Rick Barry is clearly not a fan of what NBA PA executive director Billy Hunter is doing. There's not a lot I can add to Barry's words beyond pointing out that the lovely folks at Sports Radio Interviews led us toward the interview Barry (above, with legendary long-jumper Bob Beamon) did with KNBR from Tuesday:
"If I was still a player today I would be totally ticked off by the fact that we didn't make a deal months ago. I really do believe that this could've been resolved and should've been resolved a long time ago. Why they always have to come down to this I don't know.
"I'm not a big fan of Billy Hunter. I think Billy Hunter is one of the worst things that happened to the NBA. Yes he got them an unbelievable deal last time but he also was responsible for the lockout in the late 90's which cost the players one third of their salaries basically and got nothing for it. The same thing is happening here.
"What they're doing is they're making a situation which is a bad situation worse by standing firm. Standing firm for what? You're standing firm to get nothing. All you're trying to do is minimize the losses that you have to accept in order for there to be a deal put in place."
In Hunter's defense, the deal that was in place "months ago" involved a hard cap, salary rollbacks, massive luxury tax penalties, and less than half of the NBA's basketball-related income going toward the players. Hunter and the players he's charged with representing have had their backs against the wall from the beginning, and they've done well to make drag things toward the middle as much as they have.
If Hunter and the NBA PA continue to hold off on signing a tweaked version of the current deal? Yeah, they're nuts, because it's only going to get worse. But there was no "deal" months ago. The NBA wouldn't even talk to the players until the end of the summer.
And Rick Barry is not a fan. That much we've figured out. What's left to figure out is what Rick Barry is actually a fan of.
- Rick Barry