Sunday, November 6, 2011

On This Day, November 6th: NBA Lockout Day 129 & DeVos Contacts Magic Men


So I'm pretty sure Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos was supposed to get fined for this, at least he'd easily lose $1 million today, but he clearly wanted to reach out to his disgruntled payroll players. Rich took it upon himself to tell his roster what his position on the Lockout was. DeVos advised all the other owners to do the same thing. That final quote at the end from the owner says a lot. Currently, Bob Vander Weide has been attending the owner-union meetings all offseason and relaying information to DeVos. No one wants a season more than the DeVos family when we have an All-Star Weekend and possible loss of a superstar on the line. The players have no leverage right now, and we'll see if Stern's alleged ultimatum will finally wake them up. 

In the shadow of another unproductive bargaining session between the league and its players union, Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos began contacting his players Friday to explain his position.

DeVos has become the Magic's designated spokesman under the NBA's latest strategy to end this labor dispute, asking individual teams to contact their players.

NBA officials say they believe an overwhelming majority of the players would agree to the league's latest offer but that a few of the highest-paid stars and their agents are preventing a deal.

``It was nice to hear from Mr. DeVos,'' Magic free-agent guard Darrell Armstrong said Friday from his home in Atlanta. `` ... I wish that he was calling me to tell me that the lockout was over. But I understand that he's trying to explain where the owners are coming from.''

The two sides met for 90 minutes Friday in New York but made no progress, failing even to schedule a bargaining session. The Magic have lost 13 games in November, and December is slipping away.

The NBA had expected to receive a new proposal from the union Friday but did not.

``The union informed us that they were unable to give us a new proposal,'' said Russ Granik, NBA deputy commissioner. ``We agreed on one thing: We're very far apart with no solution in sight.''

The union had scheduled a late afternoon press conference to explain its position, but canceled it.

``We're miles apart,'' union director Billy Hunter said, adding that the union would meet with members next week. ``They're trying to manipulate our players into thinking the proposal they have on the table is a good proposal... Until we see some movement from them, there's not going to be any movement from us.''

Said DeVos: ``I'm just hoping to win back the trust of the players. I have 15,000 employees in a whole lot of [other) businesses. But I've never had a union before. This is very frustrating for me.''

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