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NBA AM: Steve Nash Talks Lockout Selfishness
Posted By Lang Greene On November 3, 2011 @ 7:41 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
The NBA, riding a wave of momentum, recorded $4 billion in revenues during the 2011 season and by all accounts the growth was projected to continue as the league’s popularity is at an all-time high – domestically and internationally.
Unfortunately, NBA commissioner David Stern recently announced the cancellation of all regular season games in November as owners and players currently stand at an impasse during the ongoing lockout.
The players have lost $350 million in salary due to the cancellations.
The owners’ losses total well over $150 million in ticket revenues alone, which doesn’t include monies received from venue parking, food and beverage and league merchandise sales at arenas.
One of the core lockout issues is how to split the growing $4 billion pie, better known as Basketball Related Income (BRI).
The players, who received a 57-43 BRI split in the expired collective bargaining agreement, have drawn their line at a 52-48 percent split.
The owners are firmly entrenched in their bunkers offering a take it or leave it 50-50 BRI distribution.
At the end of the day fans eyes are start to glaze over when learning of the intricate details at the heart of the dispute, which culminates into both sides, owners and players, being labeled as greedy.
Phoenix Suns All-Star point guard Steve Nash understands why both parties would be characterized as greedy and, in fact, labeled the negotiation process as ‘selfish’ himself.
“You have two wealthy sides arguing over percentage points,” Nash told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic News. “It’s hard for fans to understand that this is a business. I don’t blame them. If I were in their shoes, I’d be critical, frustrated or even angry. You just want to see the game you love. Both sides are arguing for inevitably selfish reasons, but also for what’s right when they are gone. It’s a big mess.”
Nash also admits the league has done a better job handling the public relations side of things, despite the fact it’s a lockout which the owners enforced and not a labor strike in which the players walked out.
“The owners are trying to paint us in a light that we’re causing the issues,” Nash said. “It’s great for the owners because to a fan, ’50-50? That’s great.’ But in any entertainment industry, the talent gets paid the majority of the money. We were making 57 percent. They’re just picking where they’re coming from. We’re coming from an actual place.”
Derek Fisher Under Fire?
It definitely hasn’t been a good week for Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher.
Fisher, who serves as the president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), has had to go on the offensive defending himself against a recent report which alleged he was “in the pocket” of NBA commissioner David Stern and tasked with directing the players to accept the 50-50 BRI split offered by the owners.
Fisher has since strongly denied the accusations and asked for a full retraction of the report.
However, there are also mounting concerns that the players association may be divided, which has been fueled by the reported rift between Fisher and union executive director Billy Hunter.
In the latest development, two-time All-Star Jerry Stackhouse, who has accumulated over $80 million in earnings over his career, took a shot at Fisher during his segment on Jim Rome’s televised ESPN show on Wednesday.
“Not to say anything against Derek Fisher, it’s not that I don’t think he’s a great guy. But I don’t want him negotiating my contract. I want an agent who knows the lingo negotiating my contract. Derek Fisher, he doesn’t negotiate his own contract. He has an agent. So why would I want him negotiating something even bigger than his contract? This [Collective Bargaining Agreement] is something more important to everybody…
David Stern, he’s made this league what it is. He’s one of the greatest commissioners in sports. He’s got that title, he’s got the NBA at the place where it is because he’s a shrewd businessman and knows how to work his way, play the media, play things up to get what he wants. We don’t do that. Players are emotional. Players get emotional. So no, I don’t necessarily, particularly want Derek Fisher or any of the executive committee negotiating a contract for me.”
So is the players association coming unglued?
While it still may be too early to come to this conclusion, most fully expected that the league’s elite stars would be more willing to hold the union line during the lockout while the rank and file players would be the first to show chinks in the union’s armor.
The reason is simple.
The league’s top tier players have been compensated better financially on and off the court due to their performance and have more longevity in the league. It is a known fact role players have much shorter stints in the NBA, which creates a smaller window for these players to maximize their earnings.
Houston Rockets forward Terrence Williams tweeted to the NBPA on Wednesday “Let’s play ball enough with the stare off.”
Unrestricted free agent Glen Davis also hit the airwaves on Twitter proclaiming “Take the 51% man and let’s play” on Wednesday.
Davis then fully expanded his viewpoint on the lockout in an interview with Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com.
“At the end of the day, everybody has a point,” Davis said to CSNNE. “The owners have a point, the players have a point. At the end of the day, I want to play basketball. At the end of the day, a job is a job. I just want to play. I want to play, and that’s my most important thing. Yes, I want a fair deal, but also I do want to play. … I want each party to be fair with each other. … At the end of the day, if we’re all giving, it should work out for the best for everybody. That’s just my point.”
No future talks between the players association and owners are currently scheduled at this time..
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