“By some combination of mendacity and greed, the agents who are looking out for themselves rather than their clients are trying to scuttle the deal. They’re engaged in what appears to be an orchestrated Twitter campaign and a series of interviews that are designed to deny the economic realities of the proposal.” – NBA Commisioner David Stern on 11/12/2011
I must have the wrong agents listed on The Master Twitter list of sports agents/agencies, because I have missed any semblance of a “Twitter campaign” led by agents who hope to quash a potential deal to end the labor battle between the NBA and the NBPA. In fact, most agents that I talk to are eagerly anticipating the day that a new collective bargaining agreement will be struck, albeit with terms more favorable to the agents’ client.
Are agents looking out for themselves? You better believe it. But they are also looking out for their clients. While money is not the be-all and end-all for every player, many of them are genuinely interested in keeping the various exceptions to the salary cap, increasing minimum salary, etc. Agents certainly fear an environment where there is little room for contract negotiations, because that takes away their ability to legitimize a full 4% commission on individual contracts. However, players should also be concerned about implementing any new restrictions on negotiating their salaries.
Stern is right about one thing, though. Decertification is a losing strategy. But it is not a losing strategy for the players. It is a losing strategy for the entire NBA, which includes all owners and players. Decertification will likely end the hope of any kind of 2011-12 NBA season, force the NBA and NBPA to spend a large amount of money to their respective lawyers, and kill whatever goodwill the league earned in a fantastic 2010-11 NBA slate of games.