After a column by Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock suggested that NBA Players Union President Derek Fisher was working with commissioner David Stern during labor negotiations, behind the back of his NBPA colleagues, Fisher has threatened legal action against Fox Sports if he does not receive a retraction.
Whitlock, who cited sources in this report, said that Fisher hopes to work with an NBA team or with the league after his retirement and was looking to work out a deal with Stern that would force the players to settle for a 50-50 split of basketball-related income. The players’ association is seeking a 52-48 split and those two percentage points are the main point of contention between the sides. The NBA lockout has lasted more than four months.
Here is Fisher’s statement obtained by the Globe:
“The statements made in recent articles on the Fox Sports website are inexcusable. Among the many baseless accusations, to allege that I am working with the league for my personal gain is unequivocally false. The implication that I am doing anything but working in the best interests of the players is disgusting, defamatory and a flat out lie. I have issued a letter through my attorneys demanding a retraction for the libelous and defamatory stories the site and reporter have continued to publish.
“Regardless of media reports, the Players Association, our staff, Executive Director and Executive Committee are unified and working side by side to serve our players. There should be no more distractions. We must continue to negotiate a fair deal for our players.”
The NBA players and the league have not scheduled a meeting to continue negotiations but Celtics free agent forward Glen Davis sent out an interesting tweet this morning that may reflect a fractured players’ union.
“Take the 51% man and let’s play,” he wrote on Twitter.