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[ESPN] Free-Agent Summit a Selfish Power Grab

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by T_Man, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. T_Man

    T_Man Contributing Member

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    I thought this was a pretty good article....

    You can really see the difference in how things have changed since the past... So many players struggled and strive to make things better for the players today.. But in a sense it seems as if the players today are only concerned about themselves and not about the game.

    I know some of you may have a different opinion but with the so called Power Summit will this make the NBA better or worst?

    Free-Agent Summit

    Back in the day, a handful of some of the best football players in the NFL called for a summit. They joined forces to chart a new future. They included Jim Brown, who, to the shock of many, had just retired at the height of a career that made him the greatest running back the game ever saw, and a first-team all-NFL guard named John Wooten.

    They got together on a team they called the Negro Industrial and Economic Union -- emphasis on union. They seeded it with a half-million dollar grant from the Ford Foundation and a quarter-million dollar check from the Commerce Department. They used their newly formed organization for business start-ups in half a dozen cities like, recalled Time magazine in 1968, a Los Angeles cosmetics manufacturing company called Magnificent Natural Products Inc. that was the brainchild of a one-time barber. It made half a million within two years.

    Those were the days when pro athletes, like a lot of people in all walks of life, had a sense of doing something collectively for others. That was selfless.

    The most recent example of pro athletes doing something collectively, which we caught wind of over the past week, was of them doing something for themselves. That's selfish.



    Share No wonder Henry Thomas, the agent for NBA All-Star free agents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, tried to assuage concerns for the second time in a week -- Tuesday to CNBC.com and last Thursday originally to the South Florida Sun Sentinel -- about his clients, along with free-agent supernova LeBron James and free-agent shooting star Joe Johnson, planning to meet before the free-agent shopping period begins July 1 in an effort to coordinate where each would sign, and with whom, to better their chances of winning championships.

    "I think we'll all sit down, and before one of us makes a decision, all of us will have spoken to each other and [listened to the] thinking ...," Wade told the Chicago Tribune last week. "A lot of decisions [will be based on] what other players are willing to do and what other guys want to do. So it's not just a 'me' situation here. We all have to look and see what each other is thinking."

    Before Thomas could start stamping out that potential firestorm, Amar'e Stoudemire chimed in to FanHouse's Brett Pollakoff shortly after losing the Western Conference finals to the Lakers that he, too, expected to be part of the biggest gathering of Dons since "The Godfather."

    ALSO ON FANHOUSE

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moore: LeBron, Wade and the Art of Delicate Extraction
    Amick: Amar'e Weighs Options
    Shoals: Real Dirt on the LeBron, Wade, Johnson Meeting
    More: NBA Rumors

    This isn't the kind of clout that some of us have envisioned when thinking about the collective power professional athletes have if ever they brought it to the fore.

    Some of us wondered aloud and for a long time when pro athletes would ban together and exercise the immense clout they have as an upper-class proletariat. We thought about the kind exercised by some all-stars from the defunct American Football League, who in the '60s, when New Orleans refused black players for the all-star game it was hosting to stay in its hotels and dine at its eateries, stood up together and forced the league to move the game to a more humane locale, Houston. We dreamed about a what-if -- what if NBA players stood up in unison to their commissioner's virtually unilaterally imposed dress code a few years ago, instead of slinking into their locker rooms and accepting it like kids who'd done something bad?

    Instead, what Wade & Co. talked about doing the past week goes against the efforts of the players' union to represent its entire constituency for the betterment of each individual.

    This isn't about some broad issue like the right to work wherever an athlete desires, which was the struggle for free agency that was won many moons ago by some players who sacrificed part of their careers to make it happen. This isn't about setting up a viable pension and health plan for retired athletes who wind up falling on hard times. This isn't about getting a fair share of the loot players generate for league ownership.

    This isn't anything noble at all.

    This is a power grab by players, no doubt, but the wrong kind. It isn't against executive power or ownership. It is for a few players for their benefit, and for the few more players who might be lucky enough to be included as teammates.

    What Wade & Co. could do is nothing new. It's something that has haunted labor organizations forever. It's the creation of an upper crust within the union and it hasn't served unions well.

    Sports are particularly vulnerable to such a development because of the high wages so many players earn and the low job security extended to most of them. The incentive is to get all you can as quickly as you can and to hell with what it means for those who will follow in your cleat on sneaker tracks.

    That's why the union, not just agents like Thomas who represent other athletes, should be loudest to caution against whatever Wade & Co. want to talk about.

    After all, players don't need to be splintered; they need to be united, especially now. The current collective bargaining agreement between the players and the league is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2011. It's been suggested that owners who've suffered in the recession want to cut the players' take of league income and want a hard cap on salaries instead of the current system that lets teams go over the payroll cap to keep their own players as long as they pay a tax. They may even want a cut in contract lengths.

