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Friday, July 1st, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  55 responses

Kevin Durant Says Players Won’t ‘Give in’ to Owners During Lockout


NBA players are understandably angry about being locked out by team owners, and even though Kevin Durant hasn’t been very active (or particularly aware) during labor talks, he claims that he and others won’t give in to the owners’ demands: “We’re going to stand up for what we have to do, no matter how long it’s going to take,’ Durant told The Associated Press after the conclusion of his two-day youth basketball camp. ‘No matter how long the lockout’s going to take, we’re going to stand up. We’re not going to give in.’ … Durant acknowledged ‘it might have to take all the way up until maybe December or January’ — meaning the start of the NBA season in October would be jeopardized — but the players are committed to getting a CBA they feel is fair. ‘The way the CBA worked before is something we really liked. There’s no need to change it,’ Durant told AP. ‘Things have been going very well for us, as far as the league, revenue and things like that are concerned. We want to stick with that pace, but of course the owners want to go a different way with it. We’re going to stick with it until we come out with a good deal.’ Durant, the Thunder’s representative to the players’ association, said he regretted that he hadn’t been able to stay active in the union’s work because of other offseason obligations, but veteran Nick Collison has been filling in for him and he’s also staying in the loop by email.”

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  • bull22

    both the owners and the players are to blame for this situation. i respect kevin durant, and if he was standing up for mcdonalds workers or walmart workers i would symphathize with them….. they are making millions of dollars to play a kid’s game, this is downright ridiculous. i know that not all nba players agree with this lockout, and they need to speak up before us longtime fans get fed up with it….

  • Mike From Spain

    For me it is not about they playing a kids’s game. They are pretty much irreplaceable in terms of revenue generation. Would you care about the Lakers if they brought in a bunch of scrubs because Kobe does not accept the new agreement? Would you watch the Heat without Lebron or Wade?

  • bike

    It’s too bad there is not a collective voice from the fans viewpoint. If the owners and players believed that they would lose a big chunk of the fan base permanently, this would get resolved in a hurry. Unfortunately, history is on the side of the sport. Past lockouts do result in some fans abandoning the sport but most eventually return.

  • http://slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Oh, so the team’s union rep knows there’s a lockout now? That’s good.

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    Kevin sounds like he’s in way over his on being a union rep.

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    Sorry, I meant to say he was in over his head.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The kids’ game argument is weak. If it was that simple, you would go down to your local YMCA and watch the kids run.
    You don’t because it’s not the same. Plus, the game wasn’t created for kids, it was created for adults.

  • fitzy

    the game wasn’t created for kids? Dr. James Naismith created it to keep his phys ed class occupied during the winter. I don’t know too many adults that take phys ed class

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Players need to give in, they are millionaires, will be able to take care of their kids kids kids. So if the Owners are losing money, they can show it financially in paper work do it. These NBA players are blessed to be making this money, so if a player takes a 10 to 30% hit on their contract, they should relax and go out in the real world. Where there a women taking care of 3 kids on one budget, families struggling with two incomes to take care of family and people who have become homeless because of situations. This is making me hate the NBA and the spoiled stars. I think these NBA players need to remember when they were growing up playing ball in their backyards or on the blacktop and how they felt if they made the NBA they will be happy and Kevin Durant shows like he needs three more years of college. BOOK IT!!!!

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    fitzy: I believe they were prep school youths heading for college. They were not 11-year-olds.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    The Seed: So… the players who make millions need to take a pay cut… but the owners who can afford to pay those millions while still having billions left deserve to turn double the profit?

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    And just to be clear here, the owners don’t want to “stop losing money.” They have cooked the books to make it look like they’re losing twice as much money, and they want the players to give up enough so that the owners make TWICE as much as they need to break even on the imaginary figure they cooked up.
    So monetarily, the league is only really in the hole for 50-100 million, they claim close to 350 million in the hole, and they want to make 700 million dollars to make up for it.
    But yeah, let’s blame the players for being unreasonable.

