Derek Fisher, and thereby the union, rejected the NBA's proposal Sunday. But the question is, would the majority of players actually vote to accept it?
That's the subtle brilliance in David Stern laying it out to the public and then taking the message on talk shows, podcasts and wherever else Monday -- he's not trying to win the PR battle anymore. He's trying to talk directly to the rank and file players. He's begging them to consider this deal regardless of what the union representation and power agents are saying.
One player, Kevin Martin of the Rockets, says take the deal and run. Via SI.com:
"If you know for sure [the owners] are not moving, then you take the best deal possible," Martin wrote in a text message to SI.com. "We are risking losing 20 to 25 percent of missed games that we'll never get back, all over 2 percent [of basketball-related income] over an eight-to-10-year period [of the eventual collective bargaining agreement]. And let's be honest: 60 to 70 percent of players won't even be in the league when the next CBA comes around."Kevin Martin: Efficient on the court and even better with his words. I'd say his WER (Word Efficiency Rating) was a quality 30.5 there. And he's not the only one. Glen Davis tweeted he'd take 51 percent. Samardo Samuels of the Cavs tweeted he was fine with 50-50. Shane Battier said on Jim Rome a couple weeks ago that 50-50 was fine with him as long as the system was solid.
"When players are negotiating as free agents, we're always saying, 'Well I'm going to do what's best for my family,'" he wrote. "So now we're lying, because right now, losing money isn't helping our families at all. I'm not criticizing the fight our union is doing, because they have been in every meeting adding up to countless hours and have been breaking down every number possible. I believe in them and know they have the best interest for us. My opinion -- which is just one of 450 players -- is that if it comes down to losing a season and 100 percent of the money, we all definitely have to sit down and think about reality. That doesn't sound smart to possibly become part of the country's growing unemployment rate."
And to add to that, Steve Blake has been calling players urging them to ask their player reps to push for a vote at Tuesday's manadatory rep meeting in New York. That's all players want at this point. The some 450 players want to have their voices heard. They don't want to be told what's best for them. They want to make their own decision. Agents and attorneys claim to be looking out for them, but we all know where their bread is buttered. The better the deal for the players, the more money they make.
David Stern detailed the offer very specifically in a letter to players. Would the majority of players vote to take the deal? Who knows. But enough have spoken out that should at least give it consideration.