Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kenyon Martin Knows How To Win Friends and Influence People

This, from Adrian Wojnarowski's excellent piece on the current NBA labor standoff....
Sometimes, the players union makes it so easy for the NBA. Before the talks fell apart without a deal on Monday, Players Association president Derek Fisher had an idea: Let’s flood people’s Twitter timelines with pointless catch phrases and hashtags, a plan born from the NFLPA and “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.” “Let us play,” Fisher told the players to post, forgetting that the public’s response – besides un-following his Twitter account out of sheer annoyance – was to tell the players to simply take the deal the owners were offering. 
This wasn’t an idea out of the union’s smartest PR mind, Dan Wasserman, but one of the consulting pockets of the Players Association that do nothing but waste the players’ dues. 
Before you know it, there was Kenyon Martin calling for his “haters” to die of “full-blown AIDS,” and inviting everyone else giving him a hard time on Twitter to send along a home address, so he could come to your house and “kick your ass.” 
Martin isn’t the norm, but he’s who many people want to believe populate this NBA. And why give them the chance on Monday, when the players could’ve let Stern have the bad-guy stage all to himself? 
For better or worse, NBA players will never win public sympathy. They have every right to this labor fight, but it is their fight and their fight alone. It isn’t shared with the fans, the arena workers, no one. The sooner they understand that, the easier this will go for them. Forget the PR fight – just win the fight.
REACT: The problem isn't so much that fans think the league is FULL of people like Kenyon Martin. We don't. Give us some credit. The problem is that Kenyon Martin does exist. Having one of him, is enough. And he made $16 million last year to play 48 games and post 8 points per game.

Stupid owners? Sure. They gave him that money. I get it.

But most reasonable fans think owners should be able to wake up one day and simply say: "I am getting out of the Kenyon Martin business" and do just that. Be done with him.

If Kenyon Martin is not that bad of a guy, and still a valuable asset to a team, then surely another club will quickly pounce on that owner's "mistake" of letting him go.

If I were the NBA owners, I would tell the players this: "Either give up guaranteed contracts, or accept a franchise tag. Your choice." The money split isn't really the issue. Let them keep 57% even. Just let it be known, that without a guaranteed deal in place, your $16 million salary - can, and will - be re-directed to another player next season.

So try to be coachable, and please don't tell fans whom you disagree with to "die of full blown AIDS."


  1. My problem ... okay, not my problem, but the NBA's problem with people like me is I am in their target demo. I am currently sitting in my office and can see Time Warner Area (Charlotte) and have zero interest in the NBA. I was not aware of the comments, don't care about the sides in the dispute. I have a vague feeling the owners are in the wrong, but can't stand to watch people only play one quarter of basketball if your lucky. The regular season just is not good basketball. I would rather watch less talented college basketball where they give you the full 40 every game.

    This from a guy who gets up to play at the 5 AM game at the Y three days a week, where all I do is play defense and rebound (oh, and typically be on the winning team for the 2 hours we play ...)

    So come June I'll see if the finals are on, because in the Finals, you know when it is "important" you are libable to get 30-35 minutes of competative basketball.

  2. So if your idea is that players should give up guaranteed contracts, would it be OK if a player has the right to tear up a contract because they want to get out of the "James Dolan" business? Why should the owners have all the leverage?

  3. Because they're putting up the money, dolt. They are the League. And if a player wants to get out of the James Dolan business, he should be able to. But in doing so he will be out of the NBA business.

    This is not hard to figure out. But it is hard to accept, for a bunch of coddled freaks who think "getting paid" equals "earning a living."

  4. As david said, these guys have been coddled since they were in middle school (if they made it that far...lets say 15 years old....) due to their athletic abilities and "promise." from middle school, to high school, college if they went and then to the pros, they have never had to "sacrifice" anything because everything was simply handed to them. if nothing more, hopefully this lockout serves as a lesson in humility for these guys. at the end of the day, even the least talented of them will sign contracts for money that most of us only dream of earning in a lifetime so no sympathy here....