On Tuesday, Yahoo!'s own Adrian Wojanarowski published a column about schisms and dissension within the players' union. The argument, effectively, was that there's more support for accepting a deal with a 50-50 split of basketball-related income than Billy Hunter seems willing to admit, and that his failure to reach an agreement has angered many of the rank-and-file players he's supposed to represent. From Woj's informed vantage, this problem will only get worse as more of the season is missed.
It's unknown exactly how many players have a problem with Hunter, but at least one does. Terrence Williams, a swingman who would very much like to be playing for the Houston Rockets right now, had some choice words for the union (i.e. Billy Hunter) on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon:
Hey @TheNBPA Let's play BALL enough with the stare off
The football players leader took 1 dollar when they was in lockout hmmmmm
Everyone has their own opinion on this lockout I don't believe s--- no one says no so called leader I only believe@Derekfisher words
I'm def united and I'm with @derekfisher and the players it's easier to listen to others when their job is to dribble a ball also
It's telling here that Williams doesn't consider Derek Fisher to be an outsider -- he's a representative who knows what it's like to be in the position of Williams and others. Hunter, on the other hand, is spoken of in terms that suggest he doesn't understand the situation at all.
That's unfair, because if Hunter has any capacity for empathy whatsoever then he would have picked up some knowledge of what these players go through since he became the NBPA's executive director in 1996. But Williams' reaction is also fairly natural. In a fight where divisions between "us" and "them" are spoken of often, it makes sense that any delays in getting a deal done could be directed at a person without firsthand experience of the players' situation. It's unfortunate that Williams acted out in this way, but his feelings aren't entirely surprising.
Whether they're helpful is another question. The last thing the union needs right now is an internal fight between its president and executive director. If Williams wants a deal to get done, he'd be better off voicing this anger in private, not in a way that makes the argument public. The weaker the union appears, the less likely it is to receive an offer that anyone likes.
- Terrence Williams