Blog Entry

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

Posted on: October 15, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 6:23 pm
Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

NBA commissioner David Stern minced no words in countless radio and television interviews this week: If a labor agreement can't be reached with the National Basketball Players Association during a Tuesday negotiation session led by federal mediator George Cohen, then the league's annual Christmas Day games will be put into grave jeopardy. 

Ken Berger of recorded the clear, repeated threats.
"It's time to make the deal," Stern said,  "If we don't make it on Tuesday, my gut -- this is not in my official capacity of canceling games -- but my gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day."

"Deal Tuesday, or we potentially spiral into situations where the worsening offers on both sides make it even harder for the parties to make a deal," Stern said.
NBPA president Derek Fisher and executive director Billy Hunter pushed back hard against those threats following a union regional meeting at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on Friday.

Fisher made it sound like the deadline and the urgency surrounding it were simply figments of Stern's imagination.

"That's an arbitrary deadline just to throw out on commissioner Stern's part," Fisher said. "We don't see it that way. Obviously he's entitled to make the statement but it just seems very arbitrary and with no real purpose other than to sway player sentiment. I don't agree with the way it's been done but I'm not him so I can't speak to that part of it."

Hunter called out the NBA for choosing to limit its availability for discussions next week.

"George Cohen, the federal mediator, was proposing that we actually set all of next week aside," Hunter said. "The entire week, for mediation. It's because of the NBA's schedule and the commissioner's alleged inability to get together with us over four or five days, I think he set the sort of superficial, arbitrary deadline saying that if it doesn't happen by Tuesday then all these other things will evolve as a consequence." 

Hunter also noted that its unrealistic to expect a single day of negotiating to produce a new collective bargaining agreement.

"My attitude is that if they really want to get a deal, we've been negotiating for over two years," he said. "The probability and likelihood of getting it in one day, because we'll only be together one day on Tuesday, then I believe the NBA has scheduled Board of Governors meetings and other meetings on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. So that's why it's limited to one day and one day only."

If Stern's purpose in launching the media blitz and ramping up the threats was to appeal to rank-and-file union members, Fisher said it won't work. 

"For our players, we've made a pledge not to continue in any way to allow what is say or written or printed in the media or statements that would be made to frustrate us or sway us in any way," he said. "To make sure we're thinking as businessmen and we're being very smart about what we need to do."

Hunter even resorted to a firearm metaphor to underscore how undeterred he was by Stern's threats of cancelled games and "vaporized" player wages.

"I think it can only get worse for both of us," Hunter said. "If somebody is pointing a gun at my head, I'm going to point one back at him. That door doesn't swing one way. It's not just the players who will suffer if games are lost."

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 4:17 pm

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

The PA is right all this talk is just that.  In reality the media should turn their phones off for two weeks at a minimum and ignore what they have to say.  Although I think having Kobe, Wade, Garnett ect is stupid and just makes you look bad the PA has done much better than expected(in my mind).  I still think they are fighting to hand back as little as possible like the NHLPA did (they are technically going to lose no matter what).  The truth is that there are teams that might not have cash even if the league gets everything they want.  It is crazy to watch games on TV and see how often less people show up for NBA games than NHL games(the only thing that saves them is TV money - apparently people who wont buy tickets have money to buy what advertisers sell).

We have to wait until people start missing money to see what shakes out but the fact that NBA players have the highest average salary of all the pro leagues with guarenteed contracts means they have way more to lose over a short term career when owners are long term intvesters and the teams that would break ranks because they don't need the deal are the same ones that benefit the most from getting the deal means much fewer cracks should appear on the owners side.

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:54 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

[YAWN] Who cares? This is a three headed monster. The union, the owners and the agents representing the uber rich players. It is obvious the agents and the uber rich are trying the throw the average player under the bus so they can milk the owners of everything and bankrupt half the teams. If the agents have their way, what will be left is about 16 teams in the largest markets with unlimited (or near) resources to spend on them. The average players and small markets (and their fans) will be screwed and relegated to (maybe) a minor league status. The average players need to band together and get a deal done. If the high price players and agents don't like it...f 'em.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:37 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

Players don't want to hear this but it's true.

The NBPA members aren't businessmen, and their representatives are counting on 10% of it's members to force an owners "compromise" that harms everyone else in the NBA in the long run. 

Businessmen understand you have to make a PROFIT to qualify as a buisness. What the players want the NBA to be is defined as a HOBBY. 

The BUSINESS of the NBA can go on without THE players that are holding everyoine hostage here. The owners locked out because the system that has been designed to benefit the top 25 paid players is bankrupting the NBA.  The union feels powerless without the players that have already made enough cash NOT TO CARE how long the process takes.... It's black on black crime.... You need to tell Hunter and Fisher to stop pimping Kobe, Garnett, Wade, LeBron , so the 90% of the NBA players can go back to work. making millions. Let them retire, or go to Europe, so everyone else can get back to work.  


Since: May 15, 2010
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:17 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

...........your worst fear may have been realized Mr Stern....hopefully you understand......what happens when a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it?

Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:05 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

If the owners are truthful when they say they're losing money and if the owners are serious about turning a profit then, Mr. Hunter, the door does swing one way. In this situation the owners would rather cut their losses and cancel the season. However, I blame the owners for getting themselves into this situation by overpaying their employees.

