Did Kevin Garnett ruin the @#$@%! NBA Season?

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Illustration by Jesse Blanchard

Negotiations can be hostile. It is important to keep a cool, level head at all times. With that in mind, in either their best or worst move ever, the NBA Players Union sent in none other than Kevin Garnett. According to an NBA exec, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo, that did not go over very well:

The owners knew it wouldn’t go well when Garnett started glowering across the table, sources said, like the league lawyers, owners and officials were opponents at the center jump. He was defiant, determined and downright ornery. He was K.G. Everyone knew Hunter had to cede to the wishes of the stars, and the stars demanded that the players stop making concessions to the owners.

 

As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”

As I’ve written before, both sides are to blame. And I can’t imagine how someone as calm, cool, and collected as Kevin Garnett could exacerbate an already volatile situation.

 

  • Ann J.

    PLEEEEZZZ!  There is no way the break down can be blamed on Kevin Garnett.  If K. G. has that much Power then I vote he Run for PRESIDENT of THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!  He is definitely thinking of the future for the players coming after him cause he has one maybe two years left (as he has stated in the past – are you paying attention) before he retires.  He is not to blame so stick that label somewhere else cause I ain’t buying your brand of FERTILIZER.  A fan of K. G’s since 1998 so leave my Dogs name off your lips……

  • http://twitter.com/blanchard48moh Jesse Blanchard

    I love the passion. I honestly do not believe KG has anything to do with the season. This post is something of a joke (humor), and a chance to showcase one of my illustrations. I had been working on a KG negotiates comic, this was one panel from it, and the timing just sort of worked out.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    Lol Jesse.
    KG benefited from the way things were done before, more than anyone else has or probably ever will. He’s got to be one of the richest players ever, right? Top 10 for sure. Why is he mixed up with this again?

  • spurINhouston

    When I read KG was negotiating for the NBA, all I could think of was this horrible memory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pTiEkfQ6pk&feature=results_main&playnext=1&list=PLCD13E1A839F4A685

  • Crigney

    I like the humor implied.  I don’t feel sorry for anyone involved, especially the players.  I will always love this sport for its purity and appreciate the world class athleticism, but these money issues are a lost cause.  Financial parity can’t be achieved in this league with the current market of teams.  Not to mention the fact that most of these guys would probably unemployed, doing dishes, or picking up garbage if it weren’t for the sport.  This whole process is really a microcosm of what is to come on a global financial scale, and when it does, the NBA will be the last thing on people’s minds.  Good luck.  

  • JustinFL

    Mr. Crigley,  I understand your concerns for the game, but most of these players have college degrees, and I promise you everyone of them worked their butt off to get to this level of basketball.

  • Crigney

    Understood, I said nothing about them not working their butt off.  You missed my point entirely.  They work their butt off because they have this sport.  College degrees?  Ha!  3-5% of these guys actually have a degree they could go to work with.  What if there were no NBA?  What would they do with that “Communications” degree if there were no ESPN or NBA on TNT?   

  • Adriang_83

    well if the NBA players wouldnt spend all their money on dumb stuff and would invest and set themselves up for retirement, they wouldnt want/need more money. No NBA season will hurt badly like when the NHL went to lockout and they came back. Just wasnt the same. Rich just want to get richer…..

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    “well if the NBA players wouldnt spend all their money on dumb stuff and would invest and set themselves up for retirement…”

    I think you could say that about lots of Americans, not just NBA players.

  • Crigney

    Most Americans don’t have an avg salary of $4.8 million

  • Tyler

    True, but I’d argue the average American would do worse than current NBA players in terms of saving money. 

    What’s the % of people who are broke a few years after winning the lottery? I remember is was astoundingly high, like something well over 50%….

  • Crigney

    “the average American would do worse than current NBA players in terms of saving money”

    Your speculation is anecdotal at best.  Lottery ticket winners are a poor example of clustering the “average American” when you actually consider the demographics on who actually plays the lottery.  Simply speculating this example based on somewhere, someplace you read isn’t a sound argument.  

  • http://twitter.com/blanchard48moh Jesse Blanchard

    When you say rich just want to get richer, are you talking players or owners?

    Because you realize the players aren’t asking for any more money, don’t you? They’re simply trying to not concede less than the great amount they already have.

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  • Len

    Jesse, look at this thing in the bigger picture.

    Sports players salaries have skyrocketed in the last twenty years in a blazing US economy.  The average NBA salary in 1990 was under $900,000.  At last check, that had increased to over $5,000,000.  

    Don’t you think that something that goes up that fast in a booming economy should come down fast when the economy slows down?  I’m not suggesting that the salaries should come down as fast as they went up.  But they should come down faster than Joe Six Packs average salary.

    A 20% decline in salaries for NBA players would still be around $4 mil per year.  The average salary would still have QUADRUPLED in 20 years!!

    Something to think about.

