Transcript from NBA TV’s David Aldridge Interview with NBPA President Derek Fisher


NBA TV’s David Aldridge spoke with NBPA President Derek Fisher following the conclusion of this week’s meetings…

As you can plainly see in the above link, the player’s stance is locked and true. This is a very serious matter from their POV. Let me say this…for the players to move anywhere south of 53% would be absolutely stupid. Think people. Read between the lines. I have to reiterate…this is not a strike but a lock out. Looks like it’s way past time for the NPA. Outside of that piece, you haven’t seen much of a comment this way have you? Hmmm…


Aldridge: “You used some strong language when you said that the NBA had lied to the media as to why this meeting has ended.”


Fisher: “These talks and meetings and the mediation process did not end because of ultimatums made by us. They were clearly made by the league and by the NBA and they tried to pre-condition the rest of our talks trying to get us to agree to a 50/50 split on the BRI and what we clearly said is, “That is not a place we are willing to go right now, if ever.” However, we are ready to continue some talk on the system and the issues and if we can reach some agreements there, it could have some impact on what the final number could be, but they said it’s a take-it-or-leave-it situation.”


Aldridge: “So if you had it your way, you would still be talking about the system side, not the BRI side?”


Fisher: “We would be talking about everything. Myself, our executive committee and our staff has spent the past two plus years and these past few weeks here. Personally, that was time away from my kids and my family. This is serious. There are a lot of livelihoods at stake that far outreach NBA players and that’s been a major concern of ours this entire time. That’s why we continue to make the concessions that we have made; it’s more about them then us. But that’s not a place the NBA wants to go right now and I think we have said all along that we felt there was a predestined plan to lock us out as long as it takes to get us to where they wanted us to go. Right now as players, we are not willing to go to that place to try and continue these negotiations. But, we are willing to continue to talk. We are here and we will be here as long as it takes to get a deal done.”


Aldridge: “It keeps bouncing back and forth. A few weeks ago it was BRI and then it seemed it was the system that was intractable and then we hear that there is some progress on the system. Now we hear it’s the BRI again. What is keeping either side from being able to reach an agreement on one of those issues? Both of them will be difficult, but what about agreeing on one of them so you can put that one aside and really concentrate on the other issues?”


Fisher: “It’s extremely difficult because of the impact they have on each other. And for us as players, unless we have a feel for what type of system that will exist and what the revenue split will be, it’s very difficult to say, “Ok we will agree with this number.” Which is why we floated and consistently discussed a more balanced approach between where the NBA is in terns of 50, where we are at 53 and based on the success or lack of success on our gain, to determine which percentages are distributed to the players as opposed to going to the fixed hard place that we obviously can’t agree on right now.”


Aldridge: “We are running out of time with regard to a full season, certainly it doesn’t look like there will be a full season, but we are running out of time to have any season at all. How concerned are you that we are getting to the point where there might not be a season at all?”


Fisher: “We’ve always been concerned for two years that we could find ourselves in this position. That’s why we continued to prepare our players for the worst case, which is a lost season, but we will continue to put our time and effort in and will be here if there is a meeting to be had right now or tomorrow or the next day, we will be here. That’s the responsibility that I have. That’s what I was elected to do – to try to find a deal and find a fair resolution and continue to meet.”

8 Responses to “Transcript from NBA TV’s David Aldridge Interview with NBPA President Derek Fisher”

  1. Corin Brown says:

    The problem for the players is that they don’t have the leverage in this negotiation. If they want to get some leverage back they need to discard the shackles of the NBA and do this NPA thing already. I totally agree with that. The players have so much more to lose in this negotiation than the owners do. So what’s the hold-up with the NPA? Why are they even talking to the NBA? By even talking to the NBA, the players are allowing their leverage to erode to nothing. How do they expect to get what they want at the table with no leverage? Are they expecting charity from the owners? The owners are all billionaires. Not Millionaires, Billionaires. Why should they care about the players unless they need them and right now they don’t need them, it’s the other way around. The owners each have made their fortunes doing something else way before buying an NBA team. How much time in a single day do you think Paul Allen thinks about the Blazers? Try none. Why should he? He’s a billionaire with hundreds of businesses and interests in the portfolio of his life. Why does he need the players now? The players should be asking the same question about the owners, “Why do we need the NBA?” Once an NPA starts up, the players could break the NBA owners once and for all.