    The players need everyone to be on board for that looming contract fight. They don't need any jealousies born from favoritism by their brethren who perceive themselves to be the Talented Tenth. But that is exactly what this folly could foster. The winners would be a few, and the losers many.
     
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    What employee doesn't want to look out for himself and family before his employer? A crazy one, that's who.
     
  3. trueroxfan

    trueroxfan Member

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    It is kind of messed up that they are going to organize this power team, if they succeed they will be deemed unstoppable. If it happens it will become my dream to see us face them in the 11' Finals and beat them.

    A lot of teams are losing money, brought on by bad management, poor contract decisions, risky gambles, etc. Some of these guys are making ridiculous money, for peeps sake Brian Scalabrine makes 6.6 m. If these teams are losing money than things need to change, if they are only losing money because of bad management and not the economy than perhaps not I mean I don't think they deserve the money, but I can't hate them for making it I guess.
     
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  4. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    LOL. With the scale of money we're talking about here, they could be Ryan Bowen and look out for their family. If they have money problems it's their own damn lifestyle's fault. I shake my head every time a modern pro-athlete sells out their team for a raise.

    Regardless of such silly sidebars... I think it's lame what these guys are doing. As someone said before, "what is this? the Avengers?" These guys act like they're so good the NBA is theirs for the taking. I will enjoy watching the Rockets beat each and every one of them.
     
  5. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    As oppose to the unselfish power grabs of the owner's meetings

    Rocket River
     
  6. vinsensual

    vinsensual Member

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    It's like the Rebels destroyed the Death Star (Cavs) only to find out that a 2nd Death Star (new super team) is being built.
     
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  7. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    Right on my friend.

    I have no problem with what they are doing, they should be doing that, they would be stupid not to....

    However, I expect not much to come out of it, because $$$$ will always rule the day.

    DD
     
  8. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    collusion among owners is illegal
     
  9. Raven

    Raven Member

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    NBA needs to have a franchise tag, but that's another discussion for another day.

    .
     
  10. wreck

    wreck Contributing Member

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    exactly, so shouldnt it be the same with players. they are each others competition.
     
  11. NotInMyHouse

    NotInMyHouse Contributing Member

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    Would ESPN publish this article if the "Avengers" had Boston on their minds? Seems like cry-baby antics to me.
     
  12. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    I get just as sick as anyone of hearing Lebron James being compared to Michael Jordan but does anyone else think that him or Larry Bird or Magic Johnson would ever think about leaving their city to "increase their brand globally" or whatever...???

    I think Jordan would punch the reporter in the face for even mentioning the thought of that. I miss the good ol days where the top players were so competitive they wouldnt think to step foot in the same restaurant as the other ones.

    Regardless the "summit" or whatever you want to call it will probably just turn out to be a trip to the clubs anyways.
     
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  13. Yetti

    Yetti Contributing Member

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    This frame of mind will eventually lead to the breakdown of society!
    Certainly not a Christian approach. :p
     
  14. francis 4 prez

    francis 4 prez Contributing Member

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    what a ridiculous article. yes, how selfish of lebron and wade to be playing when racial equality issues are not at the fore. and how horrible of them to talk about what they all want to do in free agency, to try and determine the best fit for their careers. no one else does that when looking for work, why are these selfish guys doing it? everything lebron and dwade do that isn't for the greater social good obviously shows they don't care about others.

    do you remember when everybody, from all walks of life, did things selflessly and nobody liked money and pink unicorns spread happiness dust everywhere? unlike these youngsters today who are only about themselves (when working together).


    on a serious note, it's probably for the best that money usually rules the day in team sports because having super teams formed from players all agreeing on one place to play kind of destroys competitive balance and i'm sure the union doesn't want to see players possibly taking pay cuts to all go somewhere, but at the end of the day it's their career and they should do what is best for them. of course, who knows if this supposed summit will even happen or if it will just be casual talk about who might be going where. either way, the summit will probably leave time in their lives for solving world hunger.
     
  15. Yetti

    Yetti Contributing Member

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    Rocket River doesn't this sound like collusion by players against fair system? :p
     
  16. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    They're not selfish, just soft.
     
  17. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    but I suspect it is not rare

    Rocket River
     
  18. Steve_Francis_rules

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    I think this article is pretty ridiculous. If these guys weren't coordinating and just decided to stay with their teams, they'd be blamed for not wanting to win enough. If they decide to go somewhere together, they're not loyal to their teams. These reporters need to shut up already.

    I agree. All true competitors hate their competition.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    You realize they are not best of friends right?
     
  20. intergalactic

    intergalactic Contributing Member

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    How dare LBJ and Wade discuss what a great pick and roll combo they would be, while the proletariat still live under the heel of the bourgeousie.
     

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