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Tag:NBAPA
Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:05 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 11:32 am
 

LeBron James backs off his contraction talk

King James steps away from contraction talk, claiming he didn't know what it meant, and that eliminating teams isn't what he meant when he said things which explicitly outline contraction. 
Posted by Matt Moore

When LeBron James stuck his foot in his mouth the other day about contraction, it wasn't just small market advocates like myself who wound up tweaked. NBA Union President Derek Fisher wasn't too happy about a player, the biggest player, breaking ranks on the Union's stance regarding contraction. That's enough to get the backtrack started. And oh, has it, with James immediately running full speed away from the subject under quite possibly the most idiotic of excuses. He didn't know what the word meant. From ESPN:  
"Thats crazy, because I had no idea what the word contraction meant before I saw it on the Internet," James said after the Miami Heats practice Monday. "I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the 80s and how it could be good again. I never said, Lets take some of the teams out. "
via LeBron James: I never said I advocated contraction - ESPN.
James had more words regarding the word he didn't know the meaning of. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“I’m with the players, and the players know that,” he said. “I’ve been with the players. It’s not about getting guys out of the league or knocking teams out. I didn’t mean to upset nobody. I didn’t tell Avery Johnson to leave either.

“I didn’t say, ‘Let’s abandon the Nets, and not let them move to Brooklyn,’ or, ‘Let’s tear down the Target Center in Minnesota.’ I never said that.”
 via The South Florida Sun-Sentinel-Ira Winderman.


So he was not talking about contraction, which he didn't know the meaning of, when he said that players should be taken from their teams and put on other teams and not great teams should go away. Got it. This is a guy who had a television special built around his free agency decision, who has his own brand, has a team of handlers, and is the face of the NBA. You'd think he'd be able to avoid the seemingly daily blunders he finds himself in. There will be some, like CBSSports.com's own Ken Berger, who thinks that James is on point about contraction being good for the league, and that is should hearken back to the vaunted 80's. 


Of course, it turns out that quite as stacked as we may remember them. In fact, during the vaunted 80's, you really only had two stacked teams (Lakers, Celtics naturally) and two pretty great teams (Detroit, Philadelphia for a single season). Houston could be considered if you want to start dipping into the bottom of the superstar barrel. So not only did LeBron not know the word of what he was talking about, but he was still wrong about the reason for implementing that concept that he didn't know the name of. 
 
For a guy who looked phenomenal taking down the Lakers this weekend, he's not exactly on his game in the PR world. 
Posted on: December 13, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 5:06 pm
 

Union organizes by moving to dissolve itself

Posted by Matt Moore

It sounds worse than it is, really. In reality, the players' decision to decertify the union is nothing more than a move to put the guns in a row for the upcoming battle: Lockout 2011, coming this summer to a vacant theater near you. But it's noteworthy that the union very much knows what it's doing and is following protocol. From the Dallas Business Journal :
NBA players have begun the process of authorizing the decertification of the National Basketball Players Association, a move meant as a countermeasure if the league locks out players when the collective-bargaining agreement expires in June, sources said.

Players for at least two NBA clubs have voted unanimously to authorize decertification after meeting with NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter, sources said. Hunter is asking players at each club to vote to allow the union to disband, or decertify, as he makes his annual fall tour of locker rooms.
via NBA clubs vote on decertification | Dallas Business Journal .

So why is the union dissolving itself in the middle of the biggest fight as a union in ten years? Simple: lawsuits. By decertifying the union, the group becomes a trade organization. Which means that should the owners lock them out, they can then sue with a claim that the owners are conducting a group boycott, which is illegal under antitrust laws.

Which would inevitably lead to the league arguing that the decertification is a sham (it is), and that the players don't really want to decertify themselves as a union (they don't). But the union, now a trade organziation, would make every effort to convince them otherwise and leave that avenue open to pursuit.

At some point down this road basketball will be played again. But in the meantime, I'd ejoy the next seven months if I were you. It's all we're going to have for a while.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 9:50 pm
 

The Union decides tantrums is the hill to die on

Player's Union intends to file suit against league for rule regarding player's acting like four-year-olds.
Posted by Matt Moore




Tantrums. That's apparently what the NBA's Player's Union feels is the hill to push litigation over . Not a better pension plan, or fewer regular season games, or even revenue sharing, apparently. They're going to pursue litigation over their right to stomp and yell and scream and curse the officials who are only doing their jobs. Because, really, when you think about it, that's what the Union needs most of all.

