Blog Entry

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

Posted on: October 24, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: October 24, 2011 12:26 am
Posted by Royce Young

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City got as close as it'll probably ever be to an All-Star Game Sunday with stars like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony showing up for Kevin Durant's charity game. Durant's team -- included LeBron, Russell Westbrook and LaMarcus Aldridge -- topped Paul and Melo's squad 176-171 in a fairly exciting overtime game.

But there was always an unspoken theme to the game. It might've been a fun night featuring a hefty number of stars, but this game shouldn't have been happening. We're just over a week away from the actual tip of the NBA season and it's not going to be happening, at least not on Nov. 1. The players wanted to talk about charity and how fun it was to be playing hoops, but of course the topic of conversation after the game was the lockout.

Chris Paul put it this way: "We try to explain (the situation) as much as we can, but it's really hard to understand unless you're in the situation. But I just want the fans to trust us and know that we're far from greedy. We just want a fair deal. We want to get out there and play more than anybody. But we understand that at the end of the day, we're the product. We're the reason the fans come and we just want a fair deal.”

Paul isn't wrong. The players are certainly the product. Nearly 13,000 fans turned out in one of the league's smallest markets to watch a group of stars play in a completely meaningless game.

Durant was asked if games will be played by Christmas.

"I wish," he said. "But I really can't say right now. We're just trying to work to get a deal done. We're going to continue to play in these games and show the fans that we love the game and we want to play.”

Thunder guard James Harden was very matter-of-fact a few weeks ago when he said the players absolutely wouldn't drop below 53 percent in terms of revenue split. And he reaffirmed that position Sunday.

"No, no. Fifty-three. That's where we're staying at. We've had plenty of talks and we're not dropping," Harden said. "We already dropped and set our number at 53 so that's what we're sticking to."

Despite the hardline approach, Harden thinks it'll be settled soon.

“I'm definitely confident we're going to have a season. I just don't know when.”

Talks fell apart last week supposedly after Blazer owner Paul Allen intervened. LaMarcus Aldridge wouldn't comment about that or even expound on if Allen strikes him as the kind of owner willing to bring the hammer down.

"I can't really speak on that," he said. "It's not my place."

Fans are growing increasingly frustrated with the situation as games will officially be missed in 11 days. Paul was asked if he felt the same way.

"I don't know if frustrated is the right word. It's close," he said. "We just want to keep giving our fans an opportunity to see us. Because if not for the fans, we're not who were are. We just want them to know we still want to keep working towards a deal because it's not just about us. It's about the fans, it's about the employees, about all the people that makes our game happen. We want to play. Just want to make sure everyone understands that."

Said Rudy Gay: “We like playing these games for the fans, but we'd rather be doing our jobs. This is fun, but of course we want to get back to work. We're sorry to the fans for the long wait, but we're looking for a fair deal and that'll happen soon enough.”

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 26, 2011 10:14 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

@robubba98 OKC is actually not losing money, they are one of the most profitable teams in the league!  They are thriving off of smart management and rookie contracts.  Secondly the players are not asking for 53% of gross they are asking for 53% of BRI which equates to about 20% of the League gross as a whole.  Thirdly and lastly, if your employer calls all of you together and said "I know you make 50k a year but your all banned from coming to work until you agree to take 35k a year" I dont think I have to write here what happens. 

Since: Sep 25, 2010
Posted on: October 26, 2011 1:39 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

guard was very matter-of-fact a few weeks ago when in terms of revenue split. And he reaffirmed that position

Harden your employer is losing momey..How long can he stay in business by losing money...Everyone in this country has taken a pay cut to continue working ....If I went into my employers office and said all us employess got togeather we have decided as a unit we want 53% of your gross I dont have to write here what would happen ..Get a life you over paid bum   

You know the owners will get what they want you just have to loose more checks to figure that out All you guys are dumb    a s s e s  

At the end of the day they are the employer and your the employee....You will always be looking all of us 

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 25, 2011 10:41 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

For anyone who believes the players arent the product, go to a Raptors-Pacers game and tell me your going to enjoy it!  You, along with many other people, tune in to see STARS play the game.  Companies would not be giving large amounts of money for Arena naming rights if random nobodies played there.  Its true, the name on the front of the jerseys is what should matter to the players but the casual fan, not so much! I dont know many T-wolves/Pacers/Raptors/Bobcat fans.  The only fanbase I have seen that show up no matter who they have(bums or stars) are the Boston Celtics!  The fans come out to see the names on the back of the Jerseys, its a fact!  When was the last time you watched a Cleveland game?

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: October 25, 2011 4:10 am

we're far from greedy?!

Sorry CP3, but i don't agree that the players are the product, the product is the NBA as a whole not players only, players are only part of the NBA, but the product is the NBA, and that includes the teams, managers, owners, arenas, mascots, everything. So please erase that mentality that people come to see the product which is the players rather they want to watch the product which is the NBA as a whole. If the players will think the right way, then maybe the lockout will be settled faster. 

