NBA lockout: Steve Blake declines to address players union vote
When reached by phone on Tuesday, Lakers guard Steve Blake declined to address a Yahoo! Sports report indicating he's making a behind-the-scenes effort in pushing for the National Basketball Players Assn. to hold a formal vote for the owners' ultimatum offer on Wednesday.
"I'm not talking about any of that stuff," Blake said.
Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski cited unnamed sources indicating that Blake has asked peers throughout the league for the last two days to contact team players representatives to push the players union to let its 450-plus members vote on the offer. The report indicates Blake hasn't pushed for players to vote "yes" or no," but that the effort has garnered plenty of player support. Still, the story reports Blake is a proponent in accepting the league's current offer, under which players would make 49% to 51% of annual NBA revenue. Union President Derek Fisher said last week there was “no way in the world” it would ever end up being 51% under the guidelines of the proposal.
If players do not agree to the deal, they could choose to dissolve the union and eventually file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA, though they have been meeting since 1 p.m. EST in New York to determine their next move.
Blake, who's slated to make $12 million the next three seasons with the Lakers, has understandably kept a low profile throughout the work stoppage. In interviews, he's deferred lockout-related questions to Fisher. Blake hasn't shown any interest in playing overseas and instead has mostly worked on his game around his Portland, Ore., residence. With exception for his basketball camp and a Midnight Madness appearance at his alma mater at Unviersity of Maryland, Blake's offseason has mostly entailed on-court workouts and spending time with his his wife, Kristen, and three sons.
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Photo: Tom Hevezi, Associated Press / October 4, 2010