Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 at 9:30 am  |  26 responses

Grant Hill: Lessons to Be Learned from Labor War

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

This isn’t Grant Hill’s first labor rodeo, and even though he’s kept his distance from the boardroom battles, the veteran forward says the painful process of hammering out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement isn’t necessarily an entirely negative experience.

According to Hill, just like in 1998-’99, there are important lessons here to learn for the players in their latest fight against NBA team owners. Lockout or no lockout.

From Yahoo! Sports:

After the ['98-'99 season] was shortened from 82 to 50 games, Hill lost a big chunk of the $6.6 million he was scheduled to make that season. With the NBA now on the verge of entering another lockout – the current collective bargaining agreement expires Thursday – Hill has no regrets about the players’ last extended labor battle.

“It’s always worth it. I think you learn a lot,” Hill said. “…I think it’s worth it. I think the game recovered. The game is in great shape now … I think both sides are very smart and understand sort of what’s at stake,” Hill said. “But I’m confident they will figure out what’s best for the game.”

“You hear a lockout and you don’t know what that means,” Hill said. “I think we are all sort of conditioned right when Labor Day and October and November roll around, you start playing. And all of the sudden you’re not. You want to stay in shape. You want to stay mentally and physically ready. You want to be wise with purchases and you want to make sure financially you can weather the storm. The young guys have been really good in terms of asking [questions].”

These labor disputes between billionaire team owners and millionaire players will always exist.

What remains to be seen is if Grant Hill is right, if any of the sides learned from the painful and damaging lessons of the past.

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  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    The veteran.

  • http://dennysfishtacos.blogspot.com DennysFishTacos

    At the end of the day, many of these owners will save money if the league goes into lockout. The players association is going to have to budge and they’re going to have to budge soon.

  • treetrunks

    “You want to be wise with purchases and you want to make sure financially you can weather the storm”…mmmmhh, must be really hard for them to do so…i’m sorry, but these guys live in another world..some have to survive wit less than a $1 a day..damn..the world is f*cked

  • treetrunks

    but still, I Love This Game!!!..and Grant Hill has been a favorite for years

  • treetrunks

    but still, I Love This Game!! and Grant Hill has been a favorite for years

  • bike

    A lockout is so gay.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    I’m with treetrunks. I wish I was in a situation where I had to survive with only 15 million for OH GOD possibly up to a year, how will I do it.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    But Jukai, Rolls Royce purchases, some of which may have been already promised to a loved one or two, may have to be put on hold. Have you no sympathy? Shame on you.

  • Eddie1

    Theoretically this lockout could last up to 5 years before owners start hiring temps.

  • http://www.walshsportsblog.com Darren

    So, when the lockout ends unexpectedly and the games have to start straight away, who will be taken unaware and end up like Shawn Kemp or Bryant Reeves?

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    “All of the sudden.” My biggest grammar pet peeve. Cmon Grant. But yeah, hopefully both sides know whats at stake.

  • andy

    @Darren, I would say Glen Davis, but he seems to be taken unaware every year haha.

  • http://facebook.com/wealwayswin Hersey

    Not all players are millionaires and that argument is getting old. The guys on the periphery of the league are the ones seriously hurt by the lockout. Same thing in the NFL. Guys won’t impress people summer league or training camp if this thing drags on. Young players on short deals can’t workout with coaches or use team facilities to get better. Lots of losers in a lockout besides stars with big bank.

  • hushabomb

    @Hersey. Totally agreed. Maybe that’s why LeBron said that “I’m gonna live my life and you have to live yours”. And it doesn’t affect you. If at least 3 players on every team is on a good salary, the other 9 players aren’t. Its OK for Lebron if he has a 90 mil deal wit Nike, the other players don’t. So unless you’re a college grad and has some outside job prospects, what you gonna do? Cos most foreign basketball teams have restrictions on imports. Here’s another question, if the NBA has a lockout, does that mean the DLeague is locked out as well? Especially those with direct affiliations (G State, LA, OKC). Cos most of the younger players can play (under 4 yrs experience) there if they aren’t playing NBA.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    Hersey: I’d like to see the stat on players in the NBA and their money: the majority ARE millionaires. I understand the 10th-14th man on the bench is going to be very hurt by this, but guess what, the 10th-14th man is constantly in danger of losing his NBA job and going to Europe.
    I had a 6 month unpaid internship with only a couple thousand dollars while working on the weekends for extra cash. Guess what, I made it work! Woo!
    Sacrifices have to be made, but I’m sure 75% of the NBA’s “sacrifices” is still going to be a richer life than you and I have, my friend.

  • MikeC.

    ^according to SI.com, the D-League isn’t locked out, so they’re still going to be playing. Maybe we’ll get lucky and NBATV will show more D-League games during the lockout. Overseas leagues that are part of the FIBA organization won’t be taking too many NBA players. Only free agents can play in FIBA leagues. If a player has a contract with an NBA team, they can’t play for a FIBA league team. Foreign-born players can still play for their national teams though.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    Man, I feel bad for JJ Barea who will only have about 850k in his bank when this awful time hits.

  • GGG

    Hope its sorted soon. Do believe that the players will bend more than the owners…. Billionaires can handle losing millions (Millionaires cant)

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    MikeC: if there is no CBA and there is a lockout, there are no NBA contracts, so players are not obligated to stay away from FIBA. They can sign whatever contract they want.
    The issue is when the lockout ends, and a CBA is put in place, suddenly players CAN’T have a FIBA contract… so one will have to be voided… and that’s where the major issues lie.

  • EmCee

    Grant wanted to install a golden shark tank by his pool. But now with the lockout he will have to wait a few months before he can afford it. Sad story

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

    @Jukai, are you sure? I don’t think a lockout would allow guys to go play in other leagues. I believe FIBA and the NBA respect each others’ contracts.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    LA Huey: There are no contracts if there is a lockout. The only thing that’s gonna prevent FIBA from signing players is the knowledge that these players are gonna jet from their contracts the moment the NBA is back in session.

  • Yep

    and of course they don’t give a crap.. the exposure they would get for 3 months of kobe bryant in italy (yeah, ha ha.) would be well worth their time.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I blame the players for this lockout, they want less accountability for their performance, by sticking with guaranteed contracts, which is better job security than almost any in the world. How many times have we seen a player underperform as soon as they sign that big contract; players need the incentive to play better to earn that money or there will be no end to the Currys of this world. I get that the players want to not get pushed around, but they seem far too stubborn to me, and I’m going to be extremely disappointed if the NBA season doesn’t start as planned. The months between seasons are long enough without this bs. Bah.

  • Matt

    The public will turn on the players. Everyone knows that contracts are too long, payrolls are too high, & guaranteed contracts ruin franchises for years. Ask the people Orlando how Grant’s contract worked out.

  • kiwi_intheUK

    LOL @ emcee!
    so true