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Tracy McGrady’s advice to owners: “Don’t lowball us”

Mar 14, 2011, 12:05 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

As the NFL’s labor situation devolves, the NBA players and owners are sitting back, watching and taking notes.

For example, the NBA’s player union has passed out and gotten players to sign off on potentially decertifying the union. Whether or not they will play that card will depend on how well it goes for the NFL players, according to Ken Berger at CBSSports.com.

Tracy McGrady said that the NBA owners also are not totally unified and in an interview with the Detroit News echoes the union line on a key issue — if some teams are profitable and some are not then that is an owner issue about revenue sharing, not a player issue.

“The proposal that (the owners) have out here for us, it’s really bull,” McGrady said. “Some of the owners, (Lakers owner) Jerry Buss, the big-market owners, they don’t want a scale-down….

“They’re (big-market teams) not really losing money. I understand Milwaukee, Minnesota, they’re losing money,” McGrady said. “But that doesn’t have anything to do with us — don’t lowball us.”

McGrady is spot on in one assessment — a lot of what the owners seek in this new Collective Bargaining Agreement is protection from themselves. They want shorter contract lengths and the ability to cheaply buy out the final years of longer deals — which is really only a problem when you hand out bad contracts in the first place. Sure the Knicks would like to have bought out the last couple years of Eddy Curry’s contract, but shouldn’t they pay a penalty for having offered that size contract in the first place? Why should bad management receive a “get out of jail free” card and not have to live up to the contract they offered?

The one thing NBA fans need to realize as they read about the NFL labor issues: The NFL was considered closer to a deal than the NBA. As bad as that situation is, the NBA’s could be much worse.

  1. bigtrav425 - Mar 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Actually the owners do have everything to do with you Tracy.Ever hear of a team signing,drafting trading for a player who doesnt live up to his end of the Bargain? Happens all the time which kinda goes against your belief with the bad contract thing.There does need to be something done about that.How often has a team signed a player,(whether they overpaid or not) and they have not came even close to what they weer signed to do,gets injured (serious injury) or just tanks.Thats not,in most cases the teams fault at all.The only case its the teams fault is when a guy has 1 good yr and they think its a break out yr so they over pay him and then tanks.this happens entirely to often. A player(in most cases) needs more then 1 good yr to earn a pretty good contract. I would advise Tracy and company to look back at all teh bad Eddie Curry contracts etc and see how it hampers a team

    • bennydd7 - Mar 14, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      Everyone and their parents knew Eddie Curry was not, repeat was not, worth that kind of money. If I knew it why didn’t the great basketball minds know it? I totally agress with McGrady. I also question why you are hating on him, he always did his job but he never had HELP. Michael Jordan, whom I don’t believe was the greatest player ever, didn’t florish for SEVEN YEARS until HE got HELP just like Tracy, scored a 1000 points but never won.Players are not supposed to subsidise Owners. It goes the other way around. I don’t have any pity party for the players but they deserve to be treated fairly. The OWNERS make the money deal not the players. If a SCRUB says he wants 50 million and the owner KNOWS he is not worth it all he has to say is NO.

  2. mdpickles - Mar 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    You gotta be kidding me T-Mac??!! You’ve been lowballing teams with your underutilized talent and performance for years!! This guy misses a week with a sprained pinkie.

    • jizzojames - Mar 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      And yet you have guys like Joe Johnson who’s healthy, with “mediocre” play that signed a $124M contract this past summer. When it comes down to the $$ factor, the league is Insanely messed up!!

    • ibejeph - Mar 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      Hey man, a sprained pinky really hurts, ok?

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