  • bike

    The average cost for a family of four to see an NBA game is $289.51 (source nbcsports.com). That does include parking, food, etc. For the average middle class family in this economy, that is probably a once a season event. The owners and players have been floating around an average player’s salary at 7 million. I am having a real, real, hard time seeing the players ‘we won’t budge’ stance on this. Real hard.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Actually, it was his YMCA class, and I always understood it to be a class of teenagers and young men, which I don’t consider “Kids.”

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Bike: I’m sorry, but buy a box of tissues. This is not about the fans. At all. I’m sorry, but it’s not.
    You think if this deal gets done, things are gonna be cheaper? You think that the team is gonna lower the price of tickets once they dock the players salary?
    You got a lot of blind faith, kid. All their calculations are done on how much things cost NOW. None of the owners are saying “well, we want this money so we can lower game costs by a total of 100 dollars” they’re all saying “we need to turn a profit if things are going to stay -as is-”
    So don’t bring up the price of seeing the game, cause it’s irrelevant right now, man.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Player don’t set the PRICES!
    WTH. Players don’t the cost of parking, tickets, food or anything else. Hell, they don’t even set their salaries, those are decided by the teams that decide to higher them. There can be no contract between a player and owner without the owner first agreeing to pay the money.
    I swear, some of y’all clearly struggle at thinking. Food price? Parking? Those are set by your friendly neighborhood owner. The players don’t get a cut of that. Neither do they get a cut of the television deals, merchandising deals, sponsorships and anything else other than their bi-monthly salaries.
    The problem is that the League’s owners have done a poor job of handing out contracts because they are constantly seeking to outdo each other, and looking for a quick fix for their bottom lines. Look at how easily Mark Cuban turned around the Mavericks despite spending tons of money on his team. Why was he successful when he took over a sad sack horrible franchise when others were not? You think it was just MAGIC?
    The NBA needs to adopt the MLB’s revenue sharing model if they want to guarantee profits. And they need to do a better job of scouting and handing out deals. How can baseball be solvent with a much “worse” CBA but the NBA be struggling? The problem is not the players.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    hire them.

  • fitzy

    i wouldn’t call a group of people my age adults either necessarily, I’ve yet to hear of myself referred to an adult

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Fitzy: it could be intelligence level, and not necessarily age. Why are you trying to have this debate? It’s semantical. People heading off to college are young adults. There’s adult in there.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    THe players better budge. THe owners are DOWN for missing a whole season. Just like what happened in the NHL, when the players wouldn’t give in, then lost a season, and gave into everything.

  • bull22

    alot of you have very valid points, but the kids part is a metaphor, yes it was not created for them. but its kids who try and emulate them. they are both at fault, of course the players like the way it is now because they don’t care where the money comes from and some are now treating like the NBA is some welfare program that is suppose to take care of them when they are not doing their jobs… in this economy everybody needs to face reality, like it or not..

  • Dru

    LOL It’s always sad to see the poor man cry about how much money the next man makes. It’s not really that hard to comprehend. The players make millions because their talents allow the NBA to be a billion dollar business. We the fans make this possible by buying merchandise & game tickets. Labeling this as a kids game is asininity; hence the term PROFESSIONAL basketball player. The problem is the owners. They are the idiots giving guys like Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas & Joe Johnson (just to name a few) 100 million dollar contracts.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    THE NBA HAS NEVER BEEN BIGGER. the economic climate is not hurting the league. The owners being irresponsible is why the league is in the situation it is in. They chose this system, so that players contracts could not get too high, and rookie’s won’t get paid too much. THe first lockout resulted from Kevin Garnett’s giant contract, Michael Jordan’s $35Million dollar season, and 70+ Million Dollar rookie contracts. So what did the owners do when they no longer could make their contractual mistakes through the draft and free agency, they made it so the majority of theplayers on every team are overpaid. Basically they took the money they wanted to prohibit themselves from spending on certain players, and began spending it on all the other players. The owners are the problem

  • http://tempdog1 stephen

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • Riggs

    word to allen’s 12:07 comment, which completely annihilates the “kids game” comment. Also, it all comes down to people who are getting paid more than others trying to get a little bigger slice of the pie.

  • bull22

    @riggs everybody has a valid point son, make your own points rather then kiss somone else’s behind….

