Group of Powerful Agents Warns Players Not to Cave

by October 03, 2011

After meeting earlier today, the players and owners will negotiate once again tomorrow during what many are calling a do-or-die type of day, one that’ll result in a potentially saved season or one that’ll guarantee at least some canceled regular season games. According to ESPN, the most powerful player agents have issued a warning to their clients, telling them not to cave to the owners’ demands. Some details: “Concerned that leaders of the NBA players union continue to negotiate with owners about a new collective bargaining agreement that contains massive concessions by only the players, six of the most powerful player agencies jointly composed a warning letter over the weekend and sent it Monday to their clients, sources say. The letter advises the players not to ratify any deal that includes a reduction in basketball-related income beyond the 57 percent or any other systematic changes from the last collective bargaining agreement, which expired July 1. The owners have held firm to chopping the players’ share of BRI from 57 to 46 percent since negotiations began, union director Billy Hunter acknowledged after lengthy talks over the weekend were largely fruitless. Sources say the letter, a copy of which was obtained from a player who received it, was jointly composed by Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group; Bill Duffy of BDA Sports; Dan Fegan of Lagardere Unlimited; Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management; Leon Rose and Henry Thomas of Creative Artists Agency; and Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports and Entertainment. The same group of agents has strongly suggested that the union pursue decertification in light of the owners’ refusal to budge from demands for ‘givebacks’ as well as severe restrictions on future earnings, which the agents consider unfounded with the league setting a record for overall revenue last season and ‘skyrocketing television ratings,’ ‘record attendance’ and ‘ever increasing television rights deals’ over the last six seasons.”