Derek Fisher Calls for ‘Unity’ in Latest Letter to NBA Players

by September 27, 2011

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Players Association president Derek Fisher is single-handedly bringing back the lost art of writing letters.

In his latest missive to locked out NBA players, D-Fish urges players to stick together in this tough battle, and once again alludes to some kind of “divide” between team owners.

Most critically, however, Fisher says that it’s imperative that the richer NBA teams agree to a revenue-sharing model with the struggling ones.

From ESPN:

Fisher wrote: “Our game has never been more popular and we’re poised to see tremendous revenue growth over the next 5 to 6 years. … We must share fairly in the continued growth of our business. Any deal that decouples us from a fair share of the revenue growth in the years ahead is a deal we cannot accept. Period!” Fisher said he still firmly believes that the NBA’s 30 teams do not share the same goals in the lockout — a point he made in a letter to the union’s membership last week. “There are a number of team owners that will not lose the season over the hard cap system. We’ve been clear from Day 1 of this process that we cannot sign off on a deal that attempts in any way to include a hard salary cap for our teams. That has not changed,” Fisher said. “Unless you, the group we represent, tell us otherwise, we are prepared to hold the line for as long as it takes to preserve the system we’ve worked so hard to build.”

The owners also remain divided over a revenue sharing model, Fisher said, adding that the union still believes a stronger revenue-sharing system would help resolve economic issues facing the league’s smaller market teams. “The same way our max players sacrificed for the larger body of players in the last collective bargaining agreement, it’s time for our large market teams to share some of the wealth with each other. We continue to remain firm on the idea that not all of the purported loss figures should be made up solely through the reduction of player salaries,” Fisher said.

Fisher’s message for NBA players not to accept what is viewed as an unfair deal under any circumstance seems to be getting through. To some of the more established League veterans, anyway.

What’s unclear at this point, is if the rank-and-file players (read: those not so financially well off) are going to be so willing to stand strong once they start missing paychecks.