Exit interview: Derek Fisher expresses disappointment over owners' new collective-bargaining proposal
Lakers guard Derek Fisher said he was "hopeful" and optimistic" that there wouldn't be any form of an NBA lockout once the current agreement expires on June 30, but he said that shortly after expressing "disappointment" over the owner's recent 10-year proposal.
"We’re disappointed in the context of it, but we’re still full steam ahead in trying to get this thing figured out and get a deal done," Fisher said. "In terms of a timeline and how things will unfold, it's hard to say right now what is taking place."
ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan and Chris Broussard recently reported that the owners are hoping for significant rollbacks in existing contracts, a hard salary cap and a larger share of basketball-related income. Union director Billy Hunter previously has said that the players are willing to give up their 57% guarantee, but he wants to keep most other elements of the existing deal. But the owners have taken a hard-line stance on that issue. The ESPN.com report indicates that the owners are seeking a reduction of nearly $800 million in salaries for the 2011-12 season from the $2.1 billion players made in total salaries as a way to offset the league's contention that they're projecting a $300-million loss, a number the union has disputed.
"I think both sides want to get a deal done," Fisher said. But we're going to be careful how we proceed at these matters. As much as NBA speaks about the future of the game and trying to protect the game itself, that’s a priority of ours. I wish I could give you a clear picture of how it plays out. Our goal is to get a deal done and not rush through it."
Other highlights of Fisher's interview:
-- His sentiments regarding Phil Jackson
-- His endorsement of Brian Shaw as the next Lakers' coach
-- His insistence that he's not retiring after this season.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Lakers guard Derek Fisher reflects on the season as he answers reporter's questions about the Lakers season ending and his future with the team at the Laker's practice facility in El Segundo Tuesday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times