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Battier asks union president to take $1 salary during lockout

Jun 30, 2011, 11:23 AM EDT

billy-hunter

When the NFL lockout started, that union’s executive director, DeMaurice Smith, agreed to take a $1 salary through the duration of the lockout. Share the pain, show some solidarity.

So during a players meeting last week, Shane Battier asked NBA union president Billy Hunter if he would do the same thing, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

The mere suggestion seemed to offend Hunter, players witnessing the exchange privately told Yahoo! Sports. After Hunter told Battier he hadn’t given it much thought, members of the union’s executive board came to Hunter’s defense. Hunter had taken the union from the red to the black in his term, done a good job, they said. Hunter never did give Battier a firm answer, nor would he answer the question for Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.

Hunter’s salary is around $2 million a year. Yes, that raises some eyebrows among players. But a number of players came to Hunter’s defense, according to a tweet from Michael Lee of the Washington Post.

What this really shows is this — as this lockout drags on, the players will start to question their leadership and the deal being driven. Right now the players are unified, that may not always be the case, especially if paychecks are missed.

The same is true of the owners, where issues of revenue sharing have already showed a divide.

That is why Hunter and Stern are the key figures in this — they are the leaders that have to keep their troops in line. Whichever side splinters first will end up being the losers in these negotiations.

  1. palakerfan - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    If the players aren’t getting paid, neither should Hunter. It’s mostly symbolic, but would show he has a vested interest in getting a deal done.

    (so tired of talking about millionaire’s and billionaire’s fighting over money…)

  2. tashkalucy - Jun 30, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    This is funny…..

    Are the players going to accept the contract proposal from the owners? Of course not. So they hire a guy to negotiate for them. Then they ask him not to accept a salary while doing it.

    I’ve heard stories from friends that are and have been agents, and they’ve all told me that while professional athletes are on a whole pretty dumb, the guys in the NBA are the dumbest.

    Talk about arrogance and stupidity…..

    • tashkalucy - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      It IS really funny…..

      These guys have been using their agents to help them push around their coaches, GM’s and owners for so long, that now they attempt to push around their union rep instead of working with him.

      Their arrogance is so off the charts and their understanding of the real world is so far from reality, that they actually believe this guy should be honored just for the opportunity of working for them.

      THIS is EXACTLY why the owners need a long lockout. The entire US economy continues to fall apart (we have been in a Depression for at least 5 years and it’s going to get much, much worse), 22 out of 30 owners are losing money, the price of a game – primarily due to obscene player salaries – is becoming more unaffordable for the average fan each season with marketing studies showing there will mean less and less revenue for teams in the future (where do Americans get this money from when they’re losing their jobs and inflation is taking away savings). These kids are so sheltered and clueless that that don’t understand why they have to be treated like hundreds of millions of other Americans have been in the last 10-15 years…Americas that pay their salary.

      American professional sports are about fall out. They’re as big a bubble as real estate was 6-7 years ago, and like then the uninitiated think it can go on forever.

      • mytthor - Jun 30, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        “22 out of 30 owners are losing money, the price of a game – primarily due to obscene player salaries – is becoming more unaffordable for the average fan each season with marketing studies showing there will mean less and less revenue for teams in the future”

        This is ALL due to the owners. Unless you honestly think that players offered obscene contracts should be turning them down because “well, I appreciate that offer, Mr. Owner, but I really don’t think that’s a wise investment for you.”

  3. bigdicktater - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    I don’t think Shane Battier is any dummy @tashkalucy. He graduated from Duke.
    He’s correct on the subject of Hunter’s pay. D. Smith did the right thing and did it voluntarily.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 30, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      See above.

    • chicago240 - Jun 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      I fired a graduate from Duke and he WAS a dummy. And he didn’t go there on a basketball scholarship. Never be misled by the institution. It’s only directional.

      • bigdicktater - Jun 30, 2011 at 7:33 PM

        Forget the guy you fired. You just lost in the vote of thumbs my friend, and you owe me a cold one!

  4. Glenn - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Wouldn’t Hunter be working harder than ever during the lockout? Seems like he should get paid for that effort.

  5. chicago240 - Jun 30, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Here’s an idea Shane. Sign your negotiator to a long-term contract and when he doesn’t perform and starts phoning in his negotiation efforts while he throws big parties at nightclubs with your money, you and all the other players keep paying him. If you tell him he should be negotiating harder, he gets to tell you that you don’t respect him.

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