Perhaps you were curious about what the union is actually saying. Here's their press release, courtesy of KB:

The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwarranted overreaction on the league’s behalf. We have not seen any increase in the level of “complaining” to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials. Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product. The changes were made without proper consultation with the Players Association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge.

Let's go through this line by line, in the most often-replicated-never-really-dupli
cated
way possible, shall we?

"The new unilateral rule changes are an unnecessary and unwarranted overreaction on the league’s behalf."

Unnecessary. An ironic word to use since, considering no referee has ever reversed a call on the basis of a player's complaint, the complaint in and of itself is unnecessary. So the rule to prevent unnecessary actions is unnecessary, which would of course make the complaints necessary, but they of course are not necessary. Now, that's some faulty logic, but the point's still the same. The rule is necessary. It's how it's execute that you can argue may not be.

"We have not seen any increase in the level of 'complaining' to the officials and we believe that players as a whole have demonstrated appropriate behavior toward the officials. "

I'll believe there's been no increase, but that doesn't mean the level is appropriate. Because it's not. Watch Tim Duncan. Or Kobe Bryant. Or even Kendrick Perkins. Or, you know, Kevin Garnett (or look at the gigantic picture above). Even Celtics fans complained about how much the team complained last year. But maybe that's just an accent thing.

"Worse yet, to the extent the harsher treatment from the referees leads to a stifling of the players’ passion and exuberance for their work, we fear these changes may actually harm our product."

This as opposed to players taking games off in the middle of the season because they're "bored" or the fact that officials being influenced towards not calling fouls leads to a physical game like existed in the late 90's, AKA the most boring brand of basketball on the planet. But whatevs. The players are clearly worried about the product. That's why they're so easy to coach.

"The changes were made without proper consultation with the Players Association, and we intend to file an appropriate legal challenge."

Right, because the change wasn't discussed for weeks and the players weren't given a heads up on it. That's how that went down. It was a sneak attack! Like Pearl Harbor, only with Kevin Garnett being ejected for yelling and screaming!

I tend to side with the Union on most issues, including those regarding the upcoming CBA and the essential need for a better revenue sharing model. But to pick this as the issue they want to sue over in a season with as many issues to discuss as this one is absurd. Just tell your guys to chill out and go play.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 7:22 pm
 

The owners are not kidding about a hard cap

Washington owner reveals onwership desire for a hard cap in labor negotiations, no one is pleased.
Posted by Matt Moore


The NBA labor talks had been pretty cordial so far . Both sides had made some noise in the other's direction, but things looked like they might be headed towards progress. That's great news for those of us wanting to avoid a lockout and get back to the business of watching basketball. And then, Ted Leonsis decided to get all loose-lipped.

Leonsis spoke to a group of Washington businessmen Tuesday and accidentally, or perhaps "accidentally" let slip a significant aspect of the NBA owners' approach to the labor talks. In short, they really do want a hard cap, and they intend to get it. Buckle up.

"In a salary cap era -- and soon a hard salary cap in the NBA like it's in the NHL -- if everyone can pay the same amount to the same amount of players, its the small nuanced differences that matter," he said.
Whoops. NBA commissioner David Stern was quick to bring the hammer down to try and contain the damage today in a statement to reporters.

"We're negotiating and that was one of our negotiating points," Stern told the Associated Press, "but collective bargaining is a negotiating process, and that was not something that Ted was authorized to say and he will be dealt with for that lapse in judgment."

Geez. Hope Ted doesn't own any horse stables. The NBAPA obviously did take notice of the little slip of the tongue, and commented the following on Twitter.

Wiz owner Leonsis likes NHL-style hard salary cap. Must like lockouts, too. http://tiny.cc/jikrx @dwadeofficial @kingjames @carmeloanthony
Yikes. Message received, loud and clear, NBAPA.

This is a pretty big tip of the hand by the owners, and an attempt to gain public favor for a hard cap represents a pretty big violation of unspoken rules for the negotiations. This is all beside the fact that a hard cap? It's going to be total war for the owners to get. There's no middle ground here. The NBA currently has that middle ground, with a salary cap exceedable by various exceptions. A hard cap is an all-or-nothing element of the negotiations, and it represents a total victory for the owners. It's also the last line in the sand for the players, who in no way will want to play under something which restricts their salaries to that degree.

Leonsis either intended to reveal the ownership's desire for a hard cap, in a calculated effort to get the issue into public discussion, or really did slip, in which case he's not nearly the braniac we thought he was. This complicates the negotiations in general and enflames both sides.

Like I said, buckle up, kiddos. This is going to be a a long, hard lockout.


 
 
 
 
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