Blog Entry

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

Posted on: September 26, 2011 7:16 pm
Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

I don't know anyone else under the age of 80 that writes more letters than Los Angeles Lakers guard and National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher.

In his latest missive, sent just a few weeks after he penned one attacking agents in advance of a NBPA regional meeting in Las Vegas, Fisher asserts that the players "drive this game" and repeats his earlier statements that the league's owners have a number of "internal issues" that need to be resolved before a deal can be struck. obtained the letter. Here are a few excerpts.

"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.

"We still haven't been presented with any real specifics or proposals that include what a new revenue sharing model will look like," Fisher said. "It is my belief that if they can get us to be short-sighted and agree to an unfair deal they won't have to share more revenue amongst themselves. They will have gotten what they need from us. We can't allow that to happen guys. Not under any circumstances.

"It is also my belief that once they have worked out more of their internal issues, the opportunity to negotiate and get a fair deal done is there."

Fisher's goal in raising these splinter issues is to provide an explanation for why he needs more time, potentially a lot more time, to get a new deal done and get the players back to work. Waiting just to wait doesn't do the players any good, and that will lead to restlessness. But waiting makes a lot more sense if the payoff is that the NBA owners are more willing to deal. Conventional wisdom and the size of their respective checking accounts suggest that time is on the owners' side; here, Fisher tries to flip that idea on its head to reclaim some leverage and bolster internal confidence.

The problem with this tactic is that it will continue to read like empty rhetoic until the owners make a proposal that moves anywhere in the vicinity of a deal. Up to this point, preaching patience hasn't accomplished much for Fisher and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter. Relying on the owners to set the pace of these negotiations isn't ideal. Push is coming to shove for the players before our eyes and there is a finite number of times that Fisher will be able to go back to the "patience" card. He hasn't exhausted those opportunities but I'm sure he would much rather be selling progress than patience after this week's meetings.

Be sure not to read over the phrase "unless you, the group we represent, tell us otherwise" with regard to the hard cap. That reads an awful lot like hedging. Up to this point, the idea of a hard cap has been a "blood issue" that was not suitable for negotiation. But that clause seems totally unnecessary if the players had truly agreed that the hard cap was to be a "blood issue". Therefore this almost reads like a door being cracked open or an innocent invitation to the rank and file: "Just tell us to cave and we'll cave!" Maybe that's too cynical.

Given the deliberate pace of negotiations, it's hard to be anything but too cynical.

Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2011 7:22 pm

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

I said the talent was more concentrated in the 80's than today- not diluted.  The league had fewer teams so there was more talent to go around, so there was more competition between teams- especially the eastern conference not so much in the west.  Gervin, Issel, Gilmore were more 70's than 80's.  Bobby Jones was a nice player- wouldn't call him a superstar.  Walter Bellamy's heyday was more in the 60's.  Think you're getting your decades confused.  There has never been alot of parity in the NBA.  There is as much parity in the last 10 years then there ever has been in the NBA.  In the last 10 years, 6 different teams have won the championship.  The only other comparable decade is the 70's when 6 different teams won the championship, so when people whine that they want parity, they don't know what parity is because they have it now.  The talent in the NBA in the 70's was also diluted-many of those NBA stars you mention weren't NBA stars, they were ABA stars- different league. 

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: September 29, 2011 1:56 am

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

Really? I seem to remember some Nick Van years that were not so great. Money draws and the lakers buy........ Hard cap and a superstar or two tend to level the playing field.........
You have converted me.... A hard cap and..... 2 franchise players per team should end the hold out. The 2 franchise players can only be drafted players and they only count as your average salary (not including theirs) against your cap. They make an average of the top five players at their position. First year - team option to hold, second year player option, third is the team etc......
Only get to hold 2 players.......
Two players are guaranteed top 5 salary average - leave the team or let go? You make what another team can afford .... play where you want but it could be at a cost.......
Team could select 2 low round picks for their guarantees - hard cap helps to protect............

Diluted talent in the 80's??
Think it is more marketing -internet and hype  (most days in the early 80's we watched billiards and horse racing on espn- look it up)... people you rarely heard of ; Moses Malone, David Thompson, George Gervin, Dan Issel, Artis Gilmore, Bobby Jones and even Dr J would be legendary guest speakers on any sports show. 
Go back to the 70's- ever hear of unseld, Belamy or Spenecer Hayward? Bill Bridges or Happy Hairston?
Totally different generations.
Level the field - let Ok City become a dynasty. 
If not..... make 4 top market teams and they can play each other 30 times each and then have a play-off.........  
I like the cap, franchise and competition!

Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2011 7:00 am

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

The NBA was also smaller in the 80's, so talent was more concentrated.

Since: May 29, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2011 6:53 am

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

You obviously do not remember the Detroit Pistons won the championship 2004.  The Indiana Pacers won 61 games in 2003.  Sacramento had very successful years from 2000-2005. Utan Jazz have been very competitive in this millenium.  Portland Trailblazers had like two good years in the 90's- money isn't Portland's problem since they are owned by Paul Allen-one of the richest men in the world.  There are plenty of equivalent small market teams on the rise- Oklahoma and Memphis come to mind immediately.  I hate to tell you this, but the Lakers will always be successful because they are managed well and players want to play there- no amount of whining will change this.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:52 am

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

Like the NBA players, I don't understand why there is a problem in raising the salaries of the NBA players.  Just raise ticket prices a small amount, say $50 more per ticket.  And raise TV revenue -- just charge the networks an extra $100 million or so (hey, they can just raise the cost of commercials!).

The owners are just greedy... greeedy!  They're going to do all those things anyway, and keep the money for themselves!  

Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: September 27, 2011 8:42 pm

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

yea they have issues they never agreed to buy the ghetto ball league

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 27, 2011 5:51 pm

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

The players could let knock the owners on their azz as they dribble the ball down court like he did against the in the play-offs when the Rockets were kicking Fisher and the the azz.

One of the most bush moments on a NBA court of all-time. Lost all respect for Fisher.

After the NBA suspended Fisher for just one game, the Lakers realized whenever they were getting their azzez kicked, they could just get physical to turn things around and the penalty would be so light it would be worth it. They still do it, aka, when Bynum pulled the same crap while Dallas was sweeping their azz out of the play-offs this year. If someone with big balls would have handed out the proper punishment then, Fisher wouldn't have stepped foot on the play-off court for the rest of the play-offs that year and we wouldn't be watching the Lakers continue to do that crap to this day.

Your a a puzzy Fisher and a leader you ain't!

Since: Apr 29, 2011
Posted on: September 27, 2011 5:04 pm

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

Bobloblaw I was completely with you except the Houston as a small market. It's the 4th largest city in the US

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: September 27, 2011 12:35 pm

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

Bobloblaw - Beat me to the post, great comments! I think the hard cap levels the field - owners also need to adopt a page from the NFL - a set amount (minimum) MUST be paid yearly on player salary. Keeps teams competitve and offers a better product.

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: September 27, 2011 12:23 pm

Derek Fisher: NBA owners have 'internal issues'

Teejaytee, you obviously do not remember the Seattle Supersonics, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trailblazers, Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets or Utah Jazz playing in their Conference Finals during the 80's and 90's.  Hard caps certainly do not mean instant parity, but the NFL certainly proves that hard caps allow for parity, whereas the current system does not.  As far as your ridiculous Knicks argument goes, money doesnt overcome their enormous incompetence.  A hard cap will also not make teams smart, but thats no reason not to do it.

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