Mar 13, 2014, 6:06 PM EDT
Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• One of the things that got people buzzing today was agent Jeff Schwartz (Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Paul Pierce and many others) taking the NBA players union to task for its secretive (and slow) process to select a new executive director. Here are some highlights from the TrueHoop piece.
This is a critical hire for the players, who have been impacted so negatively by the most recent collective bargaining agreement. Salaries are down leaguewide, contracts are shorter and include less guaranteed money than they once did, and free-agent movement has been curtailed significantly at a time that NBA franchises are reaching record valuations. Leadership from the union’s next executive director is essential to the ability of current and future generations of NBA players to restore many of the critical benefits that were lost in the last round of negotiations. But here we are again witnessing a search marked by the sort of troubling secrecy that has been synonymous with the NBPA for years….
The only way to repair the damage that has already been done, in my view, is to bring an immediate stop to the current process and then start the executive-director search over from scratch with a much broader approach.
The league later sent out a message to media saying that this was wrong — salaries are not down but up overall, the amount of guaranteed contract money really hasn’t changed and so on. You can spin the numbers a lot of ways. Bottom line is in the old CBA the players got 57 percent of league revenue (basketball related income, or BRI). That fell to basically 50 percent in the new CBA. Some agents are still pissed off over that fight and are itching for the next one.
What Schwartz and many agents really want is a seat at the table, or a players union head who is sympathetic to them and would be virtually a proxy at the table. Some of those agents also wanted to fight longer and harder over percentage points of BRI in the last deal even if it cost a season, which makes sense from their perspective as they see this as money they could try to get their clients later. An agent can lose a year of revenue — they have much longer careers than players (also they tend to manage their money better). Personally, I’m not sold more agent involvement is good for the union or the needs of the players — the players and agents needs do not always line up.
In fact, union executive committee members have talked about trying to limit outside influences in the process of picking a director. There is logic to that.
From my perspective here’s the real issue for the union’s leadership: Those seven percentage points of BRI given up in the last CBA are gone. The players are not getting them back, the owners will not surrender them. So what do you want in the next CBA? What will you fight for? Also, you still get half of the BRI pool, so what can the players do to help grow the size of that pool?
Bottom line fans, prep yourself for the 2017 lockout now, before the rush.
• Great look at why the Nets are winning with Paul Pierce at the four (it’s the defense).
• Former NBA player Fred Jones says NBA players do not want to be coached. I don’t think that’s true, but you can’t expect to lord over them with all the power like a college coach. You need to explain to a pro why, if you can do that they will follow.
• Roy Hibbert has a very large bed, but what he really wants is a Game of Thrones Iron Throne.
• Marco Belinelli won the Three Point Contest All-Star weekend and now is auctioning off the sneakers he wore to raise money for Dynamo Camp, a recreational therapy camp in Italy for children suffering from serious and chronic diseases. To answer your question, they are Nike Hyperdunk iDs withy Belinelli’s initials on the back of the left shoe and his jersey number on the right shoe, with SGP printed on the tongue, representing his hometown of San Giovanni in Persiceto.
- PBT Extra preview: Lakers, Celtics big name teams headed to lottery 1
- Could lottery reform be bad for small market teams? Sam Presti argues yes. 3
- LeBron James and his difficult-to-assess super teams 7
- Kevin Durant on return: “I’m not going to rush it all” 7
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 preview: Dallas Mavericks 5
- LeBron James: “(The Bulls) are a team that’s much better than us right now just off chemistry” 34
- Has Kobe Bryant cost the Lakers Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and others? 82
- Five favorites to win NBA 2014-15 MVP 20