You want to know how well the NBA’s negotiations with the players union about this summer’s expiring collective bargaining agreement is going? Very well, as long as your definition of “very well” includes the head negotiator on each side threatening the other with convoluted metaphors about their killing prowess.
Here’s David Stern at a players meeting before the All-Star Game, from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
Stern would barely even look at [players union director Billy] Hunter when Hunter handed him the microphone. And soon, Stern started reciting his résumé, his decades of labor fights and legal battles in the NBA. Here’s how much the NBA was worth and here’s where I’ve brought it, he said. Everyone could see the anger rising within him, but no one expected the words that tumbled out of his mouth.
Stern told the room he knows where “the bodies are buried” in the NBA, witnesses recounted, because he had buried some of them himself.
Looks like Stan Van Gundy was right.
Not wanting to be outdone, Hunter countered with his own Cormac McCarty-ish tales of extermination.
This year, Hunter said he told Stern this story: “I don’t know where you were raised, but I lived with rats. I used to kill rats. We had a .22 rifle and we would lay in the kitchen and shoot them on the floor. One thing my grandmother taught me was that if you got a rat trapped, you’ve got to give his ass a way out, because he will fight you if he has to.
“If you don’t give us a way out, a chance for a compromise, you’re going to get a fight.”
One of the first rules of negotiating is that you should always make sure the other side thinks you are willing to kill them. That way they’re super scared of you and will do whatever you request. It’s called strong-arming and it was invented by the mafia. AltaVista it.
Definitely read Woj’s article, because it’ll really make you feel hopeful about this labor dispute being settled without any missed games. Except, actually, the total opposite of that. Hope you’re enjoying this season because the next one isn’t looking too promising.