As another doomsday in the lockout talks seems to be imminent, the main question is: Will the players try to gain leverage by decertifying, or will they try and make a deal? The two alternatives seem to be the only ones, as Stern and company decided to play hardball (albeit a very nice hardball, when compared to their other offers) and union attorney Jeffrey Kessler basically told them: “F**k you guys, you’re not going to intimidate us.” (or, in translation from Lawyer; “F**k you, I’m not going to get as much money as I would if this was 51 or 52 percent”) A moment later, a twitter storm erupted with many players stating their opinions on decertification pretty straightforward, while others were more conservative about it.
So, naturally I took a look at what the Suns had to say about this big mess via twitter and other media.
Well, the star players are usually for decertification, but Nash seems more distant and distant from an opinion about the talks. Most of his tweets are about soccer, and while his agent is rumored to be pro-decertification, the question remains whether Nash is willing to lose another season. Until he voices his opinion on this, however, it’s tough to count him on any of the sides.
Grant Hill was a part of the infamous conference call that started rumours concerning an unofficial decertification movement, which does put him on one side, but not clearly. Publicly, he hasn’t spoken out for or against taking the offer and being one of the smartest players out there, I’m sure he’s not going to do anything irrational. Maybe it’s my affection speaking, but I’m betting he was one of the guys who just wanted to see how legitimate this option is, rather than start blowing (bleep) to the moon, as some guys that were out there.
Gortat has went quiet as well, only linking to a pretty cool video of him training with “The Dream” and… Shaking the Dream off nicely. However, I managed to find an interview in the Polish press where he stated that while he thinks that the union should stick to their stance as much as possible, he really doesn’t have an opinion on where this should go, and he seems extremely eager to play at that. Will he sign on a decertification vote? Depends on his agent, but given how little risks he has taken during this lockout, I doubt he’ll do something like that without being sure it will work.
After a lot of mixed signals, we get to Jared, a Sun who’s giving a clear signal as to what he’s going to do. On his twitter he made multiple suggestions that he’d decertify, including retweeting Alex Kennedy’s “Hello decertification tweet” and answering a fans questions about taking the deal with a laconic “can’t take that deal.”
If Gortat didn’t care, Frye simply doesn’t give a f**k. He’s more like a fan than a player, basically saying “figure it out, gimme the deal to sign, let me play, see ya later” and his twitter feed seems to be him being baffled by the methods used by both sides, rather than genuine support for either side. I’m pretty sure he won’t be signing a decertification petition anytime soon, while he might vote for a deal.
While our favourite annoying little point guard hasn’t really said anything about decertification (yawn. Why can’t the Suns be more like the Celtics in this regard?) he did say he wants a fair deal from the owners. Given he’s getting a new contract, that probably means a larger MLE for tax payers or something of that ilk. Will he decertify? No idea.
Seriously, should I be making this up? Pietrus’ (unverified!) twitter is silent, and the only hint we can get is that he’s going to be getting a new contract soon. It’ll probably be under 2.5 million, so the MLE doesn’t really touch him that much if he wants to play on a contender. Once again, no idea about what he will do on the decertification front.
Seriously?! This guy is one of the reasons for which Robert Sarver is an insufferable prick in those negotiations and he says nothing about the lockout either? Why did I even start doing this roundup if I can’t get a solid soundbite from Chill?! Either way, he’s got nothing to lose really. He has a long term contract (no rollbacks) and he’ll probably never get a better one than that. Plus, after he’s amnestied, he’s going to get some additional pocket money from the next team that signs him.
See Childress, Josh. Replace all references to Childress with Warrick. Remember that he played all those pickup games, so he probably wants to play. End the topic.
Is anyone surprised Robin has been quiet? I’m not. Unless he’s pulling for his brother, he’ll probably be as “meh” as possible in these negotiations.
Unsurprisingly, Siler, one of the least vocal Suns, hasn’t tweeted anything about the lockout negotiations. He probably knows that none of this matters either way for him, since the biggest contract he’ll get will be within all the exceptions. (Pure speculation)
Perhaps I should just take a ride to Zielona Góra and ask Gani his opinion in person, since he doesn’t even have a twitter account. On a side note, he’s playing pretty well in Poland. Given that the league is pretty weak, it’s no surprise that a guy drafted into the NBA is making some noise, though.
I didn’t include Markieff because I’m not sure whether rookies are actually a part of the NBPA, given that they’re not signed to a contract yet. (On a side note, he’s quiet too)
Perhaps I should’ve called this post “The Silence of the Suns” or something like that. With a lot of teams having active negotiators in their ranks, the Suns are extremely silent. Is that good though? There has been a lot of talk of Steve Nash’s agent trying to get him to decertify, and I have no doubt that as the middle-men see their cut falling, their going to push their clients harder. In the end however, only Dudley and Hill seem to be officially willing to decertify. However, with agents informing their clients about decertification, possibly even straight-out suggesting it to them, we are sure to see more movement on that plain. Can the decertifiers get 130 players to sign this? Hopefully not, because the mess coming out of that will surely consume the entire season, unless the owners get off their high horse and start panicing. Let’s just wait and see. The doomsday clock is currently at 3 days, 2 hours and some seconds, and something tells me this will not be the last doomsday we’ll be witnessing this month. Whatever the case, I’ll keep you guys posted as soon as I see some moves from any of the listed above.