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airronijordan
10-17-2011, 04:05 PM
Beyond the scoring, beyond the stats, Carmelo Anthony(notes) has never understood the responsibilities of a franchise star. The easy parts of the job always appealed to him, but never the grind of accountability, leadership. Suddenly, he’s searching for someone to make the Players Association’s case, and that campaign could’ve started long ago with the man in the mirror.

“I don’t think we’re getting our message out there,” Anthony told reporters over the weekend. “The owners are definitely doing a great job getting their message out. They have David Stern and the owners, we only have Derek Fisher(notes).”

Carmelo Anthony thinks the NBA's players aren't doing a good job relating their position in the ongoing lockout to the public.
So, who’s stopping Anthony? Who’s muzzled him? Maybe Anthony ought to start paying attention, immerse himself in the issues and do his part. Few owners in the NBA have the platform that ‘Melo and most of peers do. So, stop making excuses and deliver a message. Come on down and be a franchise star.

The owners are made to sit out, leaving the NBA’s stars the opportunity to do so much more than puff out chests behind Fisher in photo-ops. Out of necessity, out of the fear of $5 million fines, the owners are kept silent in these labor disputes. Some of these owners are liable to make tame a Kenyon Martin(notes) Twitter rant, and Stern never gives them the stage. There are a lot of crazy uncles in that attic, and Stern knows to keep them stored away until the lockout’s over.

In these labor conflicts, the commissioner is like the old Student Body Right at USC: You know what’s coming and you still can’t stop it. Stern’s playbook is small, predictable and impossible to stop. Flooding the airwaves late last week, Stern framed the argument with the kind of red meat the public easily devours: The players make too much, my owners make too little.



Fisher has to walk the finest of lines in this debate, and he’s done it well. If he doesn’t hit the owners hard enough, the agents and players think he’s soft. If he hits them too hard, the public thinks he’s an angry black guy who should shut up and be glad he and the players get paid to play basketball. Hunter has always been willing to play the heavy, and that’s an easier fit for him than Fisher. The public fight matters in this debate, so, yes, Hunter will be left to answer questions on why he’s hired DEK Media out of suburban New Jersey to help with the union’s message.

Billions of dollars are stake, and somehow Hunter has enlisted a powerhouse public-relations firm with a website that includes a perforated, cut-out coupon for a one-hour free consultation. A coupon for a free consultation. Nothing says powerbroker like that does. Hunter must have been out shopping for discounts on dry cleaning and lube jobs, and stumbled across David Cummings’ coupon. Players are fighting to keep a financial war chest to hold off the owners, and Hunter is throwing money at a former sportswriter and magazine editor who decided not long ago that he is now a PR executive.


Kevin Garnett made clear at a key labor meeting on Oct. 4 that the players had already made too many concessions to the owners.

That one’s on Hunter, not Fisher. The NBA has unlimited resources, and the Players Association has to make the best of its financial limitations. This is a big-time fight, and Hunter should be surrounding himself with the best of the best. The NBPA shouldn’t be an ATM for his cronies.

This fight has grown nastier, more personal, in the past weeks. Privately, management insists that everything changed when the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett(notes) walked into the negotiating room on Oct. 4. The owners knew it wouldn’t go well when Garnett started glowering across the table, sources said, like the league lawyers, owners and officials were opponents at the center jump. He was defiant, determined and downright ornery. He was K.G. Everyone knew Hunter had to cede to the wishes of the stars, and the stars demanded that the players stop making concessions to the owners.

As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”

[Related: Kevin Durant says NBA owners at fault for lockout]

Easy for management to say, and yes, Stern spent the next meeting griping to Hunter and Fisher about the superstars parachuting into the meetings and usurping the process. Stern hounded the top union officials about who held the authority to make a deal with the NBA, about who was running things here. Within 24 hours Stern had canceled the season’s first two weeks and talks have ground to a stop.

Nevertheless, Garnett had every right to interject himself into the process. This is a stars league, and the NBA will need those stars to sell it again. To end this lockout with the best players in the league feeling left out of the discussion, left silent, everyone’s asking for trouble, because it will not be Donald Sterling and Robert Sarver and James Dolan bringing the NBA back in the public eye. It will be the best players. Whenever this ends, they had to be a part of the fight, the debate and, ultimately, the resolution.

“We can’t have completely poisoned waters here when this is over,” one front-office executive said. “Stern gets that, but I’m not sure all of our owners do. We have to have these guys on board, or where are we as a league?”

