NBA players are starting to grow weary of the lockout, as if the only people left in the room that don’t understand that the end of the game has already been decided are Billy Hunter and the mega agents keeping him in power. Everyone else has already seen the writing on the wall. As much as I wanted the players to win, they can’t. They don’t have the unity, the sophistication, the marketing, the messaging or the power to take on 30 owners, at least 16 of whom are bull headed enough to watch the whole house burn instead of putting out the fire in the basement.
The superstars are doing the right thing and keeping their mouths shut in public. Any whining from uber-millionaires is callous at best and downright infuriating to the NBA’s mid-level guys at worst. But now something that Billy Hunter can’t control is happening: those mid-level guys going to Twitter and demanding a deal. Guys like Glen Davis and Samardo Samuels, maybe you’ve never heard of them but these are the guys that are driving the discontent. Its THEIR money that is being siphoned into owners’ pockets. Superstars will get paid, minimum guys will get their minimum, but mid-level guys will be paid less money in this CBA than the last two. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, at least that’s what the owners will have you believe. Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher have been screaming for months, however, that these are the guys that they can’t abandon. Unfortunately, those guys are the ones now saying that they’ve never been represented. These are the 51%ers, who would much rather take a 51/49 deal that is not at all fair then take a 49-51 deal in January that is even less fair.
While Jason Whitlock was stupefyingly putting Derek Fisher in the headlights as the guy that is abandoning the union, it is so clearly Billy Hunter who is on the wrong side of the fence. Fisher’s constituency is the 51%ers, Hunter’s is the super agents that have been driving hard-line bargaining with owners for decades. Now Fisher’s guys have woken up. They want a deal. They know its over. Its time for the NBPA to accept their losses and play ball.