Wizards forward Maurice Evans, Vice President of the Players Union, recently spoke with Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, and had a few stern comments about NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Some of Evans concerns are that Stern chose this time to take a two week vacation, that Stern shows no real sense of urgency in resolving the lockout, and has yet to bargain in good faith with the players union. Evans also took issue with Stern’s hefty salary, which he said is about $20 million a year.
Courtesy of SI.Com:
SI.com: “I’ve talked to some players who were bothered by the fact that Stern took a vacation right now. How did you see that?”
Evans: “Of course it does rub you the wrong way a little bit when the guy doesn’t seem to have a sense or urgency. And then when you hear about his $20 million-plus salary, and he tries to justify it and go on and have an hour-long podcast that you could say is misleading or you could also say lying. Those things are the most disappointing.”
“We had all these meetings, and the guy has yet to come in and truly bargain in good faith. They have yet to truly engage us and work toward getting a deal. Each time we come in, we’re offering significant amounts of money and then they’re not even supporting the losses with real claims. That part is what has been disappointing.”
SI.com: “You mention his salary, but he was pretty adamant in saying it was less than half of what was reported.”
Evans: “So that’s his base salary, and then you get all these incentives. First of all, in dealing with Stern, I’ve learned that even the base of $9 million is probably somewhere around $12 million. Then you add bonuses and all that and it shoots up to $20 million-plus.”
“But it’s not my job to critique his salary. I want him to make money. That’s the whole point is we want everyone to make money. But he’s the one who wants everyone to suffer losses.”
“The guy tells us it’s the recession and all these different things, yet they want to experience all the growth over the next 10 years while we experience none. When you look at it that way, it’s extremely disappointing.”
Evans recently expressed optimism about the last set of regional meetings between the owners and players, even calling the meetings “productive”, but there doesn’t seems to be much progress toward getting a deal done.
The two sides could meet as early as next week to continue talks.