It's human nature to not want to give up what has been gained and the roundballers have gained a lot. This same scenario is happening worldwide. Austerity is a world wide fact of life these days. The difference is that basketball owners can't print their own currency therefore there's not an endless stream of cash in the pipeline. 

Since: Mar 27, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:05 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

just like your cards are going away....hahahaha

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:01 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

How will some of the N B A players spend there time now that there is a lockout !! <!-- End of The Headline Section -->Saturday, October 15, 2011 <!-- Image Section --> 

Eleven years ago, as a compulsive-gamblers counselor, I was asked to fly to New York to the National Basketball Association office in Manhattan and met with league officials, players and union officials, concerned about players' gambling. I was told, "We have a problem, and we're trying to find out how bad the problem is" Officials asked me to keep my calendar open for the spring of the following year and said to me that they wanted me to address every team and player in the league. They then flew my wife in, and we had a second meeting they asked us develop questions that were going to be given to the players to answer. "We need to know how big the gambling problem is in the N.B.A,"

When I hadn't heard from the N.B.A, I called and asked, "When do we start?" The talked were cancelled, and the response I got was this: "They said that the higher-ups didn't want the media to find out"

Over the years we have had players call us for help with a gambling addiction

and in the end the agent sais they should not go for help as someone might find out.

In May 1996, Horace Balmer, the NBA's vice president for security, had two speakers flown to Norfolk, Va., whose messages were even very disturbing. Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who fixed professional and college games for organized crime, and Arnie Wexler, who for 23 years was a compulsive gambler. Franzere said, ``I talked to the NBA rookies earlier this season . . . and it's amazing how many confided to me that they have gambling habits. I'm not going to mention their names, but if I did, you would know them" ``I personally got involved in compromising games with players, and it all came through their gambling habits.' ( THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT -May 11, 1996 )

Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs.

Some years ago, I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? David Stern, NBA commissioner said: "We don't want the week's grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event"

Yet on Dec. 11, 2009, commissioner David Stern told (the website for Sports Illustrated) that legalized gambling on the NBA "May be a huge opportunity"

I wonder how many addicted gamblers placed the first bet they ever made on an NBA game.

The National Gambling Study Commission said that there are "5 million compulsive gamblers and 15 million at risk in the U.S" Forty-eight percent of the people who gamble bet on sports.

Get the real scoop: Talk to me, Arnie Wexler, one of the nation's leading experts on the subject of compulsive gambling and a recovering compulsive gambler. I placed my last bet on April 10, 1968, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for the last 40 years. Through the years, I have spoken to more compulsive gamblers than anyone else in America and has been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers.

It is time for college and professional sports to outline and execute a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem.

And over the years, I have spoken to many college and professional athletes who had a gambling problem. One NCAA study a few years ago reported: "There is a disturbing trend of gambling among athletes in college" You can't think that these people will get into the pros and then just stop gambling.

Compulsive gambling is an addiction just like alcoholism and chemical dependency, and all three diseases are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic and statistical manual. Nevertheless, we treat compulsive gambling differently than the other addictions. Society and professional sports treat people with chemical dependency and alcoholism as sick persons, send them to treatment and get them back to work. Sports looks at compulsive gamblers as bad people and gets barred them from playing in professional sports.

There are people in various sport's halls of fame who are convicted drug addicts and alcoholics, yet compulsive gamblers are unable to get into these halls of fame. In fact, as far as professional sports goes, an alcoholic and chemical dependent person can get multiple chances, whereas a gambler cannot. I have been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers for many years.

If colleges and professional leagues wanted to help the players, they would run real programs that seriously address the issue of gambling and compulsive gambling. Education and early detection can make a difference between life and death for some people who have or will end up with a gambling addiction.

One sports insider said to me: "Teams need to have a real program for players, coaches and referees, and they need to let somebody else run it. When you do it in-house, it's like the fox running the chicken coop. You must be kidding yourself if you think any player, coach or referee is going to call the league and say, 'I've got a gambling problem, and I need help.' "

The Wexlers run a national help line for gamblers who want help



Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 3:27 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

The pudgy elf known as David Stern is beyond corrupt, and the players are not scared of him or his threats. They've been preparing for this situation for the last 2 years, and are ready to lose the season if necessary. The owners messed their numbers up and paid the price for it in the previous two CBAs; now their trying to make up for the losses they suffered with these new demands. If the season is indeed cancelled, I would say it hurts the owners more than the players. Many of the middle to low end players will find teams overseas, and the superstars certainly have enough $$ to not feel the hit; obviously some players will be hurt, and that cant be avoided, but the owners will suffer huge losses, and I wouldn't be surprised at all to see the 1 or 2 teams dissolve. Little angry David could very well inflict irreparable damage to the NBA....he needs to go.

Since: Nov 6, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:31 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

NBA...Please go away.

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:33 am

NBPA calls Stern's Tuesday deadline 'arbitrary'

  I think they should try what the NFL did, and tell all the lawyers to get out of the room, and handle things man to man.  The lawyers are being pid $1000 bucks an hour or better.  All they are going to do is try and drag this out to make more money.  That's what I would do if I was in there shoes.  Get them out of the room, and than talk some sense.  You only have a week or two before the season is toast.  The president even wants to see some ball, so let's keep him relaxed so he can make better decisions.  That was not a rip on Obama, just speculation.

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