Blog Entry

VP of NBPA bails for Europe

Posted on: July 29, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: July 29, 2011 5:09 pm
By Matt Moore

What kind of message is Keyon Dooling trying to send here? Because outside of "Get Yours," I'm not really seeing much in the way of leadership in this latest turn of events. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Bucks guard Keyon Dooling is nearing agreement on a contract with Efes Istanbul, the Turkish team which recently signed New Jersey Nets guard Sasha Vujacic.

Kenge Stevenson, the Dallas-based agent for Dooling, said progress is being made and a deal with Efes could be completed in the next few days.

Dooling is the first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and has been active in the process to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. League owners imposed a lockout on July 1 when the previous CBA expired, and no real progress has been made since then.

Stevenson said Dooling would expect to play in Turkey next season even if the lockout ends and any opt-out clause would be for legal purposes. The veteran has one year and $2 million remaining on his contract with the Bucks, but Stevenson indicated he thought an agreement could be reached to allow Dooling to play in Europe in the event the lockout was settled.
via Dooling nears deal with Turkish team - JSOnline

Now, I'm of the belief that players pursuing employment overseas is the best thing that the NBPA can do. Proving to the owners they can make a living without the NBA removes the teeth from the lockout. There's still the jaws' vice grip, but no incisors. That's a crucial part of the union's strategy if they're going to get the owners off their hard line. 

NBA players headed overseas?
The problem is that this is the vice president of the union. Dooling is a player representative, yes, but under these circumstances, he has a responsbility to those duties in helping to end the lockout. Dooling's not going to make the difference with anything he does here, but he's not going to help matters by not being around for strategy sessions, bargaining meetings, discussion points, or any other business he would be involved with as VP. If this is some type of attempt at a higher profile defection, then why the lack of the opt-out clause? And if Dooling is playing in Turkey next year, no matter what, why is he still a member of the NBPA, much less the VP of the organization? Even if Dooling will still be participating via conference call in these meetings... have you ever tried having a real meeting with someone on a conference call? Have it go more than thirty minutes and it becomes pretty cumbersome. 

The players simply have not formulated a coheseive strategy. If this was done with the approval and support of the NBPA, it's a thoughtless maneuver that won't do anything to impact the owners. Not like they're losing sleep over Keyon Dooling not being available to put butts in seats. Dooling's a decent enough player, a quality role player in this league, but no one's going to be writing requiems for his departure. Meanwhile, it sends a message to the union that their leadership would rather go get paid than keep trying to get them paid. 

The only way this lockout ends, like it or not, is by wearing the other side down. Constant meetings to keep appealing to the rational owners who don't want to miss the entire year, constant talks to try and open up outside-the-box solutions. That's how you wear down the other side and get progress, save the season, and keep the players in the lifestyle to which they've come accustomed to. 

Having union leadership head for the hills (does Turkey have hills?) won't do anything but pad his pockets. You've got to lead by example, but this example doesn't lead the players anywhere. 

(HT: HoopsHype)

Since: Jul 5, 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2011 8:41 pm

VP of NBPA bails for Europe

His name is Keyon not Kenyon.

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