Thursday Mavs Donuts: A Possible Partnership?
DONUT 1: The players have no leverage, yet the league is nothing without them.
DONUT 2: It's an odd truth, but one many have noted. With this in tow, many feel the players are being "stupid" to not accept any deal placed before them. Perhaps this is a logical point of view, but one I feel fails to accept the emotional facets of what is unfolding (even if that doesn't make it "wrong"), as well as one other costly fact.
DONUT 3: The owners are not trying to win this negotiation. They are not trying to engage in a partnership that slightly favors their side of the table, or a partnership at all. Rather, they want to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the day and see a final tally of 100-0, not 95-5 … not even 99-1.
They are aware of where the leverage rests, of their financial advantages, and as a result they do not seek a partnership. They are in chase of a boss/worker relationship, of being in ultimate control, of assuming all of the gains with none of the risks. Essentially, they don't want a husband-and-wife bond, but a whore-and-john affiliation … oh, they also want the whore to hang around and do any chores that may need tending to and continue doing so for the next ten years or so …
At least, that is my perception of it.
DONUT 4: You may say the players would be well-advised to accept any deal placed before them, but this ignores the ramifications of emotion inherent to negotiations, given that negotiations are comprised of human beings. It ignores the scars of those who feel taken advantage of, and denies the weight of pride within those who've had to lean so heavily on it to stand where they now do.
Most players didn't get to where they are by sitting down, shutting up and doing as they're told. They got there by fighting through what others told them they couldn't do, thus overcoming odds stacked heavily against them from the start. To condemn them now for not bowing to a group so clearly marginalizing their power, intelligence, importance and stance within the league, is to remove the personal traits that make them what they are and label them nothing more than dependants on their paychecks.
DONUT 5: In this space on a daily basis, Fish makes that pro-player point ... By the way, come follow Fish and me and the Mavs on Twitter ...
But overall, Fish comes across as pro-owner -- at least in the sense that he views the owners as the eventual winners so maybe we ought to just speed up the process onto inevitability.
DONUT 6: I respect Fish's view. I'm glad he allows space on DB.com for me to express mine.
Certainly there are those NBA players that live paycheck-to-paycheck and those that would have signed anything put before them to avoid missing a check, but can you blame those that want to fight what they see as blatant disregard for them as a group?
DONUT 7: In the end, the players find themselves in a battle with a predetermined outcome, or one of two possible outcomes. The first, and most likely, is that they can do nothing but lose, and lose badly. The second, and much more difficult to come by, is the players truly stand united and refuse to play for as long as it takes … likely meaning seasons, not days, weeks or months until the owners change their tune.
DONUT 8: If you are a Mavs fan who wants to commence to celebrating (maybe even by wearing Mavs DB.com gear!), you may have little tolerance for this.
DONUT 9: I myself have written a Premium Mavs piece expressing how little I care which side wins. But I not ignorant as to what the players believe they deserve.
And in a way, they do have leverage.
DONUT 10: Yes, the players do have leverage. They have the same power that any union has, especially those comprised of hard, to impossible, to replace members. It's just not a leverage the owners believe players are willing to use, for the level of sacrifice it demands is monumental.
They must be willing to go without paychecks for as long as it takes on an individual level, and so much more over the course of time from the stance of legacy, legend and league health. Something few to none believe they, as a group, are capable of doing.
DONUT 12: For the sake of all fans, even as the thought of NBAPA decertification floats around, let us hope it does not come to that. In a battle so often appearing void of reason or logic, let us hope a resolution comes without that route having been trekked. For the sake of the league, and all those that love it, let us hope that what is now a lack of leverage is not forced to become something more.
Let us hope that both sides embrace the thought that they are in a "partnership" and treat it as such.