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David Stern’s pitch to players through ESPN

Nov 8, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

NBA Labor Basketball AP

In case you missed it — because you have a life and might have better things to do than follow the minutia of the NBA lockout as it flies into the abyss — we wanted you to read what David Stern was selling Monday afternoon.

He went on ESPN for an interview, but really this was a straight-out pitch to the NBA’s rank-and-file players. The ones thinking about pushing for a vote on the last deal the owners put out there. It’s not the first time during the lockout he has tried to talk over the head of the union to the players directly.

Here is what he said. You may choose to interpret his words differently than I.

“I don’t think (the union starting to decertify) would effect (negotiations) particularly much. The reality is that decertification route, or something like it, was tried by the NFL players and the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit soundly rejected the attempt. So I don’t know what they are thinking….

“The important thing for them time-wise is to focus on our current proposal, which adopts five of the six recommendations as our own, but they were made by the President Obama appointed head of the federal mediation service. And it’s really a 50/50 split with an upside for the players if our projections are exceeded, which keeps guaranteed contracts, which has no rollbacks, and keeps mid-level exceptions at $5 million so that teams over the cap, they can still enter into contracts with players.

“We think that there’s a great offer on the table and what we told the players is it’s getting late, the only rational thing to do is for us to make that deal because given what’s going on in our business and our industry, it’ll get worse from there….

“(The owners) are unified in their willingness to make this deal through Wednesday. And then they will be unified in their willingness to negotiate only over the 47 percent proposal that goes on to the table Wednesday at the close of business.”

  1. silverbuffalo - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    So a group of fairly uneducated men walk in a courtroom and say “my boss put up billions of dollars and have risk in their business but he won’t pay me 50% of the profit. I can work elsewhere but choose not to because I’ll only be paid a fraction of what I do in the NBA – but I can work I just choose not to.”
    Boss says – I even buy this guys sneakers.

    Now what does the judge say to that?

    • chargerdillon - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Thanks for giving me something to stupid to swat at 😀

      If by the group of fairly uneducated men, you mean basketball players, you would do well to be reminded a college degree is hardly a measure of ones intelligence.

      Kobe went to high school, George W. Bush went to Yale. Any given day I would take Kobe to beat Bush in an intelligence test.

      The owners have done one thing for the NBA, they’ve given people of any race, creed, color a chance to play and make millions of dollars in a sport as long as they are up to the level of competition. The owners can sign checks for these players BECAUSE THE PLAYERS MAKE THEM MONEY.

      You know what happens if the players say we’re going to hold out this season to show our worth. You know what the NBA is then? its 30 owners who sit in the 1% against ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL THE PLAYERS, ALL THE WORKERS, in that 99% who have just found a reason to not support 30 overly greedy a-holes in that 1%

      Owners will still be rich, and the rest of us will find better places to spend our money.

      This isn’t a standard business, stop trying to look at this as an employer/empoyee issue, this is a business that is entirely generated on THE PLAYERS, they have the power, and they will control their own destiny.

  2. zblott - Nov 8, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Before the players sign anything, owners should be forced to show what’s happening on the books to make all these losses appear in a sport that’s absolutely booming financially:

    • yournuts - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      This is about as stupid a comment as I have seen. Why would any owner of any business show his books to an employee? Your either a player, part of the posse or an idiot if you think this will even remotely happen.

      • aqzi - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        Of course owners aren’t obligated to open their books. But if the owners claim they are losing hundreds of millions a year, opening up the books for evidence wouldn’t hurt.

  3. silverbuffalo - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Maybe mcdonalds should have to open their books too – if you don’t like it go work somewhere else.

    • bic05 - Nov 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM

      They do.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Take the deal players. Or else decertify. Do something. $hit or get off the pot. Clearly, the owners aren’t going above 50/50 split. So either get some more leverage or take the deal. Stop wasting time before a whole season is cancelled.

  5. southpawnc - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I would be so happy if I don’t ever see another major sports lockout again… But we will be in the same situation again when the next contracts are up. At this point I don’t care who gets what… Let’s get this thing done.

  6. yournuts - Nov 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Go ahead players and waste a year of not getting paid and see if the deal will be better next year. So, how many years of getting paid NBA salaries will you get in your life time?

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