  • bike

    Jukai: Never said that things are gonna be cheaper if the player’s salary gets docked. My point is that many middle-class fans who shell out significant bucks to watch these guys play are not going to sympathize with players who make more money in one year than they will ever see in a lifetime. If enough of those fans stop attending games and revenues drop significantly then it will be all about the fans.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Um, isn’t the a main part of the dispute the fact that the players want to know EXACTLY where the money is coming from and how it’s being spent, and the League is instead providing them with specious financial reports? As stories on ESPN and Deadspin point out, the reports already supplied by the League show some serious chicanery.
    The owners don’t want to do a serious revenue share. The ones with the best local deals and the most supportive fanbases don’t want to give up their money.
    The ones in small towns with middling teams either don’t want to make the investment to become regular contenders and thus reap the rewards, or they have repeatedly failed to make quality personnel decisions.
    Look at teams like OKC. They have built a valid contender after bottoming out and leaving Seattle. And they did it on the cheap. Yes, drafting Kevin Durant was huge, but equally huge was getting Russell Westbrook and Ibaka when most teams thought they were a reach. Not to mention convincing Philly to trade Thabo.
    I would wager that if you look at the team’s with the most dire financial situations they are either in cities that really don’t have the financial cache to support a pro team, OR, they are have been mismanaged terribly over the past decade.
    Who wants to take my bet?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bike
    If fans decide to get angry at players rather than owners for a lockout created by the owners refusing to go along with the current CBA that has made the League quite profitable, then it’s the fans who have a problem.
    “Jealousy is a weak emotion. If you a jealous MF then you a weak MF.”

  • bull22

    some of you that either on a player’s payroll kissing these players behinds with your bs, or some ignorant fan who just loves wearing their drawers dont seem to understand that we as the FANS, pay for the tickets to see games, our tax dollars build their arenas, we watch their ball games, but their merchandise…. Get the freak out with the jealously bs, we as fans can show our control of the game by boycotting these ignorant owners and players, lets see how well all of these chumps do if no one attends the games, stops buying the merchandise and their tickets…. THE FANS NEED TO SHOW THEIR POWER BY SHUTTING OUR WALLETS!

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    First time in History that two major sports are in this kind of situation.
    Players will blink. They have to.
    When November comes around, and the players’ checks are non – existent, wives, players, and everybody else will become flustered. They will start seeing bank accounts dwindle, due to the lifestyle. They will make a deal.
    The owners will find their arenas empty. Do they want that? They have bills and mortgages on all of that, too.
    As for the fans…
    Who really cares about the fans?
    A fan will come.
    They always do, and they all know that.
    If the fans were that important, it can be argued that lockouts wouldn’t exist.
    Michael Jordan is on the spot, in my opinion, as I agree with Kenny Smith.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That’s fine. As long as you blame both sides, or even the owners a little more. Nobody is forcing you to watch basketball. It’s a free country.

  • giogolo

    for me being on the otherside of the world..i never have a problem just watching on tv..and surfing the net..didn’t cost me that much and i can say by just reading ur comments though im not well informed by all the technicalities. most of my baskebtall konwledge are right on par. might not be that much but atleast not stupid. so all of u fans who are actually there and who are quite intelligible..) y not all of u teach the onwers and to some extent, players a valuable lesson: that too much of everything is bad for the health.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    I like the term “lockout”. Some prefer “owners’ strike” but I don’t feel it’s ambiguous enough.

  • bike

    Allenp
    Just curious. You seem so wise in the ways of this labor dispute…how do you see this going down? Complete loss of 11-12 season? Resolved this summer? And who is going to budge?

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    @gigolo, I’ve actually been to some games and it’s a great time. But I can just as easily watch from home. I feel like the league could invest more in the home-viewing experience to expand their revenues. League Pass, for example, is nice but can be much better.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    I do agree with the players on one point, the league needs a better revenue sharing model. MLB has no team or player salary caps, but they do well because of the way they share revenue.

  • bull22

    if the nba owners and nba players are willing to tank the whole season over millions of dollars, so be it…. let them do, then we as fans can lock them out the following season and see how they will be doing financially then….

