Skip to content

Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller not so much with standing united

Oct 15, 2011, 6:42 PM EDT

2010 NBA All-Star T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam Getty Images

The NBA veterans at the end of their careers say that the reason they’re so committed to holding the line, particularly that 53 percent line, is to protect the players that came after them. The players who have already gotten their tipoffs in and are out of the game? They’re a little bit more realistic in terms of what’s happening and how this thing ends.

First we have Charles Barkley, who has done a rash of interviews (SHOCKING INFORMATION) lately and did an interview Friday with Phoenix radio. He’s not exactly critical of the commish and his tactics against the union.

Barkley on the owners: “They’re not going to let us become like baseball where we have the haves against the have-nots. That’s why we have the best commissioner in sports. . . David Stern is trying to do what’s best for the small market teams.”

Barkley on Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony talking about starting a new league:“That’s right up there as one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. That’s right up there with new Coke.”

Barkley on Commissioner David Stern’s proprieties: ” No. 1, have a hard cap. Secondly, have better revenue sharing. Or get the owners 50-50 (BRI split). It’s going to be one of those three ways to be honest with your. They can forget the way things are going now, that they’re going to let all these stars play and kill these small-market teams. I can promise you that or they’re not going to play at all.”

via blogs – Coro’s Orange Slices – PaulCoro – Charles Barkley talks lockout.

There are a couple of things here. One is that Barkley’s not necessarily criticizing the union, he’s just stating what he feels is a fact. For Barkley it’s not whether the players should have to give up so much, it’s that there’s no way to avoid it. Second, you might want to remember that Barkley is great friends with Michael Jordan, who he credits with a vast majority of the popularity of the NBA. With Jordan on the owners’ side, it’s curious that Barkley would be taking this approach, unless his relationship with Jordan has led him to believe the commitment from ownership to scuttle the ship rather than surrender it.

Meanwhile, there’s Reggie Miller, who spoke alongside Barkley in a television interview earlier in the week. Barkley noted the players have to accept 50-50 or there won’t be a season. Miller? He’s in the same mindset.

“If you listen to (Player’s Union head) Billy Hunter’s words when he said, ‘because of the economy, I don’t think the league or the owners want to lose the season,’ well they (the owners) absolutely do want to lose the season,'”Miller, speaking on NBA TV’s “Game Time” Tuesday. “In 1998-99, we weren’t in the middle of an economic downturn. We were coming off some of the biggest ratings ever with Michael Jordan retiring with the second of his three-peats.The fan base was there and the TV ratings were there in ’98-’99.”

Asked how many games he thought would be played in 2011-12, Miller said 50 — the same number that were played in the ’98-99 season.

via Veterans of last NBA lockout, pundits Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley feel owners don’t want to play season |

The players sure could use the biggest stars of yesteryear standing with them, but those guys are paid by and its partnership with Turner. Plus, they’re not speaking ill of the union, they’re just saying there’s no way to avoid it. The owners have the leverage.

And they intend to use it.

  1. florida727 - Oct 15, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Next to last sentence says it all. “The owners have the leverage.” Funny how when the players are negotiating their own contracts, all you hear them say is, “it’s not about the money, it’s just business”. Guess what guys? You’re right. It IS just business. And had you gone to school and actually paid attention, you’d have learned that the business owner calls the shots, not the employees. And that’s what you are… just employees. You have zero leverage. Take what’s offered, go play a game for a living, and take your rather considerable paycheck. Otherwise, become familiar with the phrase “paper or plastic”.

    • passerby23 - Oct 15, 2011 at 11:34 PM

      Agreed. Very well put. Players are also very expendable. Most of the owners are billionaires. They can absorb the losses and still recuperate a fan base even if they lose a season. Players have no such luxury. The longer this goes, casual fans will mostly view the players with contempt as greedy, self-aggrandizing spoiled brats who play basketball for a living and don’t want to give up all their goodies. It will hurt them more than the owners.

    • jimeejohnson - Oct 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Be a good useful idiot and take what is offered. Don’t stand up for yourselves and let the owners dictate. Yeah, right!

  2. westwoodwarrior8 - Oct 15, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    @florida727 wow that was seriously the best comment ive ever read on here…no lie

  3. ogre2010 - Oct 16, 2011 at 7:25 AM

    @flordia727: great comment!!!

  4. cosmoman11 - Oct 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Sorry, but I have to disagree with @florida727. This is not a dispute between business owners and employees. This is a dispute between business partners. The players do have leverage. Without the players what do the owners have. Nada. Do I think that the players and owners need to compromise. Yes.

  5. jimeejohnson - Oct 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Unanimity among useful idiots is what is slowly but surely destroying this country. Keep acting like docile sheep, serving the rich and powerful while hurting yourselves. It’s good for you!

  6. LPad - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I don’t understand this “zero leverage” stuff. If the players had zero leverage, Stern wouldn’t have cancelled the first two weeks of the season. In fact, there would be no lockout or players union. If the players had no leverage, the owners would have just sent out a memo saying that they are cutting the players share off the BRI from 50 something to 40 and rolling the cap back by 10 mil.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2156)
  2. L. James (1897)
  3. K. Irving (1725)
  4. K. Bryant (1696)
  5. A. Davis (1460)