Kevin Martin: NBA Players Need to Accept Deal

It’s clear that NBA players are split on the latest offer from the League, and Kevin Martin is on the side of folks who are strongly for taking the deal from the owners, because it will only get worse if they refuse. Per SI: “If you know for sure [the owners] are not moving, then you take the best deal possible,’ [Kevin] Martin wrote in a text message to ‘We are risking losing 20 to 25 percent of missed games that we’ll never get back, all over 2 percent [of basketball-related income] over an eight- to 10-year period [of the eventual collective bargaining agreement]. And let’s be honest: 60 to 70 percent of players won’t even be in the league when the next CBA comes around.’ Martin’s profile is a fascinating one in the current context. His agent is Dan Fegan, widely known to be among the group of seven agents who have spent recent months pushing for decertification of the union. Martin is also a member of Michael Jordan’s team of players on the Jordan Brand, a group that includes Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Ray Allen. Jordan, who as a player once famously told Washington owner Abe Pollin during the 1998-99 lockout that ‘if you can’t make it work economically, you should sell the team,’ was painted as the hardest of hard-line owners in a New York Times report last week, and numerous players were quick to criticize his perceived hypocrisy. But while Martin did not discuss Jordan, he clearly sees the risk of decertifying or refusing the proposal as greater than any possible reward. ‘When [players] are negotiating as free agents, we’re always saying, ‘Well I’m going to do what’s best for my family,’ he wrote. ‘So now we’re lying, because right now, losing money isn’t helping our families at all. I’m not criticizing the fight our union is doing, because they have been in every meeting adding up to countless hours and have been breaking down every number possible. I believe in them and know they have the best interest for us. My opinion — which is just one of 450 players — is that if it comes down to losing a season and 100 percent of the money, we all definitely have to sit down and think about reality. That doesn’t sound smart to possibly become part of the [country’s] growing unemployment rate.’ Martin’s premise, of course, would change if he thought Stern wouldn’t follow through with the owners’ threat. But even the most ardent Stern critics don’t see this as a bluff, leading some to believe that the entire season is unofficially on the line long before it was expected to be.”