Etan Thomas and the Players' Position

Yesterday, I gave my CBA Proposal.  In it, I assigned some motivations to the players based on my impressions.

Today, Etan Thomas of the Atlanta Hawks, put down in words a representation of what the players are thinking.

Let me be clear: The players want to get this resolved, and have made every effort to compromise, even in the face of an unrealistic wish list.

The Players Association and the NBA have continued to talk in an attempt to reach some common ground, but our efforts have been thus far unsuccessful. While I appreciate the NBA taking the time to meet with the Players Association repeatedly and give, as David Stern called it, “virtually the best shot we think we have to avoid a work stoppage,” I have to respectfully take issue with the their approach


Against our better judgement, and in an effort to save the next NBA season, which is in danger of being completely lost, we began negotiating from their fictional and ridiculous proposal of non-guarantees, hard cap, shorter years, drastic giveback, adjustment of BRI and guaranteed profits. We attempted to address some of their concerns without drastically dismantling our entire system. A more sensible approach would have been for the NBA to begin negotiations with the system we currently have and begin making additions, adjustments, etcetera, that work in the best interest of both parties.

We entertained their fantasy and they not only discounted and rejected our efforts, but they spit at our concessions and await for us to make another offer to them?

To quote Billy Hunter, ”we’ve had guaranteed contracts for 40 years, so it’s almost like somebody walks into your house and they take something that belongs to you, and then they want to sell it back. And you say, ‘It was mine from the get-go, so why should I pay for it? And I didn’t authorize you to take it, and I never said it was available for you to take or use or abuse.”

It is for this reason that the players collectively reject their proposal and are prepared for a lockout for whatever duration it takes in order to reach a deal that is fair. The players can’t take on the burden of saving teams from themselves. If NBA teams have made bad decisions that were detrimental to their overall profit, success and productivity, then those are issues to be taken up with GMs, presidents and the rest of the powers that be. It is up to each NBA CEO to conduct his business in a way that will be advantageous to him and his franchise as a whole.

I’ll respond to the comments on my offer tonight, but felt it was worth having this in ready proximity to our disussion here.

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