The timing of stories stating that Derek Fisher of being in David Stern’s pocket was interesting. It comes after the league quietly fined Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat for tweeting that there was a divide between NBA team owners. It also comes after negotiations were Stern implied Billy Hunter and the players are stonewalling further progress in the labor talks. But as for Fisher personally, he’s being accused of secretly negotiating with David Stern and pushing players to accept the 50-50 deal.
Fox Sports columnist, Jason Whitlock compares Derek Fisher’s role in the labor talks to The Wire’s Stringer Bell basically saying Derek is working for Stern to set himself up for post career favor within the league.
Billy Hunter issued his own statement contradicting Whitlock’s article and Derek Fisher has released the following statement and has sicked his legal team on Whitlock.
Derek Fisher Statement
November 1, 2011 (Los Angeles, CA) – “The statements made in recent articles on the Fox Sports website are inexcusable. Among the many baseless accusations, to allege that I am working with the league for my personal gain is unequivocally false. The implication that I am doing anything but working in the best interests of the players is disgusting, defamatory and a flat out lie. I have issued a letter through my attorneys demanding a retraction for the libelous and defamatory stories the site and reporter have continued to publish.
Regardless of the media reports, the Players Association, our staff, Executive Director and Executive Committee are unified and working side by side to serve our players.
There should be no more distractions. We must continue to negotiate a fair deal for our players.”
I’m not a fan of Whitlock’s work- that’s a conversation for another day though. I think the idea that Fisher is working for Stern is laughable. A few weeks ago after player meetings in L.A., Wizards player, Javale McGee stated there were some players ready to cave for the 50-50 split the owners were proposing. Somehow I feel that if Fisher were pushing for that, it would be a tad more obvious and honestly, I think that it would’ve been a player to say it in the open. But that’s just me.
This is all about strategy and causing discord within the union to break them down. I’ve read 48 Laws of Power too, you can’t fool me.