POINT: Deron Williams playing in Turkey is good for the players and the Players Union.
ARGUED BY: Billy Hunter, executive director of the Players Union
FROM: The New York Times
In a letter sent to 450 players this week, Billy Hunter, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, said that playing abroad would keep the pressure on owners while allowing union members to continue making a living.
“This lockout is intended to economically pressure our players to agree to an unfavorable collective bargaining agreement,” Hunter said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. “It is important for owners to understand that there may be significant consequences to their decision to put their own players in these difficult economic circumstances.” [...]
In his letter, Hunter commended Williams “for the wisdom and courage he has demonstrated” and for showing that the players “will not be intimidated by the league’s hard-line tactics.”
COUNTERPOINT: Deron Williams playing in Turkey is bad for the players and the Players Union.
ARGUED BY: Some anonymous player
“It’s not good,” one player told me on Thursday, demanding anonymity before saying a word. “Williams’ move makes sense if you’re about getting that cash. Nobody can blame him for that. But when you’re talking about these negotiations, it’s suppose to be about unity.” [...]
ANOTHER COUNTERPOINT: Deron Williams playing in Turkey is good for the owners.
ARGUED BY: An anonymous league executive
“Here’s the bottom line,” a league executive told me Thursday. “Not only does Williams help the Nets by remaining in basketball shape and helping to globalize the brand, but he divides the players in a way without even knowing it.
“With the money he made last year, with him in position to collect on the $16.3 million for next season, assuming the lockout ends, if he’s going to go and collect more cash in Turkey while mid-level, relatively unknown players remain here waiting for a deal — because Turkey ain’t inviting them overseas — how is the union going to stand up and tell players they need to stand together? It ain’t happening.”
LAST COUNTERPOINT, I PROMISE: Deron Williams playing in Turkey is bad for the owners.
ARGUED BY: Henry Abbott
Now there’s real pressure on Mikhail Prokhorov, and implied pressure on every owner with valued stars, to get the NBA season started on time. There’s nothing like watching the future of your franchise take the floor night in and night out in a chippy overseas league. If Williams gets injured in Turkey, it’s bad for Williams, but it’s dreadful for the Nets, who are hoping to use Williams to lure fans to a new arena in Brooklyn a year from now, not to mention a big free agent like Dwight Howard. Without Williams, the Nets’ roster is pretty sad, and Prokhorov’s investment in basketball endures a major setback.
CONCLUSION: Deron Williams playing in Turkey is either good or bad for the players and owners.