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Rudy Gay offers more honest take on contraction

Dec 28, 2010, 3:32 PM EDT

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LeBron James came off as full of fertilizer — first he talks about how cool it would be if you could “shrink the league.” Then when that sparked a debate about contraction he said he didn’t even know what the word contraction meant.

As Kelly Dwyer said so well at Ball Don’t Lie, contraction means “shrink the league.” James needs to be honest to his convictions, not just backtracking after listening to his PR people and handlers. Plus, he was just plain wrong about the 1980s.

Rudy Gay in Memphis talked to our man Matt Moore, working for the CBS Facts & Rumors blog, and gave us a far more honest and nuanced answer when asked about contraction (something relevent to Memphis, one of the teams that gets mentioned in those discussions).

“Yes and no. If I was speaking like I was with the NBA, I’d say yes,” Gay told CBSSports.com Monday night. Of course, with more guys, more power teams, there’s more focus on those teams, rather than the Indiana Pacers or New Jersey Nets.”

At the same time, Gay feels like the great players in this league who already go unnoticed next to the biggest names the league markets would suffer if they were all crammed on teams fighting for top billing.

“I say no, for us as players. It’s kind of tough when the NBA is focused on one team (the Miami Heat) like it has been this year. This league has a lot of great players, like Joe Johnson, Derrick Rose, and even Kevin Durant‘s not even getting that much attention. Even Caron Butler, who plays next to Dirk Nowitzki. Even myself, O.J. Mayo, Zach Randolph, it’s hard when they have power teams that have so much focus, it’s hard for us players. But we’ll keep on proving it and eventually these guys will get noticed.”

That may be the honest answer — that while it makes sense on some levels it doesn’t really make sense for the players so they don’t want it. Which is why David Stern threw it out on the bargaining table in the first place, to give him something to use as leverage (“Okay, we’ll take contraction off the table if the union removes….”).

  1. hnirobert3 - Dec 28, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    LOL at Joe Johnson being a “great” player. =)

    • secdominance - Dec 28, 2010 at 9:48 PM

      I know, that was high comedy. Joe Johnson isn’t a great player, just an overpaid player. As far as players not getting attention?

      Derrick Rose is being talked about as a possible MVP candidate
      Kevin Durant is the new “good guy” face of the League
      Caron Butler IS NOT a great player. He’s a mid-tier player
      As for his teammates, lets be serious. NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE! is calling OJ Mayo & Zach Randolph great players.

      The Memphis Grizzlies get the right amount of attention

  2. goforthanddie - Dec 28, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    I like how he snuck himself into the list of “greats”.

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