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Rick Barry thinks the players should fold, Hunter is disaster

Nov 10, 2011, 2:01 PM EDT

rick-barry Getty Images

This is why Rick Barry did not get the job as president of the National Basketball Players Association.

The Hall of Fame player and legendary Warrior thinks the players are basically powerless, need to fold and take the deal the owners offered. Really, he thinks the players should have taken the painful deal the owners offered months ago.

He is not alone, remember former No. 1 pick and Showtime Laker Mychal Thompson told us something similar. Here is exactly what Barry told KNBR in San Francisco, via Sports Radio Interviews.

“If I was still a player today I would be totally ticked off by the fact that we didn’t make a deal months ago. I really do believe that this could’ve been resolved and should’ve been resolved a long time ago. Why they always have to come down to this I don’t know. I’m not a big fan of Billy Hunter. I think Billy Hunter is one of the worst things that happened to the NBA. Yes he got them an unbelievable deal last time but he also was responsible for the lockout in the late 90’s which cost the players 1/3 of their salaries basically and got nothing for it. The same thing is happening here. What they’re doing is they’re making a situation which is a bad situation worse by standing firm. Standing firm for what? You’re standing firm to get nothing. All you’re trying to do is minimize the losses that you have to accept in order for there to be a deal put in place. The owners have made it perfectly clear they can’t survive with the way the deal was last time. I keep reading these statements ‘well we’re not going to give back what we fought so hard to get.’ Well what you got was more than you should’ve gotten. Accept it, lick your wounds, make a deal, take a little bit of a reduction.”

A lot of fans feel the same way, especially seeing a season teetering on the brink.

But the players don’t see it that way, and frankly if Barry were a player he would not either. Hunter and the system in place were good for the players and the league — the NBA has been its most popular when stars have dominated. See the Bulls and Jordan as example number one. And few players want to get rid of a guy who helped them make more money.

Although Barry is not thinking like a player. He’s thinking like Barry.

  1. kandh2004 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    There goes Kurt going after someone who doesn’t agree with the players big surprise. I wonder how long you can keep kissing the players asses. Is being on your knees all the time worth getting some interviews later?

  2. skids003 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Actually, I agree with him Kurt. AT this point, they are going to get nothing. Hardliners are killing the NBA.

  3. vansaints26 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    “I keep reading these statements ‘well we’re not going to give back what we fought so hard to get.’ Well what you got was more than you should’ve gotten.”

    Exactly, the game has no parity, which is horrible for the league. I’m a hornets fan, Chris should not have to deal with these super deep tax teams(Mavs, lakers) in the playoffs every year.

    Helin, you say the stars need to dominate, but CP3 was playing better than anyone in the playoffs but got overwhelmed by the Lakers size and depth(and wallets).

    Can’t have 12-14 fodder teams that stay fodder year after year, it is bad for the league.

    The NBA lockout, where parity happens.

    • iamdanabnormal - Nov 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM

      as long as boston, new york, los angeles, philadelphia, miami, dallas/houston have professional franchises in any sport, there will never be true parity. why? those markets are where the money is and players follow the money. you want parity? come up with creative enticements to keep the stars where they are. if you’re not willing to do that then why should the player stick around when his contract is up and he wasted years of his career on his team that never put the pieces in place to win a chip.

    • kinggw - Nov 10, 2011 at 6:08 PM

      Your team sucks because your owner sucks. Shinn ran the Hornets into the ground. You cant blame that on anyone else but him. Revenue sharing is not going to change that. Handcuffing players isnt going to change that. The money and big market argument is weak and wrong. Some of the most successful teams are in small markets. San Antonio,OKC and Utah have all enjoyed success. They have been in a position to do that because they managed their teams well. Conversely, the Knicks spent a ridiculous amount of money and it did them no good.

      Success in the NBA is cyclical. Teams stink for a long time, and get high draft picks. Well managed teams make the most of their lottery picks, get a core in place and then have 3 to 4 years to make a run at a title with some smart free agent spending along the way. Any team could have done what the Heat did, they just needed to have the forethought and patience that Riley did.

  4. mondogarage - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Rick Barry and Mychael Thompson are each talking out of all three sides of their mouths, and can frankly shut up until they become relevant again. Both have about as much to add of value to present day NBA labor negotiatiations as I do.

  5. stropcity - Nov 10, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    Barry, like most former players, is probably envious of the salary escalation since his departure from the league. Since salaries now dwarf salaries from his era, of course he thinks they should take the deal. But it’s all relative.

    If he were a current player, his attitude may be different.

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