NBA lockout: Uninformed players should blame themselves
Perhaps the only thing more aggravating than the NBA lockout itself involves the select players complaining they're unfamiliar with the proceedings.
Boston forward Glen Davis lamented to the Boston Herald about having to attend meetings in order to know the latest developments. Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick reported that many felt team representatives weren't fully keeping other players and agents informed. Some, such as Derrick Favors, Earl Watson, Jeff Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Jeremy Evans — indicated they’re either not paying attention, not talking to their agents and/or just want to play as soon as possible.
The players union should've held a formal vote simply so it reflected true player sentiment, but no one should be complaining about not feeling educated enough about the proceedings. It's surely inexcusable for any team representative to fail to return calls and keep colleagues informed. But as far as being educated on the issues? That's on every single player.
There were countless regional meetings where attendance appeared to be low. Executive Director Billy Hunter and President Derek Fisher wrote countless letters with their take on the negotiations. And the media are dissecting each labor meeting ad nauseam.
It's not asking much for players to know what each percentage point of basketball-related income represents ($40 million). It's pretty easy to remember the main issues involve the length and size of a mid-level exception, the severity of luxury-tax penalties and the ability to sign-and-trade. It's often repeated by memory how the league contends that 22 of its 30 teams combined to lose $300 million last season.
Granted, most of these complaints represent the minority of the players union. But by appearing to lack even basic information about the issues, those players have only themselves to blame in making the union weaker.
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Photo: Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA Players Assn., and Derek Fisher, union president, address reporters Monday after NBA players rejected the latest labor offer from the league. Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images.