NBA labor negotiations resume tomorrow. They’ve been at this, in ernest, for a few weeks now and they really haven’t gotten all that far. It’s too bad, according to super-agent David Falk, that super-agent David Falk isn’t involved. Because if he was, this thing would be over.
What would you do if you could get in that room and play the role of mediator?:
“I volunteered. I’ve given both sides very, very specific suggestions on how to get over the hurdle. … I think that I could make this deal in one day, with either party. I really do. I know it sounds egotistical saying that, but I know all the owners well. … Obviously I’ve represented players for 37 years. … I’m disappointed that the young stars of the NBA today, the LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, those guys need to be involved full-time, not part-time. … I think that they are allowing other people to determine their future financial fortunes, which is a terrible mistake.”
First of all, no, you can’t.
Second of all, he’s right on about players needing to get involved.
This entire summer, NBA players have been off doing whatever they do. They’ve gone off all over the world, they’ve played in little exhibitions, and they’ve made movies and TV shows. But what they haven’t done is show up en masse to the labor negotiations to show owners that the biggest names in all of this are behind the union.
And there’s the thing about being at negotiations: They could still do all the stuff they’ve been doing. Or at least most of it. But they have chosen to not be around. If they don’t think that matters, they’re wrong. Any show of support, even if it’s showing up to wait outside the negotiations to hear first-hand what the story is, is incredibly helpful.
Unfortunately, that’s not how these guys think. LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Dwight… they’re all individual talents. Individual superstars. Individuals who while on teams, are all about being the best individual players they can be. Now, with the lockout, they’re all off enhancing their personal brands, and losing sight of the big picture.
For once, these guys need to stand in the background after negotiations to show they are solidly behind what the union is trying to accomplish. When owners see their prized stars taking an interest, it will put pressure on those owners.
A deal will get done at some point with or without superstars showing their public support. But it might get done more quickly with it.