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Mychal Thompson says the players need to take 50/50 deal

Oct 20, 2011, 11:02 AM EDT

Mychal Thompson Getty Images

For a number of former NBA players, they don’t really get this lockout. Oh, they understand the mechanics of it; they just don’t get exactly what the players are fighting for and why. To them, the players are doing well and 50/50 sounds fair.

They sound like many fans.

Mychal Thompson, former No. 1 overall pick of Portland who went on to win some rings with the Showtime Lakers, is among that majority. He spoke about it during a promotional push for (more on it below).

“Sure the players have to protect their interests… but from a players perspective, if I was in the league now, I’d think a 50/50 split is fair,” Thompson told ProBasketballTalk. “You work out the particulars from there. I don’t see how it cannot be worked out because there’s common ground.

“Okay, so (the players) don’t get everything we want, we sort of got all the gravy the last 10 years, now it’s time to readjust, reassess things and we may have to give back some money. But my goodness, we’re still going to be making a lot of money even if we have to take a 10 to 12 percent pay cut.”

“Even the guys on the high end of the luxury tax. Let’s say you’re making $15 (million) and you’ve got to take a 10 percent pay cut — my goodness young man you’re still bringing in $13 million bucks…

“I know we all want to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet someday, but you have to put it in perspective. If now I have to sign a five-year deal for $50 (million) as opposed to $60 (million) I think my life will be just fine.”

You have to wonder of Thompson’s son — Warriors first round pick Klay Thompson — feels the same way. Klay will feel the impact of the new labor agreement directly. Although, right now he’d just like to start collecting paychecks, his father said.

Thompson said he’s spoken to Klay about maintaining discipline and stay focused through the lockout so he is ready to go when it ends.

“He’s played in pickup games, very informal, but nothing like there would be if there was a normal summer league…” Thompson said. “He’s working to get stronger and quicker.”

Mychal is a fixture on the radio in Los Angeles, doing an afternoon talk show on 710 ESPN Radio for years as well as being the radio color commenter for Lakers games. That’s how he got connected with RadioFlag — a new app that both lets you listen to countless radio stations from your smartphone and is like social network for radio fans. It lets them interact with hosts and other listeners.

“It allows you to listen to live radio content in whatever genre you want — sports talk or news talk or music — and you can interact with other listeners who like what you do,” Thompson said.

Promoting RadioFlag is fun and all, but Thompson would rather get back on the road calling and watching basketball. Which is why he wants to see a deal done. You listening, players?

  1. bravin4evr - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Mychal Thompson needs to shut his damn mouth….

  2. therealhtj - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Kurt, I know you’ve taken your position and can’t reverse it now, but your arguments simply don’t hold water. There is no CBA as of today. Nothing. Nada. “Giving back” a couple of percentage points you don’t actually have isn’t exactly a giveback, now is it? The players may want to use the last, lopsided deal as a precedent, but that does not exist. Giving back a few percentage points will probably only effect less than 10% of the 450 players the NBPA supposedly represents. Superstars will still get superstar pay and rookies and scrubs will get rookie and scrub pay. All the middle earners will get a bit squeezed, but let’s face it, no one’s ever paid a dime to see them play. I’d rather see younger, hungrier players in those roster spots, and I’m certain I’m not alone.

    No one is asking for contract rollbacks at this point. The players will be guaranteed a percentage of the revenues without risk. Whether that percentage is 53, 52, 51, or 50 percent is really all that’s left to be decided. The hard cap is off the table, so all that’s left is to be decided is how restrictive the luxury taxes will be and what’ll remain of the exemptions.

    So far the entire negotiation only feels like a boon to the non-competitive, small market teams. Large markets and a couple of the smaller markets with soon to be growing payrolls (OKC and Memphis), are going to feel the pinch almost immediately. Subsequent Eddy Curry-ish contracts will still happen much to the delight of the NBPA.

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