  • Bry

    The average professional athlete (including NBA players) is better educated than the average American. The ones that aren’t absurdly tall (like 95 percent of the guards) would probably just be playing a different sport for money. It’s a bit strange to assume that extremely talented and comparatively well-educated athletes would otherwise be ‘doing dishes, or picking up garbage’. The brainless jock stereotype is played out, man. They didn’t make it to the NBA because they’re big and stupid. What does it say about the intelligence or talent of the owners that they still don’t have a concrete revenue-sharing plan (28 years after the introduction of a salary cap) and can’t make a profit from a multi-billion dollar industry in which they voluntarily sign every single contract?

  • Crigney

    “The average professional athlete (including NBA players) is better educated than the average American”

    Again, what kind of degrees (excluding the 3-5% of the brightest with actual academic classes taken) does the average NBA’er have that would make them well educated in your opinion?  My “dishes and garbage” comment is an admitted exaggeration, but no so far from the truth to simply dismiss. Even for the average American, a 4 yr degree isn’t what it was worth in the job market 15 yrs ago.   

    Whatever you think of the owners (and there are many opinions out there), most of them have many other sources of income other than running your favorite NBA team.  To insult their intelligence/talent (whatever that means) for not getting a deal done is fairly ignorant because their livelihood doesn’t even depend on the existence of the NBA.  They are diversified and smart enough to not rely on 1 source of income, which I think is very intelligent.  You can’t say the same about the players. 

    Do I want there to be an NBA, absolutely.  Do I think it is important for my life or America in general that there is an NBA season, absolutely not. 

    “They didn’t make it to the NBA because they’re big and stupid” 

    Why did they then?

    They made the NBA because of god-given genetic gifts that enable them to run, jump and put a basketball through the hoop better than anyone else on the planet (which I 100% am able to appreciate in its own regard).  Elite, NBA basketball talent on its most primitive level leave education and intelligence absolutely out of the equation.

  • KG

    Your comment sounds like it comes from someone who has no experience in every doing anything at a high level.

    They did not get to the NBA because of ‘god-given genetic gifts.’ They’re in the NBA because when they were growing up they worked 10x harder than kids their age on getting good at skills which will serve them in the job they want (being an NBA player).

    I think the NBA players have shown the work ethic and intelligence at a very early age that the majority of the WORLD never shows. And then to say that it was just handed to them by God is just insulting.

  • Crigney

    Try again.  I understand this stuff more than 95% of the people who post here.  The “work ethic” is implied in excelling in any professional sport. When this is combined with the average NBAer’s freakish genetic predisposition, you get what we see on the court.   

    “They did not get to the NBA because of ‘god-given genetic gifts.’
    They’re in the NBA because when they were growing up they worked 10x
    harder than kids their age on getting good at skills which will serve
    them in the job they want (being an NBA player)”
    With your analogy, I could theoretically take Mark Zuckerburg and train him to work just as hard as Jason Kidd and he could be an NBA point guard?  Genetic gifts need to be in place to excel at the pro level in most sports, I don’t know how you find that insulting. 

    BTW:  I’ve played against and worked with more pro athletes than you have. This I know.   

  • Bry

    It doesn’t matter what degree they have. The fact they’ve completed a few years successfully at the university level is already ahead of the education of the average American. Most Americans do not have a bachelor’s. And KG is right that becoming a successful professional athlete is a tremendous amount of hard work. This is especially so in the case of NBA players. Their sport is interactive and they’ve got to cover both ends of the court. They’re out there in tank tops and shorts, and the high-def cameras show everything down to their haircut and facial expressions. Every part of their professional life, down to what they do in the off-season is scrutinized. Look at how everyone jumped all over Russell Westbrook, when the guy was 3rd team all NBA and is still like 22 years old. The owners, face almost no scrutiny, and like you said, have other sources of income. That’s why this is a lock-out, not a strike.
            God didn’t gift them their abilities. It still takes hard work. They are big and extremely well-skilled and talented. Not big and stupid. (The really stupid ones wash out long before the NBA is even within reach). Reggie Miller and Ray Allen are extraordinary shooters because they’ve spent thousands of hours doing just that. Bruce Bowen was a superb defender because he worked like a dog to hone that skill. Owners become NBA owners… well, because they were already rich. Their ‘hobby’ is a livelihood and life’s-work of players, coaches, trainers and personnel. They’ve been treating it like a hobby, or even a cash-cow up until the economy tanked. Now they are locking out the players and giving meeting-ending ultimatums because they aren’t getting the vast majority of the long-list of concessions they demand. I agree that the players need to make a number of concessions, and that the system needs to be reformed in a few ways that creates more parity and less of an already big advantage for certain rich teams, but so far the players have basically made every concession. They agreed to drop from 57 to 52.5 BRI, they’ve agreed to a harder cap, it looks like they’ve agree to shorter contracts etc. What have the owners done… apart from lock-out the league we all want to watch, and twice end negotiations by walking out of meetings?

  • Crigney

    “God didn’t gift them their abilities. It still takes hard work”Yes, of course.  Did you read my post above?  You actually think I discount how hard they work?  Genetics + freaky genetic predisposition + very hard work=professional athletes. The NBA is that simple.  HARD WORK IS IMPLIED IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, THAT ISN’T DISCOUNTED!  Come back when you got some substance.