As stated previously Derek Fisher is facing perhaps his most difficult professional task to date. As the elected president of the Players’ Union his neck is on the chopping block. The recent breakdown in labor talks has led to a myriad of questions being thrown at both executive director Billy Hunter and D-Fish alike.
Many in the sports world are openly questioning the decision of the NBAPA not to decertify as the NFL players did during their lockout. While that move is still on the table Fisher decided to set the record straight amongst his NBA brethren.
Flexing those instinctual leadership qualities, D-Fish delivered his manifesto via e-mail to all the players that currently comprise the NBA. You can read the transcript in full here.
Most notable are Fisher’s assertions that the move to decertify is being led by the agendas of agents and that the breakdown in negotiations relates to issues amongst the owners.
Here are a few excerpts from Fisher’s very presidential e-mail.
"Decertification seems to be a hot button issue today in the media. So I’d like to address it. I’ve read yesterday’s stories and find the position of these agents interesting. I have made myself available to each and every agent. But not once have I heard from them. If they are so concerned about the direction of the union, then why have they not contacted me? Each and every one of them mentioned has been in meetings with me. I’ve answered their questions, I’ve been told they support you, their players and our Players Association. So if there is a genuine concern, a suggestion, a question, call me. Email me. Text me. I’m working tirelessly each and every day on behalf of the over 400 players that they represent. Working for nothing but the best interests of THEIR guys. I don’t make a commission, I don’t make a salary for serving as President. I have NO ulterior motives. None.It is because they have not come to me once that I question their motives."
On the subject of the downward turn taken in the last bargaining session Fisher offers the following.
"The most recent meetings in New York were effective. What you have been told by your agents, representatives and the media is probably speculative and inaccurate.What actually happened in those meetings was discussion, brainstorming and a sharing of options by both sides. The turning point this past Tuesday was not a disagreement between the players and the owners. It was actually a fundamental divide between the owners internally. They could not agree with each other on specific points of the deal and therefore it caused conflict within the league and its owners.So it is our hope that today, Thursday, at the owners meeting in Dallas that they work out their differences, come up with a revenue sharing plan that will protect their teams and are then ready to come together and sign off on the agreement we as a smaller group deemed reasonable."
Seeking to set the record straight on his goals, Fisher made it clear just who he is fighting for – everyone.
"I’m not looking out just for the marquee guy, I’m looking out for the guy that dreams of being a professional basketball player and gets a minimum deal. I’m not just trying to protect the guy on a team in a huge market. I’m protecting the player that is in a small market with incredibly loyal fans.I work every day on these negotiations. I work so that each player from Blake Griffin to Tyler Hansbrough, Pau Gasol to De’Andre Jordan, Dwight Howard to Jrue Holiday, Taj Gibson to Danny Granger, Steve Nash to Luke Babbit and every single player get a fair and reasonable deal. Not just for this year, not just for next year but for years to come. So that the league that WE the players largely helped build, continues to grow and thrive."
If there is one layer of this that makes Fisher’s empowering e-mail a little propaganda like it is how the correspondence begins. Fisher makes it known that he’s fully aware the e-mail will be leaked. Low and behold. Here we are!
"Without a doubt, someone will be leaking this. I know it. The moment you read this you will know it. So, I say all with the fullest transparency."