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Etan Thomas lays out the players’ case in labor strife

Jun 28, 2011, 2:08 PM EDT

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Etan Thomas can flat out write.

Which makes the Atlanta forward’s explanation of where the players are coming from in the ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement must reading over at Hoopshype.

You don’t have to agree with it — if you want to side with the ultra rich owners over the wealthy players go ahead, personally I don’t think either side has a monopoly on the truth — but you should read it.

In a similar manner, the NBA presented the Players Association with a proposal that appeared to be more like a Christmas List to Santa Claus than the start of an actual negotiation. The NBA expressed desires of a new imposed hard cap, removal of all guaranteed contracts, drastic economic concessions and a guaranteed profit for each team. They wanted to ensure that no matter what poor business decisions individual teams make (economic, personnel, etcetera) they all can expect guaranteed profits.

Greed should not be the determining factor that takes an entire season, or possibly more, away from the fans. They deserve better than that…

The NBA’s “concession” of backing off their desire for non-guaranteed contracts, but implementing a hard cap system is fool’s gold. It absolutely does us no good. There would still be roll backs. Each contract would have to conform to a hard cap system, meaning they could be reduced by as much as a third depending on the actual hard number agreed upon. It would cut out the middle class completely. Two guys may be able to obtain an actual contract while it will be difficult for the rest of the team to get guaranteed deals, etcetera, etcetera.

This cannot be a starting point for us. They have in essence tried to insult our intelligence by making us think that something they have “given us” is a slam dunk when in reality its very far from progress. Again, it’s fool’s gold. Not to mention the fact that we already have guaranteed contracts as well as a soft cap system. They have put two non-starters for us on the table and tried to begin negotiating from that standpoint.

We might as well had told them that we’re going to back off our desire of having no salary cap (which has proven to work in baseball no matter what they say) and wait for their “response” and see what they were willing to give back to us in exchange for the gracious concession we just made for them.

Go read it. Agree with it or don’t, but you’ll have a better understanding of where the players are coming with as we settle in for what looks like a long lockout.

  1. ac0117 - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Completely forgot about Etan Thomas and his poetry

  2. zblott - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    CBA primer if you haven’t been following all the issues:
    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2011/6/28/the-cba-the-lockout-the-basics.html

  3. redbear18 - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Uhh, no offense, but, who?

  4. nfl25 - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I don’t see any way around missing games this year. NBA players are so overpaid and spoiled. Its so different than the NFL. The league knows they have to make drastic changes and I don’t see the players agreeing to it easily. I think the league will just have to wait out the players. After the players miss 2 or 3 months of pay checks, I think they will start to realize they have no choice.

    I am sure most NBA fans will side with the players. Because the players are cool and the owners are old white dudes in suits. But if you care about the game and want it better, you gotta want the game setup to change. If you want your favoritest player in the whole wide world to make 20 mill a year, no matter if he decides to mail it in during games, then you will never get this game back to being good. And the players know they got so many fans that idolize and are in love with them. As a fan you should back your team and organization, not certain players

    NBA needs to follow the NFL setup. Make players work for it every year. You start slackin, u get cut. No more players runnin the league.

    • damp1015 - Jun 28, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      I don’t know about being as drastic as being cut, but how much they are paid need to be evaluated. Some guys get paid too much and their talent doesn’t show. They should have a set amount for their skill level and where they take the team as well. I know that sucks for a “Superstar” who can’t even get his team to the playoffs. That will make people cut throat, rekindle that killer instinct in some of them.

      • nfl25 - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        i really think that the number one thing is NO guaranteed contracts. why shouldnt you be allowed to cut someone or ask if the player will redoe his contract if he is not playing well anymore. but obvioulsy the player will not redoe his contract unless he knows he can just be cut if he doesnt.

        honestly i dont care about how much they get paid, i just want no guaranteed contracts.

        and im all for revenue sharing. i doubt the owners will go for it though.

