After being criticized for their collective absence from labor negotiations, the NBA’s biggest stars showed up to Friday’s meeting between the NBA owners and players union in New York City to flex their muscles. It was a pretty strong statement from the guys who are facing the danger of losing their paychecks and simply having to live off of their endorsements, especially since they had to travel all the way to North Carolina the next day for Chris Paul’s CP3 Foundation charity tournament.
Players rep Derek Fisher went as far as to tell reporters that stars like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade, among others, had been very active and vocal at the previous meetings, but since the two sides only met once in July and August, and then just a few more times in September, it doesn’t really mean much. So what happened when James, Anthony, and Wade rolled into Friday’s meeting? Sh*t got real.
In the wake of reports that Wade shouted down Stern during a Friday session, admonishing him for pointing a finger in his direction, Stern responded following Saturday’s marathon seven-hour session.
“I would guess that neither of us remember, but there was a heated exchange of some kind,” Stern told reporters at a New York hotel. “I feel passionately about the system that we have and what it has delivered and what it should continue to deliver for the players and the owners. And he feels passionately too.
“And I think that if anyone should step up on that, it’s my job on behalf of the owners to make the points that need to be made.”
(Via the Chicago Tribune)
Basically, what happened was David Stern was addressing everyone – owners, players, posses, agents, soul-suckers, baby mamas, Maverick Carters, etc. – and he was pointing around the room as he spoke, because, you know, a real man speaks with his hands. And at some point in his lecture, he pointed near Wade, which caused Wade to yelled, “You’re not pointing your finger at me. I’m not your child.”
Then Wade, James, Anthony, and Paul threatened to leave and Stern called union director Billy Hunter into a private meeting and was all like, “Yo dude, what’s the dilly?” and Hunter was all like, “Chill, daddy.” Everything worked out and it was all very important for us to know about because it masks the fact that nothing else happened. The owners are still fighting amongst themselves because the small market teams have finally realized that elite players don’t want to play for them, while the agents are still pitting the players against the union as they spend their time stealing clients away from rival agencies.
So while the NBA PR machine is doing its best to make it look like things are on the upswing, we’re really still neck deep in the reality that there isn’t going to be a season. But hey, did you come here for bad news or did you come here to watch LeBron James dunk a basketball? Haha, that’s what I thought!
(Video via PBT)