Blog Entry

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

Posted on: September 19, 2011 9:40 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 10:19 am
By Matt Moore

The whole point of the actual lockout is to pressure the players into submitting to the owners' demands, or at least to gain as much leverage as possible for the owners in the dispute. And as much as the players will talk about just wanting to play, the money is what matters here.

A phrase that's been used a lot in discussions is "the lockout doesn't start until the players miss a paycheck." The idea is that once the players start missing regular paychecks, no matter how much they say they've prepared for a long lockout, they'll start to get anxious, apply pressure to their union, and the result will be a deal even more amicable to the owners than what is expected (which is a pretty pro-owner deal to begin with).

But in an interview with the L.A. Times last week in Las Vegas, union head Billy Hunter mentioned something that could have a big impact on the players' ability to hold out through the financial siege. From the Times:
What role will NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play as this moves forward?"

"They've been deeply involved in the meetings we've had. I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary."
via Monday Q&A: NBA players union executive director Billy Hunter -

There's been talk of a potential pool for a whle, but this is concrete talk from a union head on the matter. It's a sign of how deeply, at least on the surface, the players are in surviving this lockout to get at least some of what they want from the negotiations. Think of it this way. If you were involved in a labor dispute at your job, would you offer to give money so that workers who aren't as good at their job as you are can continue to live comfortably?

At the same time, Bryant has more than enough career earnings to survive the lockout, as most of the stars do. It's also a two-way street. In helping the lower-paid players, the stars decrease the chances that those players will circumvent what the star players want in order to get a deal. The role players watch the stars' backs in negotiations, the stars help out with the roleplayers' finances. It sounds pretty noble until you start to factor just how much moeny we're talking about in terms of "living comfortably." 

The players have also started receiving their escrow checks from multiple sources, and that's just icing on the cake. But this is still September. The union will have to show this resolve into November and potentially beyond in order to force the owners off the hard line, if the owners don't get their house in order and put the moderates back in charge of talks first. 


Since: Sep 3, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 9:58 pm

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

A few people have replied to my post about the NBA and state there are more stars and better competion.   I'll be honest, I tried to watch a few games last season and the play was horrible.  Defense did not exist and their basketball skills were below what I would expect at that level.  The fundamentals are truly lacking.  

If I ran the NBA i'd have each team play each other twice, 3 pts win, 1 pt tie and the overall pts leader at the end champion.  But i'd add in another twist, I'd allow a lower league access.  The bottom 3 clubs would drop a level and the top 3 from the level below would move up.  This way more games would count and these bums might actually start playing for fear their team drops.  

Plus, there I about 4-5 teams with all the best players on them.  Miami?  Give me a break.  The NBA has become a joke.  Basketball, once my favorite sport is almost last on my list to watch.  I'll view tennis and hockey over it.  

Do I want the NBA just to fold?  Not really, but i'd like it to be totally revamped to make the games worth watching.  Back in the day every single team had 2 - 3 good players.  Now if I see highlights on ESPN its the same faces over and over, the same teams over and over.  

My advice, watch more soccer, especially european soccer.  Do some research and see how they setup their leagues.  England has 4 divisions and if your team is managed well enough it can climb from the bottom division to the top.  

In the USA we are robbed of meaningful games.  The NFL is fine, they can't afford to play more games than they are or everone would be injured.  Baseball is too long and hockey needs a revamp.  

I just want the games to mean something.  In these european leagues the bottom teams have to fight just to survive.  Over here if u come in last you get rewarded with a 1st rd pick and still get paid.  Since 75% of the teams suck, those fans really have nothing to watch other than the star teams coming to your home and destroying your team.  

Let the NBA fold and start over.  Make it mean something other than money grabs.  I spoke with 4 fathers today at a soccer practice, not one watched basketball anymore and most stated the reasons i listed above.  Fix it. 

Since: Oct 26, 2010
Posted on: September 20, 2011 8:55 am


Will the players union ask fans to contribute to the lockout fund, with a special internet site?  A lot of these players are broke and need cash during the lockout by the greedy owners.  How are they supposed to pay all their bills if the owners will not pay any salaries?

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2011 8:27 am

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

Yah pay those players who get millions a year because they are too stupid to SAVE any money!

Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: September 20, 2011 6:31 am


your all haters,  some of the NBA's best and more wealthy players are tryin to help out some guys who make less,  or some kids fresh out of college who are still unpaid.   i know for a fact that one NBA player from up here in seattle has moved back in with his mom.  (it was a house that he bought her)  but still    these guys are tryin to show their suport and u guys just hate

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: September 20, 2011 2:42 am

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

The owners are the ones doing the lockout. The players want to play and the owners won't let them. So that bright idea of yours won't work. Man this world is full of numb nuts

Why do the players need to have NBA owners let them play?  Practically every neighborhood I have ever been in has public basketball courts that anyone can play on for free.  So long as the players don't require someone to pay them millions of dollars a year to play (because all they want to do is play, correct?), they can play on any playground they want whenever they feel like it.

Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:22 am

Union =/= Players

How is this difficult for people to understand?  They would be lending the Union money, not the individual players.  Regardless of what happens with this lockout, it's a virtual certainty that NBA basketball will be back at some point, and thus the Union will have little trouble repaying the loans by getting that money back from the players who dipped into the pool.

Kobe, LeBron, etc. aren't loaning half their net worth here, they're fronting the Union some cash.  This is actually a really safe, and smart move by the players because it further reduces the leverage the owners have.

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:42 pm

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

Millionaires fighting billionaires again.  This time, the millionaires have options, they can make money while the owners think they have all the leverage.  Set up the fund, go play in China, or Turkey, or France, or make those stupid game mixt tapes, or whatever, and let the owners suffer.  

The funniest part of all this is that the "thugs" or whatever you call the players, have the leverage here.  With concert and conference revenues down, the owners are going to be hurting when they dont have the full house gate that they used to have for 41 games.  The players should stick to their guns (yes, that was a pun) and not cave until they get all they want. 

And I doubt the fans care much.  We have college basketball, pro and college football, and for us in the north, hockey.  We don't need the NBA like we "needed" the NFL.


Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:06 pm

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

You calling all NBA players thugs would be like pointing to you and saying everyone from Renton,WA are homosexuals...blanket statement.because I am sure there is a gay community where you live, so does that mean the whole population is gay????


Soooooo.......... You're interested in our gay community? I am not sure we have one here. Feel free to check it out. Phag

Strong Safety 2
Since: Jun 21, 2011
Posted on: September 19, 2011 7:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: September 19, 2011 6:59 pm

Hunter: Stars ready to loan union lockout money

This is the best story ever. Basketball players leanding other basketball players money. Yup. Let's see how this works. I'll bet the line is out the door to get in on this action. HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA. Other then ROOKIES... you lend an NBA player $.. you are on your own. National Bank Association ? WHAT? once you lose the lockout THEN WHAT ? Your dealing with DAVID STERN. He will mow the lawn with you guys. Thank Bosh and James for walking on MAX deals for your problems. They got theirs... eat the table scraps LOSERS. 

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