|ESPN.com: NBA||[Print without images]|
|Stories of union squabbles have taken center stage, but the clash between owners is the real show.|
|Differing opinions between small- and large-market owners has put commissioner David Stern in a bind.|
“I spoke to Durant, Ime Udoka and DeMar DeRozan on Thursday after they finished playing some full-court runs at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. They said they still believed in Fisher and they all felt the players have already given enough in stating their willingness to drop from 57 percent in the old agreement to a proposal to go to 52.5, and they don't want to go any lower. "I'm all for standing up for what you believe in," Durant said. "I think that's what we're doing as a union. We're playing in these games, these charity games, because we love what we do. We're not going out here getting insurance, we're not going out here getting paid. We love the game. Guys can get hurt playing in these games. But people don't see that." No player has been as active as Durant during the lockout. He has played in games from playgrounds to college arenas, from coast to coast. He acted in a movie. He even played flag football with some Oklahoma State students this week, something he said he did because he needed to take his mind off the lockout. He says he plays -- basketball, that is, not football -- so much because he loves the game so much. That begs the question: If he loves the game so much ... "Then why don't we take the deal?" he said, not waiting for the rest of the sentence. "I think it's about standing up. We've given in so much. Guys are doing this not just for the players we have now, but for the future. Seven years from now, are we going to take 47-53? Seven years after that are we going to take 40? So why not stand for something now, so we'll be better 10 or 15 years down the line. If they're going to keep taking from us every six years, every seven years it'll get to the point where we have nothing to fight for anymore." It's getting taken from us, as well. Durant arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday. He was supposed to play against Bryant and the Lakers that night. Who wouldn't want to watch that game? But instead of going to Staples Center, Durant hung out with his buddy and Thunder teammate James Harden. I wound up watching old "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episodes online on HBO Go. On Wednesday, instead of a heavy slate of 13 games I watched "Some Like It Hot." In it, there's a scene where Tony Curtis "borrows" a yacht to impress Marilyn Monroe, but he can't quite figure out how to operate the little boat to take her there, so he drove it in reverse. That's the metaphor for this week in the NBA. Headed backward, rapidly, away from the main issues.
I think it's about standing up. We've given in so much. Guys are doing this not just for the players we have now, but for the future. Seven years from now, are we going to take 47-53? Seven years after that are we going to take 40?” -- Kevin Durant