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Agents make empty threat to steer players away from hardliners

Nov 9, 2011, 3:13 PM EDT

Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

In a lockout filled with — at times seemingly defined by — empty threats, this is my new favorite.

There are agents and players out there very frustrated with the hardline NBA owners. Understandably. Those are the owners who think even the 50/50 deal the sides are close to making is too soft a play. Guys who seem not to care about the games.

Which has led to a lot of rumblings like Alex Kennedy reported at Hoopsworld:

“I don’t want any of my clients playing for Michael Jordan, Paul Allen, Robert Sarver, Dan Gilbert or Peter Holt,” said one agent. “We won’t sign with them, unless they’re willing to really overpay. That’s going to be the only way these hardline owners are going to land any free agents after the way they’ve handled these negotiations.”

I call bull….

Money talks. The same way it talks in getting the lockout solved it will talk when the lockout ends and free agency opens up.

The first chance this agent has to get one of his clients a good payday in Charlotte or Portland he will push the player to sign. It’s always about money and opportunity for players, not which rich guys sits in the luxury box (or courtside).

But go ahead and rant if it makes you feel better. That’s what my five-year-old does.

  1. hail2tharedskins - Nov 9, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Not only is it likely an empty threat, it is also a stupid threat. At a time when the one of the sticking points for players is to have a system that allows players to move to lax paying teams without having to take huge pay cuts, this statement will just fuel the owners’ desire to restrict tax paying teams ability to sign players thus forcing the players to sign with the same hardline owners or take a minimum deal. If players and agents are openly saying they will avoid a select group of teams it doesn’t play well when you are arguing for a free market-based system.

    • skids003 - Nov 9, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      I agree with you and Kurt. These agents also get a percentage of their clients pay, and as greedy as many are, they’ll take the highest contract they are offered. This threat is a joke.

  2. danielcp0303 - Nov 9, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Just get a damn deal done. I love basketball and I love the league…and please give me something to watch Monday – Friday.

  3. goforthanddie - Nov 9, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Yeah, the players are bargaining for more money, and this guy says he won’t take big bucks from a billionaire. If he was my agent, he’d be fired real quick.

    • kinggw - Nov 9, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      He should be fired if he didnt want to take big bucks from one of the aforementioned owners, except thats not what he said. He is saying he would take money from the hawkish owners, they will just have to overpay.

      • goforthanddie - Nov 9, 2011 at 4:39 PM

        If his client wants the biggest payday, he will take the best offer, regardless. That’s his job.
        Having an agent say he’s trimming down a client’s “shopping list” = reducing a player’s options. Which is exactly what the players are saying the owners are trying to do to them.

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