With all eyes shifting to the NBA Lockout this week, even NBA players can't help but compare the NBA's collective bargaining situation to that of the NFL. In the latter scenario, NFLPA President DeMaurice Smith reduced his salary to $1 as a symbolic show of sacrifice. Some NBA players have wondered whether their union's president would do the same.
So Shane Battier asked Billy Hunter. Yahoo! Sports reports:
The mere suggestion seemed to offend Hunter, players witnessing the exchange privately told Yahoo! Sports. After Hunter told Battier he hadn’t given it much thought, members of the union’s executive board came to Hunter’s defense. Hunter had taken the union from the red to the black in his term, done a good job, they said. Hunter never did give Battier a firm answer...
If nothing else, the story paints a tense picture. Hunter makes around $2 million-a-year, and players want to be sure that he has every incentive to get a deal done as soon as possible.
Hunter, for his part, has what might be the toughest job in sports over the next 6-12 months. But more than anything, the exchange above just paints a scene that's full of frustration and uncertainty. In other words, the lockout hasn't even begun, and we're already seeing the effects.