    I think a problem is that the union membership is fragmented with a too diverse set of competing interests – top players, reg players, agents. Another problem is that starting an NPA will be incredibly fraught and costly and the revenue (at least for a while) will not be the same as it was with the NBA due to the skepticism of corporate partners and advertisers and what will (also at least for a while) be a dramatically smaller audience. Whatever happens, if the players do not claw back some leverage, the NBA will crush them at the table like the NFL did to the NFLPA this summer.

  2. Patrick says:

    You are correct the NBA players don’t have leverage, and it is really a similar scenerio in regard to the NFL players.

    The NFL players DE-certified, and tried to take their chances in court by suing as individuals. However, the federal court system is still conservative and the Supreme Court is 5-4 conservative.

    Someone had made the suggestion at a symposium in Atlanta in which Billy Hunter and DeMaurice Smith appeared that the Players should form a POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE.

    Guess who confirm federal judges– U.S. senators. David Stern and Roger Goddell, who are lawyers, KNOW THIS.

    Republicans have used the filibuster in recent years to block former President Clinton’s federal judge nominees and President Obama has had an even tougher time trying to confirm federal judges.

    So there is a lot of the Reagan-Bush conservatism that FAVORS OWNERS OVER EMPLOYEES..and also endorse BUSTING UNIONS and undermining collective bargaining.

    There is a larger political issue here.

    The NBA players should try to help progressive U.S. Senate candidates and things will begin to change.

    Right now, there are too many conservative judges on the appellate level and the owners believe they can “wait it out” and outlast the players.

  3. Patrick says:

    The players are certainly at a disadvantage and had provided concessions going from 57 to 53 or 52 percent in regard to revenue, but it is not enough for the owners.

    One owner in particular is DAN GILBERT. This guy is one of the main reasons why there may not be basketball in 2011-12. Gilbert is comparable to the Tea Party REPUBLICAN who tried to destroy the economy and refused to compromise in the debt ceiling debate.

    When Bryant Gumbel was talking about “plantation owners”, I believe he had Dan Gilbert in mind..and everyone knows how he reacted when LeBron took less money to go to Miami…

    Gilbert is still bitter about LeBron, and I doubt very few players want to play for thios particular owner. So this is Gilbert’s way of protesting and if it means that the 2011-12 season go down the drain, then he is perfectly content with that.

    Someone needs to buy out Gilbert, because he doesn’t deserve to have a NBA franchise…or maybe Cleveland will be part of a “contraction” plan…

  4. Corin Brown says:

    I wouldn’t hold your breath on Gilbert getting bought out. He paid top dollar for the Cavs and he won’t sell at a loss. NBA franchises will never have been worth as much as they will be when/if this whole lock-out thing gets sorted. That’s why the owners are doing this. They’re trying to protect the future value of their teams.

    Players need to bounce and start their own league. Maybe play on sound stages and sell the games on PPV. That would cut down costs plenty. The NBA would be forced to hire scabs and the leverage would move over to the players again.

  5. Patrick I’ll have a recount of the Heat return game sometime between now and the December 10th anniversary. It will explain a lot about what went down that day that hasn’t been reported.

  6. Patrick says:

    Jim Caldwell won’t get the benefit of the doubt in Indianapolis and after seeing the 62-7 loss to the Saints.

    Heck, many still don’t give credit to Tony Dungy as a head coach who won the Super Bowl.

    Caldwell may need to start polishing his resume.

    …..”Colts owner Jim Irsay, as he so often does, took to Twitter after the game to offer up an almost indecipherable message about his team’s performance. Irsay apologized to Colts fans for what he called a “Titanic collapse,” and he promised that the team is actively working on the solutions but that the solutions are “complex in nature.”

  7. Patrick says:

    Sorry for the football posting above….


    I look forward to your recount in regard to the Miami Heat…

  8. Corin Brown says:

    What’s all this “recount” business? More voting shenanigans in FLA I’m just finding out about now?