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:39 pm

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

Like Chris Paul stated the players make up the product. The owners choose to play their product or not. If the players are unhappy maybe they should look at Europe and play for thousands vs millions. I love basketball. Best sport ever !! Like Kevin Garrnet has said in the past its all about the name in front of the jersey not the back. Not like Kobe and Iverson one on one basketball weve seen over the years. Basketball is a team game. personally I would love to see the owners fire em all and start over. Unions were designed to protect workers. In todays world the unions are corrupt. They want more and more and willing to strike if they dont their way. My view points may not seem fair to the players but lets face it your employees like the rest of us. You can always get a job at Home Depot like Delonte West did. Its honorable work.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:09 pm

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

There seems to be a huge misconception of what the actual split entails.  A majority of people think the players are asking for a 53-47% of all revenue.  Thats not the case. There are a lot of money making factors that BRI does not take into account.  As far as the players being greedy. Can anyone name anything the owners have given up in bargaining "in good faith?" Dont say a hard cap and dont say non-guaranteed contracts as those  already dont exist in the NBA.  The players have given a large chunk of money between their 4% BRI drop and agreeing to reduce the MLE(which together equates to over a billion dollars over the course of the CBA).  People are quick to bash the players on behalf of the arena workers but lets not forget the owners have a hand in this also.  Bad management is just as much to blame for this lockout!  And for those that continue to say good riddance to the NBA, and how your sports world is so much better without it, it obviously must not be if your reading every NBA related article posting the same rubbish about hoping there isnt a season for years to come.  If you dont want to watch the NBA then turn the channel.  The responsibility of this lockout falls directly on the shoulders of both the OWNERS and the PLAYERS.  Until both sides realize that and casual fans stop placing blame on players directly and hold everyone involved accountable, we will sit with NBA2K12, glorified pick up games and College basketball as our options.

Since: Feb 14, 2010
Posted on: October 24, 2011 9:10 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

At least we now know what sport has the dumbest players! Just in case any NBA player is reading this, it is the NBA!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 8:45 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

Most players are more ignorant than greedy- they aren't thinking for themselves, they've never had to...they're  just listening to people they believe understand the situation and are on their side- unfortunately, their agents and the top paid 30 players in the NBA ARE greedy, and playing the music that Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher dance to...Somehow, they believe there is more money to be had by players in the $300 million loss the NBA took last year...No one, including the Federal Mediator, can fathom where players are getting the idea there is money left on the table here.

It's pretty simple math the players somehow manage to completely ignore. "BRI" is a soft figure, dependant on fans spending...there is NONE if there are no games, and there is less each missed game.  The "concessions"  the union has agreed to so far, still leaves $100 million loss, that's why the lockout is still on...

The players are going the wrong direction asking for an additional 1-3 points of BRI -arguably worth $20-$40 million each, so if the players "won" their 3 percent, the NBA loss is back to as much as a $220 million loss. Owners are demandig that 3 points of BRI so they are approximately at break even.  There is no negotiation possible on owners agreeing to guarantee players salary, while they are guaranteed a loss. It's how they got where they are, and if owners AND players intend on the NBA staying in business, players have to take less money from it, period. How they do that can't be resolved until the players admit they understand the issue...and so far, they haven't.

It looks like the LeBron's, Wades, Kobe's etc...are demanding their money, and expect either owners to continue to take a loss, or the other rank and file players to take a cut to make up the difference. In short, they're either idiots, or sociopaths, or both. Maybe they think their star power can't be replaced.

So, it appears the players union is willing to go on a defacto hunger strike, against owners that have other food sources for the sake of a few players that make more in endorsements than the amount of money driving the lockout. 

There is no doubt owners have every right to make a profit, and can wait indefinately, as none of them are dependant on their NBA income. They also have the option of redrawing the agreement to their liking, paying any outstanding legal obigations to a fraction of players, opening camps and forcing a strike, replacing players that refuse the new agreement, if they choose. Players options are infinately less. The NBA already has the highest average salary in the world, and still would under the owners desired terms. Every day the players stall reduces not only their earning power, but reduces the deal they'll eventually have to work for. 

It's suicide by stupididty, and greed is driving it all.     &

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:59 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

Yes , a new league should be started......from scratch....from new college seniors, from across the world and abroad who really play for the love of it...n let the big guns like Paul and the delightful A'mare Stoud, learn Chineese........n go there to play   Lol!

Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:49 am

Players talk lockout after OKC charity game

Oh the players aren't being greedy?   Really?   Its really bout the fans..and the love of the game?   Screw those making over a million $ every two weeks.   Giv them what they want IF they donate half their income to charities and schools.....otherwise they can suck the working mans dick!

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