HoopsHype Michele Roberts rumors

November 30, 2014 Updates

“I’m adamantly opposed to [raising the age minimum],” Roberts said. “I’ve been practicing law for 30 years. One of the beauties of being in that job is that I can practice until I lose my mind or die. That is not the case with athletes. You have a limited life to make money as a basketball player. Anything that limits those opportunities is distressing to me. I view [the age minimum] as just another device that serves to limit a players' ability to make a living.” Sports Illustrated

“If I come away with a worse deal, they will fire me before I can quit,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to say the players got hosed the last time. That’s disrespectful, and I wasn’t there. But they certainly lost a considerable amount of money. The rationale the owners used the last time was “profitability was an issue.” That is not going to be an issue going forward. If under these new circumstances we are still giving up a billion dollars, I’ll be run out of town.” Sports Illustrated

“I wanted to make them sure they understood I wasn’t advocating for a strike or a lockout, but I was preparing for it,” Roberts said. “They should be mindful of that as players. Part of preparing for any negotiation is to be prepared for the work stoppage. It is part of your leverage to be able to say with certainty that we are prepared for a long lockout.” “But of course I think it’s avoidable. Does anyone really expect Adam and I will sing kumbaya every day? We’re grown ups. He has a constituency, and I do. We disagree. But that’s the world. You know what we do agree on? We don’t want a work stoppage. Neither one of us wants to see that happen. We have said it to each other. We have said it out loud. Our teams are all smart, we all have the same goals and we should be able to sit down and avoid it. I’d be surprised, frankly, if we had one, but I’m ready if we do.” Sports Illustrated

November 26, 2014 Updates
November 21, 2014 Updates

National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts ripped NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s punishment as “excessive and without precedent” in a statement on Thursday. The union was eager to challenge the NBA on the severity of the suspension based on the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Yahoo! Sports

Roberts said the union is prepared to file an appeal on Taylor's behalf. The second-year player pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property stemming from an incident in East Lansing, Mich., in late September. "The CBA contemplates a minimum 10-game suspension in any case involving a conviction for a violent felony, including domestic violence," Roberts said in her statement. "In contrast, Jeff Taylor was charged with a misdemeanor that is likely to be dismissed at the end of a probationary period. The 24-game suspension is one of the longest in the history of the league. USA Today Sports

"We have a scheme of discipline that was the result of collective bargaining between the parties that has been applied consistently over the years. While we appreciate the sensitivity of this societal issue, the Commissioner is not entitled to rewrite the rules or otherwise ignore precedent in disciplinary matters. While ultimately this is Jeff's decision, we stand ready to file an immediate appeal on his behalf." Roberts' statement was in response to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's announcement of Taylor's suspension Wednesday, after Taylor's plea Oct. 30. USA Today Sports

November 20, 2014 Updates
November 19, 2014 Updates
November 15, 2014 Updates

Pablo Torre: The Collective Bargaining Agreement is a really long document. Have you read all of it? And, if so, what are your big takeaways? Michele Roberts: Initially it made my head explode. And I think it's still the kind of thing that you need to keep reading and reading and reading for it to make some sense. But the current CBA makes better sense now that I've read the preceding two. Because it appears to be an interesting narrative of what the league has been interested in having happen, in terms of its relationship with players, over a period of years. It wants, clearly, to do some things a) to protect itself, from itself; and b) to limit­ -- and it's almost the same thing -- to limit player salaries because it's unable to somehow get the owners to behave in a way that makes sense from an owner's perspective. In terms of some of the salary structures, it's a way to rein in the owners because they can't otherwise rein in themselves. ESPN.com

Michele Roberts: It doesn't make sense to me that you're suddenly eligible and ready to make money when you're 20, but not when you're 19, not when you're 18. In my opinion -- and we have yet to get official word from the players association -- but I suspect that the association will agree that this is not going to be one that they will agree to easily. There is no other profession, again, that says that you're old enough to die but not old enough to work. ESPN.com

PT: Does it strike you as strange that the suggestion that the players might request over 50 percent of basketball-related income, maybe materially more than 50 percent, sounds radical in this landscape? MR: Let's put it this way: I have never heard anyone complain about the amount of money George Clooney makes. No one says a peep about the fact that this guy makes probably more than the highest-paid player in the NBA. It's mind-boggling to me that people think that the players make too much given that this is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and they do not enjoy most of the money that's being made. It is insane to suggest that these men make more money than they deserve. It is insane. ESPN.com

PT: Do you see a day when there's an NBA team in Europe? Have you had conversations where players seem in favor of that? MR: Yes and yes. I think the league has an interest in seeing the game grow, and I think the players do. Our players routinely, if things aren't going well, or for whatever reason, end up playing in Europe and then come back here. Our women -- it's remarkable, they spend more time playing overseas than they spend playing at home. And sadly, some of the 18-year-olds who aren't able to make money here are playing overseas. There's more work, more opportunities to play basketball. ESPN.com

November 13, 2014 Updates

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Tuesday in response to NBPA executive director Michele Roberts' statements about the salary cap. From the press release: Adam Silver: “We couldn't disagree more with these statements. The NBA's success is based on the collective efforts and investments of all of the team owners, the thousands of employees at our teams and arenas, and our extraordinarily talented players. No single group could accomplish this on its own. Nor is there anything unusual or “un-American” in a unionized industry to have a collective system for paying employees -- in fact, that's the norm. CBSSports.com

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