Yes, Stern is hard to tackle in the open field of framing and controlling the debate. Some owners don’t believe he’s the ideal face to have out front now, but it doesn’t matter. This is an easy campaign for him, selling the public on lower taxes, better schools and an anti-terrorism policy. For a public that so easily turns on the players, Stern’s platform of less pay, shorter contracts and anti-Miami Heat constellations cross party lines. The commissioner has the easy, populist bumper stickers, and that’s why the players need superstars well-versed in the nuances of the debate.

And that’s why, for one, Carmelo Anthony’s of little use to them now. To hear ‘Melo, all the union has on its side is Derek Fisher. Maybe so, but who’s to blame for that?

I actually agree....the NBAPA is doing nothing to win the public battle....more superstars have to come out and criticize Stern and the owners

CavsYanksDuke
10-17-2011, 04:15 PM
Not everyone is a great public speaker. I've met several people throughout the country in top business schools and medical programs that couldn't give a speech to an empty gym. I think it's tough to blame ALL of the players for not putting themselves out there, because nobody wants to look/feel stupid. Owners and commissioners are in place because they understand the business world and economics. Ball players play basketball because they're good at basketball. You can't expect every franchise player to be willing to put himself out there like that, especially one that has a lot of money saved up and a working wife.

How about going after some of these guys that are strapped for cash and not saying anything? They're the ones who should be up on soap boxes beggin the world to hate David Stern so that they can go back to work. Delonte West should be holding picket signs at every possible meeting if he wants to stop moving furniture for a living or whatever he's doing.

Sactown
10-17-2011, 04:22 PM
Both sides should put in a better effort to end this lockout... they've been at this for how many hours? 40? 50? how can they be so far apart in this amount of time in a room together... it seems they are partaking in a pissing contest rather than trying to negotiate a deal.. and I blame Hunter, Fisher, Stern, and the owners.. they should of had a mediator on spot in the beginning

ink
10-17-2011, 04:44 PM
It would be a lot easier for Fisher and any other NBA player if the most visible stars in the league were actually sympathetic to anyone except the diehards. How do they overcome the nagging fact that they're overpaid while the rest of the country (world) is going through an unbelievably dangerous economic recession? They're fighting for their millions and the average struggling consumer is supposed to ... care? Not too likely. Melo, you should count yourself lucky that you have someone as respected as Derek Fisher speaking for you.

da ThRONe
10-17-2011, 04:52 PM
It would be a lot easier for Fisher and any other NBA player if the most visible stars in the league were actually sympathetic to anyone except the diehards. How do they overcome the nagging fact that they're overpaid while the rest of the country (world) is going through an unbelievably dangerous economic recession? They're fighting for their millions and the average struggling consumer is supposed to ... care? Not too likely. Melo, you should count yourself lucky that you have someone as respected as Derek Fisher speaking for you.

Easy when your facing the majority of the people who are putting the American people in the finanical issues they're dealing with. Especially when these owners aren't fighting for the right to lower the cost of attending a game. Rather they're fighting for money.

ink
10-17-2011, 04:57 PM
Easy when your facing the majority of the people who are putting the American people in the finanical issues their dealing with. Especially when these owners aren't fighting for the right to lower the cost of attending a game. Rather they're fighting for money.

I totally agree that the owners should be looking for a way to lower ticket prices. That's why I'm not on their side at all. I've said all along that this lockout is owners/players vs fans. As a fan I want either a hard cap or a soft cap with a luxury tax with punitive teeth. I'm realistic that ticket prices are not coming down, which is why I have an uneasy time supporting the owners. Ultimately the best thing to do is get busy with something else for a half year to a year.

But back to the article, it's pretty damn tough to sell the players whiny message in an economic time as uncertain and difficult as this for so many families.

CavsYanksDuke
10-17-2011, 06:16 PM
That is what is so frustrating about this. Neither side is speaking for me, a fan, at all. There's zero mention of ticket prices on any report I've read this entire summer. I don't know who regularly goes to NBA games, but you have much more money than I do at this point.

gwrighter
10-17-2011, 06:52 PM
But back to the article, it's pretty damn tough to sell the players whiny message in an economic time as uncertain and difficult as this for so many families.

This.

