It took long enough but finally Derek Fisher is making his presidential presence felt. Last week D-Fish issued his union president manifesto via email. Today Fisher again sent out a letter to his comrades this time demanding all NBA players get on the same page for the final push before the clock strikes midnight on the season.
Fisher’s letter called for unity among the players but also spelled out some dysfunction amongst the owners. This same assertion was made in Fisher’s previous email so it’s pretty clear what he’s trying to preach.
The message, in short, is that a united front amongst the players will overpower the perceived infighting amongst the owners.
While I applaud Fisher for finally forcing the issue its clear he has much more work to do.
If getting everyone on the same page was the goal then this process needed happen much earlier in the game. Once the lockout was in place there was an immediate scramble to scour Europe and China for overseas options. With players concerned over their well-being the decision became financial. Here is where D-Fish has his work cut out.
It’s one thing to get a guy like teammate Kobe Bryant to remain in the States to fight the good fight. Black Mamba has his signature on the hoods of Smart Cars in China. He’s as worried about cash as LeBron was about fans in Cleveland.
Now getting a guy like J.R. Smith to think about the good of his union ahead of the size of his wallet is another story.
While this ploy was tardy it is still better late than never. Fisher keeps his eyes on the prize with statements such as the following.
“Our game has never been more popular and we’re poised to see tremendous revenue growth over the next 5 to 6 years. … We must share fairly in the continued growth of our business. Any deal that decouples us from a fair share of the revenue growth in the years ahead is a deal we cannot accept. Period!”
Call it propaganda. Call it a rallying cry. Hopefully we can’t call this another sign of impending doom.
After all, if Fisher’s words have their desired effect and the players dig in then we could be looking at a standoff that threatens professional hoops in this country as we know it. But that is one of the many duties of a president, to make tough decisions and stand behind them.
Now the only question is who’s coming with Fisher?