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have no idea when the players will cave, but I’m convinced they will cave.
    That’s how I see it working out. It cannot work out any other way.
    Players, for all their millions, are employees who depend on a paycheck to pay their expenses.
    Owners own teams as side hobbies for the most part. That’s not their main source of income as those two articles I pointed out noted. They have used the teams to make money for sure, but they have tons of other ways to get paid. So, while they might be hurting a little bit, there is no way they will be feeling the same pain as most players. Which means the players have more incentive to give in.
    So I don’t know when they will cave, but I know they will cave. And eventually every league will look like the NFL. And owners will still want more.

  • Ses

    I hear both sides of the argument. The thing is the NBA owners and players are rich guys who dont give a damn about you guys. We can all sit here and argue but at the end of the day, it’s their fight not yours. I love basketball but I refuse to care about their fight, this is the business aspect of the NBA, which I dont care about because in no way does it affect me. As far as the actually game, yeah I’d miss watchin but I refuse to get caught up worrying about other people’s money!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Just somebody, either side, do something to make sure we have a season next year man. That’s all I want.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    All I know is that the blame falls squarely on the owners’ shoulders. Arenas was not the one that decided he was worth 120+ million dollars, same with Lewis and JJ. It was the owners that grossly overpaid those guys and now they want the players to give them back 25% of the money while at the same time reducing the years on a guaranteed contract, drastically lowering the salary cap and instituting something similar to the NFL’s franchise tag. Talk about strong-arm tactics. I’m with KD and the players on this one and if it means that the entire 11/12 season is missed due to them fighting for what’s rightfully theirs, so be it!
    College basketball and old-school games on youtube can quench my thirst.

  • bull22

    @jtaylor rightfully theirs???? tell that to those african mine workers who bust their arses harder then we do for $50 to $100 a month to goldmine, so they can support their families.. and to add insult to injury they can only go home once a year to see their families, or those children all over the world who make little money making nike and other brands… you want to take up a worthy cause with KD, start there brother….

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^WTH?
    To African mine workers only bring home $100 a month EVERY FAMILY IN THE UNITED STATES IS RICH. everybody.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    WTF does African mine workers have to do with the NBA lockout?

  • doyouwantmore

    To all those who say the “getting paid to play a kid’s game” isn’t a valid argument, I say bull$hi%. – I watch pick up games, college games, etc because I’m a real fan, not a star-struck cultist of personality. Its true that fans pay to see certain players but by that rationale the revenue stream begins with the fans. That means the fans’ interest should be the first priority for the Owners and the Players. Neither side is negotiating in good faith, because the fans don’t have a representative in those meetings. They could meet in the middle if both sides cared more about us than they do about themselves.

  • bull22

    @mike from spain, i supported the replacements during the 1987 because they suited up in the BEARS uniform, and it was pretty fun watching these guys get a chance to be on that field to live a dream. you suitup in a bulls uniform mike as a replacement and i will be there to watch. basketball is basketball.

  • bull22

    just like in 1987, if the NBA were to put replacements in there and players were given a choice, there would be players that would cross the line and play with them for the love of the game… GUARANTEED! BRING ON THE REPLACEMENTS so we can have a season, YEAH!

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

    bull22 must be a concessions worker.

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

    …or Benny the Bull.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Maybe he’s Carlos Boozer

  • Allenp

    I don’t watch the NCAA. Incessant zones and three pointers plus a system where everybody is getting rich but the workers doesn’t interest me.
    I watch the NBA because basketball isn’t played better anywhere else. Basketball is a game but that doesn’t mean is was designed to be played properly by kids.

  • Bryan

    Most of these teams are bad at making money….some VERY bad. All this talk about the league never being bigger doesn’t matter. The system as it stands now does not make money. Kevin Durant….who took what? 1 year of college coursework?…. sounds like a mental midget in the article by the way.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    The owners are gonna cave, because they are negotiating absolutely TERRIBLY. The one thing that they should have given up to the owners— guaranteed contracts— was the first thing they fought tooth and nail for. Wow.

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