It's a lose lose for the players, they come out & speak to the public & they lose fan support by way of media criticism. What are you going to say? "we make 5 million avg. a year, & we want more." doesn't go over with rational people. Professing that you are making losses is a way more credible reason to want change.(pun intended)

This goes to show that once again these players at the individual level, for the most part, have no idea what they are talking about. This is beyond the star player average level of education.

gwrighter
10-17-2011, 06:52 PM
That is what is so frustrating about this. Neither side is speaking for me, a fan, at all. There's zero mention of ticket prices on any report I've read this entire summer. I don't know who regularly goes to NBA games, but you have much more money than I do at this point.

unfortunately its not about us:sigh:

zizo
10-18-2011, 06:15 AM
ownrs and Stern are part of the 1% that own America
media (tv, magz, radio, internet, itc.) not allowing (or deleting) any articles or any thing that support the palyera.
on top of that they use the outlets - in a mean way - to put pressure on the players

abe_froman
10-18-2011, 06:36 AM
I totally agree that the owners should be looking for a way to lower ticket prices. That's why I'm not on their side at all. I've said all along that this lockout is owners/players vs fans. As a fan I want either a hard cap or a soft cap with a luxury tax with punitive teeth. I'm realistic that ticket prices are not coming down, which is why I have an uneasy time supporting the owners. Ultimately the best thing to do is get busy with something else for a half year to a year.

But back to the article, it's pretty damn tough to sell the players whiny message in an economic time as uncertain and difficult as this for so many families.

tough,but not impossible.the natural instinct of the fans(of any sport)is to side against players in these situations because they are the ones in the public eye,we know full well what they make(take about it in every trade idea thread in this forum).but if they,through proxies in the media(it'd be career suicide to do it themselves) did 2 things.1.highlight better the non stars,the rank and file guys/bench players who dont have 8 figure contracts,and not the lebrons,kg and star players while fighting this fight(a slogan like.this isnt for us,the kobes and wades,but for the taj gibsons").and 2.get info out on just who these owners are,what they make and how they made it.i think they'd get more sympathy

naps
10-18-2011, 06:41 AM
Can we also have the LINK of this article. It doesn't hurt and I think it's a requirement when you make a thread with someone's article.

todu82
10-18-2011, 09:41 AM
I agree, the players should be putting up more on an effort to get the public on their side. From what I've seen so far there is a deal to be made but it seems like Stern doesn't want to make a deal.

eman
10-18-2011, 01:00 PM
There is no way that the NBA players can get the public on their side in this debate. As long as they are not playing games they really don't matter. That was the beauty in locking out the players rather than having them go on strike. That is why the NFL was able to resolve their differences so easily although they were not that far apart and why NHL players basically had to take it up the butt because without the games there were no fans. Unless you counted the disgruntled fans who couldn't understand why the millionaires and billionaires couldn't seem to come to an agreement so that they could cheer for their teams.

Now take Dwayne Wade, one of the most marketable and most credible players the NBA has. He played 4 years of college ball, took his college team to a final 4, he also resigned with the team that drafted him when he became a free agent. Everything that Dwayne Wade says has made perfect sense to me, wanting the best possible team around him so that he can win as many games as he can is what he is supposed to believe. But his statements got spun around to say that only the stars can determine who is going to win a championship. Which again makes the small market owner's point and has the fans in those cities thinking why bother with cheering their team or going to see a game when there is little to no chance of them winning a championship.

What is making the owner's argument even easier defend is that the current NFL champion is the Greenbay, Wiconsin Packers who beat the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Steelers. The two teams in the MLB World Series are the Arlington, Texas Rangers and the St. Louis, Missouri Cardinals after they beat the Detroit, Michigan Tigers and the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Brewers respectivally. With the abundance of star NBA players focusing their attention on the bright lights of the NBA big cities they are again not proving that having a better product thoughout the league is what they want, but only the accolades and the money that go with winning a NBA championship in a major media market.

ink
10-18-2011, 04:25 PM
Yep, there are lockouts and there are lockouts. Some corporations want to downsize and shed workers so they lock them out for months, taking the bread off their table. Those workers truly suffer. They start with a relatively low salary to begin with and the company tries to claw more away from them. That's where a lockout can be cruel. If there's even one single NBA player who is in this situation I'd be completely shocked. The only way it could happen is if they're so bad with their millions that they've squandered it all away. This lockout is not taking advantage of the average, the working poor, or even the middle class. This lockout is only stopping the middle rich to super rich athletes from demanding the status quo, which is not working for most fans and most of the league.