While the lockout continues to sort itself out after a 16-hour marathon mediation, players not involved in the talks (and thus not involved in the gag order) have been able to speak their mind on their current and possible future unemployment. With Laker Derek Fisher heading the player talks in New York, newly opted-out free agent and former Laker Shannon Brown spoke with Stephen A. Smith about his current position.
Brown spent much of the interview focused on the overall message of the NBA players, focusing little time on his own free agency status which may or may not be affected by changes to the salary cap in an new collective bargaining agreement. In regards to the future of NBA players and salaries in the league:
We don’t want to get taken advantage of, to put it very blunt,” Brown said. “We don’t want to feel like we’re out there basically giving our services, giving our bodies, giving our time, being away from our families and all of that stuff being taken advantage of and we’re not reaping any benefits from it. That’s how we kind of feel at this point.”
Players stand to lose approximately $170 million in total salary for every two weeks of the season that are canceled. Brown pointed out the hypocrisy of owners still being able to collect on lucrative television contracts in the meantime.
They are getting money from the TV (networks) and the TV (networks) are paying them because they want to see us play,” Brown said. “So, they’re getting paid off our services without us giving any service anyway.
“Does that make us look bad or does that make them look bad?”
While different media outlets have interpreted the extended talks on Tuesday as both a good and bad omen, Brown was stoic in regards to there being a 2011-2012 NBA season:
If we were to lose a whole season, I think the NBA would never be the same,” Brown said. “The NBA would never be able to recover its fans or none of that for the rest of the history of the game.”
“I think we (players) are (prepared to miss the season),” Brown said. “We don’t want to though. We’re prepared, but we don’t want to.
Talks have continued in New York as of this morning; we’ll keep you up to date at Laker Nation if any news breaks from the meetings.