The most popular player during the NBA lockout has been Los Angeles Lakers veteran guard Derek Fisher. Fisher also serves as the head of the players' association, and has been working with Billy Hunter, David Stern and the rest of the league executives on finding a new collective bargaining agreement that could end the current financial stalemate.
Fisher, who wrote one letter to the players earlier this summer, has written another according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
In this letter, Fisher urges player unity as the scheduled season draws nearer and training camps and pre-season games begin to be cancelled. The players have been seen sporting shirts that simply say "STAND." This obvious display of solidarity helps the players portray a united front to Stern and the rest of the league owners.
In his letter, Fisher asks for patience and commitment to the players' cause. It comes as no surprise that this letter has been released as people begin to express their feelings that the elite stars of the NBA should get involved with the lockout negotiations in an attempt to show the owners what they're losing.
The complete letter from Fisher to the players is below.
“Our game has never been more popular and we’re poised to see tremendous revenue growth over the next 5 to 6 years. … We must share fairly in the continued growth of our business. Any deal that decouples us from a fair share of the revenue growth in the years ahead is a deal we cannot accept. Period!….
There are a number of team owners that will not lose the season over the hard cap system. We’ve been clear from Day 1 of this process that we cannot sign off on a deal that attempts in any way to include a hard salary cap for our teams. That has not changed,” Fisher said. “Unless you, the group we represent, tell us otherwise, we are prepared to hold the line for as long as it takes to preserve the system we’ve worked so hard to build…..
I want to make something absolutely clear about this process,” Fisher wrote. “You ultimately have the voice and the power in these negotiations. Those of us that are in the room negotiating with the NBA cannot agree to any deal or deal points, good or bad, without taking your vote. Despite what you may hear, we don’t have the authority to sell you out or sell you short.”
There is one meeting scheduled for this week between the players and the owners.