NBAPA supports players going to Europe

The executive director of the National Basketball Association players’ association, Billy Hunter, speaks to reporters after taking part in contract negotiations between the NBA and the players association in New York June 30, 2011. The NBA was on the verge of its first work stoppage in 13 years after negotiations over a new labor deal collapsed hours before the current collective bargaining agreement expires, the union representing players said on Thursday. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS BASKETBALL)

Per ESPN…

In a memo sent to players on Tuesday night and obtained by ESPN on Wednesday, [Billy Hunter] said the NBPA supports all players “who are taking steps to continue to earn a living, stay in peak competitive shape, and play the game that we love while the unfortunate league-imposed lockout is in place.”

“This lockout is intended to economically pressure our players to agree to an unfavorable collective bargaining agreement,” Hunter wrote. “It is important for the owners to understand that there may be significant consequences to their decision to put their own players in these difficult economic circumstances.

“If the owners will not give our players a forum in which to play basketball here in the United States, they risk losing the greatest players in the world to the international basketball federations that are more than willing to employ them.”

This support flies in the face of Stephen A. Smith’s assertion that Deron Williams is selfish for signing a one-year deal to play in Turkey. If the players are able to prove that they can find work elsewhere, it will put them in a position of power since it will prove that the owners need them more than they need the owners. Not everyone is going to go overseas, but that doesn’t really change the dynamic within the union. Deron Williams wants to lockout to end just like every other player in the league, whether he plays in Turkey or not.

Here’s an idea — every player that plays elsewhere during the lockout puts 25% of his pay into a slush fund that will be distributed amongst all mid-level and lower players in the union. That way, those rank and file players will keep getting paychecks (however small) and the union’s position will be that much stronger. No one would question the union’s togetherness with such a system in place.

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Bill Simmons rips Stephen A. Smith

Before free agency started, Stephen A. Smith reported that a LeBron/Wade/Bosh combo in Miami was pretty much a done deal.

As everyone knows, I reported last week on my morning drive show on Fox Sports Radio that LeBron James would join Dwayne Wade in Miami and take Chris Bosh with him to join the Heat.

Now, of course, that trio joining forces in Miami doesn’t seem to have legs, and Bill Simmons had some fun at Smith’s expense on his Twitter feed:

Stephen A. Smith is reporting that Stephen A. Smith’s report was incorrect. http://stephena.com/?p=953

Oldest trick in book: Report something is done, and if you’re wrong, claim it WAS done but something last minute derailed it. Child please.

What is Simmons talking about? Here’s what Smith said ‘derailed’ the deal:

At the moment, that is still very possible, but there’s been a potentially huge monkey wrench thrown into the equation — with (understandable) greed on the part of Bosh being the main culprit.

It was shocking news at the time, so it’s not a huge surprise that the report seems to have fallen apart at the seams.

What’s interesting is that Simmons has been silent on Dan Le Batard’s report that there was a trade in place bringing Chris Bosh to Miami.

Blogging the Bloggers: D-Wade’s prank, Stephen A. Smith’s podcast and more

SPORTSbyBROOKS has the video from Dwyane Wade’s late night appearance where he plays a prank on an unsuspecting fan.

DEADSPIN has the story of the giant douche bag who tied up his girlfriend’s kids in the garage so he could hit the bar to watch the game.

HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS was name-checked in John Gonzalez’s column about the Raul Ibanez steroid speculation, and the blog chimes in with its take. For Anthony Stalter’s measured take, click here.

– If you’re wondering what happened to Stephen A. Smith, he is doing a podcast on his website and AWFUL ANNOUNCING has it in YouTube form. He is in classic SAS form as he discusses Brett Favre.

NO GUTS NO GLORY has quotes from Alonzo Mourning where he says that Phil Jackson isn’t really the coach of the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers.

Blogging the Bloggers: Kobe vs. Spike Lee, Stephen A. Smith and more

SPORTSbyBROOKS reveals that Spike Lee’s documentary about Kobe almost didn’t happen because KB24 demanded full creative control. (Keep in mind, this is a story from the NY Post’s Page Six, where facts are optional.)

THE NY POST’s Phil Mushnick says Stephen A. Smith makes it impossible to feel sorry for him.

THE BIG LEAD says that Mike Mayock had the best mock draft, and has the numbers to prove it.

SCACCHOOPS has an update on top high school basketball prospect John Wall, and the current state of his decision process.

DEADSPIN has video of the worst chest-bump in the world. They also have video of Ben Gordon “celebrating” after hitting a game-saving three against the Celtics.

Chris Bosh shoots down Stephen A. Smith’s story

Yesterday, we passed along Stephen A. Smith’s comments about Chris Bosh. He said that the talented power forward had already told the Raptors that he did not want to re-sign with the team once his contract expired in 2010.

Bosh didn’t waste any time responding to the story.

“No. No. No, I haven’t told him that,” Bosh said today after practice.

And just to add another layer of denial, he was asked whether his agent could have made the statement.

“No,” he said.

“It was a surprise to me and I can’t be responsible for what other people say so …,” said Bosh, his voice trailing off in disgust. “I understand people are entitled to an opinion but making stuff up? We can’t do that.

“It doesn’t make me angry, it’s like, ‘come on, man,'” said Bosh. “I think it’s unfair just to be able to say something and we have to be politically correct. It’s tough, it’s not the first time it’s happened and it won’t be the lat and I’m not the first person this has happened to. That’s the business that we’re in.”

Notice that Bosh denied that he told the Raptors that he wanted out, but didn’t say anything about wanting to re-sign with Toronto once his contract was up. To be fair, he probably wasn’t asked about that and wouldn’t have commented if he had been.

This is shot at Smith’s reputation as a journalist. I don’t think too many people take him seriously, as evidenced by the “ESPN entertainer” bit in the article. Still, he seems to have exceptional access to the players and I wonder if there will be any blowback from this.

Stephen A. Smith, your credibility is on the line. Let’s hear what you have to say.

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