    • n2thaizzo - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      Tom Brady and Peyton Manning (will make) $20 mill a year. Why do they deserve it and not Lebron, Kobe, etc. And who are any of us to say what a person is worth financially? The owners agree to the contracts, why shouldn’t they have to honor them?

      • nfl25 - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:57 PM

        you do realize if brady or any NFL player can be cut and not paid the remianeder of their contract. so now i ask you, if brady and peyton can get cut and not get paid, why should lebron and kobe get paid no matter what?

      • nfl25 - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:58 PM

        also if you didnt read my comment teh frist time, it never said lebron cant get 20 mill. here is waht i said

        honestly i dont care about how much they get paid, i just want no guaranteed contracts

  5. n2thaizzo - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    The same people who want no guarenteed contracts are the same people that complain when NFL players hold out for more money. The owners can’t have it both ways. They can’t cut someone for not performing to their contract standards, and not expect to pay more when the player exceeds his contract.

    Then, what determines what the standards are? How do you tell if a person is worth $7 mill a year or $10 mill a year? Why shouldn’t the owners be punished for making their own mistakes? Why is it that the only solution seems to be, take more money from the players? Aren’t there guaranteed contracts in other sports? Are they ruining their sports?

    • nfl25 - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:02 PM

      i realize their are a lot of people that idolize players and want them to get paid even if they stop performing, but dont you care about the game? and how hard is this: if you continue to perform you will get ur $$, if you dont then u may get cut. so its ok if a player gets paid and then doesnt work as hard cuz he just got paid?

      • theghostofwillisreed - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:37 PM

        you didn’t address his point. so when a player outperforms his contract and wants to renegotiate his deal, the jealous fans harp on him for not fulfilling his end of his deal yet a team is allowed to cut the player at any time and no one says boo?

        how is that good for the game? where’s the loyalty on the owners’ side?

        the envy fans have towards players who succeed in playing professional sports is beyond ridiculous.

      • nfl25 - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        i love when people say “you are jealous of the players”. you gotta be one sad dude to sit around and be jealous of pplayers. oviously i would love their job. but i could care less if they make 500 mill a year. i just say no guaranteed contracts. i also say you should be forced to spend close to the salsry cap. see i care about the game, not the owners. certain people just wanted be d!*k riders of players. you will learn at some point they are just human with great jobs. trust me other poeple make millions, not just ball players

      • nfl25 - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        also ghost of whatver, who cares when fans cry about stuff? if a player out perfoms his contract he usually gets more money. also you do know they get a lot of money in upfront bonus money. just make sure u dont look at things through the eyes of an obsessed fan

  6. metalhead65 - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    everyone points to nfl contracts not being guaranteed as a reason for the nba to keep them but what they always leave out is the players signing bonuses are GUARANTEED! I refuse to feel sorry for somebody who complains that they “only” make 5 mil. a year or more while somebody else makes more. they carefully ignore the fact they got 15 or however many millions they got just to sign their name to a contract! it’s pretty simple really you want more yearly then take a smaller bonus and sign for shorter years. but stop crying because you already got the big paycheck. players like manning and brady still get huge deals because they are still top level players now.somebody please tell me how I am supposed to feel sorry for somebody like jrussell of the raiders who got 30 mil. guaranteed and is out of football 4 years later? do I feel sorry for the raiders?no they are the ones who agreed to the contract but how anyone can say the players are hurt by a cap system like the nfl is mind boggling.

    • n2thaizzo - Jun 29, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      There will always be the Jamarcus Russell’s, and the Eddy Curry’s of the world out there. The fact of the matter is when a player is a free agent, his contract is based on his PAST performance. Whether that past performance was in college, or what he did for his last team, there is no way to tell what he will do in the future. They are like securities in the stock market. The ONLY way to pay players based on current performance is to have performance escalators. Those escalators would have to be detailed for each player, and would have to be enough that the players agree to them. There is no easy solution to this problem. I just don’t think it’s fair that the players, who make the owners all of this money, who risk injury every game, and who deserve as much money as they can get, should have to agree to things such as giving up gauranteed contracts and things of that nature.

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