Earlier in the week, I chronicled the on goings with the NBA Players Association: NBA Rumors Will Derek Fisher Be The New Executive Director Of The NBA Players Association. Fisher has positioned himself to become the head of the NBAPA. As the all-star weekend nears, a new name has been mentioned with Fisher’s. Super Lawyer Donald Fehr has been asked by some agents and players to make the leap from the NHL Players Association to the NBAPA.
Fehr’s name is synonymous with labor strife, lockouts and players’ strikes. Now his name is being brought up to replace the disgraced ex-Executive Director of the NBAPA Billy Hunter. Fehr is currently in same role with the NHLPA and was in the same position with the MLB Players Association for almost 25 years. He has always worked for the players and has been the central figure in many games – and even seasons – lost in both baseball and hockey. He is still vilified as the key to the death of the Montreal Expos.
Fehr has mentioned many times that he never cares about the sport. He doesn’t care about the reputation or the harm that any of his actions will do to the future of the game. All he has ever cared about is how to get the best deal for the athletes. He has had his players hold out and go on strike. He has had his players hard ball the owners. He always seems to get the best deal for his constituents.
He has just come off a lock-out with the NHL and its players. As the deal was finally signed, it was the league that had to give into some of the players’ demands. It was Fehr’s reputation that scared the owners and commissioner Gary Bettman into negotiating off some of the non-negotiable cliffs that were set by the owners themselves. The owners were worried that Fehr could have had the players sit out the entire season.
It is this reputation, his athletes first attitude and his non emotional attachment to the sport which has the NBAPA and its agents salivating with the thought of having Fehr lead them. NBA Commissioner David Stern, much like Bettman, has never been the commissioner of the league he represents. He has always been the voice of the owners. Now the players will have their own voice. Stern and the owners should be worried
The current deal between the NBA and NBAPA can be opted out in 2017 and therefore labor wars might begin again. Meaning this time, it might be Fehr bringing fear into the owner’s pocketbooks. All puns aside, the players will need someone to fight for them and them only. Only Fehr will get them what they want. Most times, he gets his people more than they deserve.
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