut the Check”.

  • MikeC.

    Also Amir Johnson. Also Joe Johnson.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    It’s kinda weak for whatever exec to talk trash about Bron/football and Wade/modeling etc. But it’s just as bad for them not to show up after at the table after getting big pay-days. Owners ‘own’ the league and have the right to set-up their pay policies – no different than any company. If players don’t like said rules, then they can ‘take their talents’ somewhere else. The owners don’t seem to be doing any form of collusion to fix player salaries, they just want to ensure they make a profit. If I was an owner taking all these risk I’d want to ensure my own profitabiity too. The ‘right’ thing for both sides is to sit down at the table and come to some agrement, but at the end of the day, owners can go longer without basketball income than the players can. Also, since players get significant additional endorsement deals and do basketball camps etc. largely based on their images and basketball activity. If they are viewed as being too ‘greedy’ a lock-out will hurt their long-term income more than the owners who are already ‘just’ greedy businessmen. I think it’s easier for most people (not just sports fans) to sympathize for the owners who take the risk and many of which have lost millions than it is to feel sympathy for a basketball player who ‘only’ makes millions playing a game.

  • The Philosopher

    With all due respect, I would not feel sympathy for an owner who lost millions of dollars. He is supposed to be smarter than that, no?
    Don Sterling generally makes bank many years. He may get ridiculed on other matters, but…

  • The Philosopher

    Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.
    (Benjamin Franklin)

  • rav

    if the owners are fed up with the stupid contracts going around they shouldnt give them in the first place

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Co-sign Nupe who hands down made the most intelligent comment of them all. Owners can go longer without bball income than players can. There will be a lockout and after guys stop seeing those ridiculous checks rolling in on the 15th and the last day of the month like they’re used to, they will concede and a deal will get done. Guaranteed.

  • The Philosopher

    @Bryan Crawford:
    What if players go overseas?
    What would The League do?

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