HoopsHype Maurice Evans rumors

July 2, 2012 Updates
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Fisher and Hunter had a falling out near the end of the settlement and the tension bubbled over into a nasty public spectacle on Friday, when the players’ union released a statement asking Fisher to step down as president. Fisher responded by stating that he won’t resign and claimed that the executive committee has “waged a personal character attack on” him. “This is petty in my opinion and we’re losing focus on the big picture,” Evans said in a telephone interview. “It’s extremely disappointing to me personally because we, Billy, Derek and myself became extremely close throughout this process and we accomplished so many great things, along with the other executive committee members, on behalf of all of the players. Coming off the heels of the lockout, in the midst of…a great season, with great parity, the CBA is functioning very well. And now it seems that we’re losing credibility behind something that could be avoided.” Washington Post

He also convinced the committee that Fisher’s push had no merit. “That gave the board extreme confidence, which we already had in Billy, and fully the confidence of the board was lost in Derek’s ability to continue as president,” Evans said. “It’s nothing personal with Derek. Again, it has nothing to do with Derek’s ability as a basketball player or Derek’s character as a man. It’s relative to Derek’s ability at this time as president of the union.” “I don’t think that anyone is defaming his character. Again, even in the statement issued by the PA, we applauded his leadership throughout and I think it’s just pretty much, it’s time to go our separate ways,” Evans said. “We tried to handle this internally and for whatever reason, things have gone public that he’s trying to conduct business of the union without our authority. I’m not sure why this is turning into Derek versus the PA or Derek versus Billy or Derek versus Mo. This isn’t a game. No one is trying to assassinate his character in any way.” Washington Post

With Fisher showing resistance to stepping down, Evans wasn’t sure how the situation was going to be resolved. “I hope that we can finish out the season, this can play out in a vote [this summer], and we can take care of this as quickly as possible. There is no place for this, no reason for this to be taking place,” Evans said. “This is not what we signed on for. Right now, we’re not acting in a way that’s in the best interest of all of the players. We’re causing a huge distraction. Teams are getting ready to compete for a championship and we’re right now, we’re taking the focus off what it is extremely important.” Washington Post

April 21, 2012 Updates

The executive committee includes Maurice Evans, Chris Paul, Keyon Dooling, James Jones, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff and Etan Thomas. After a unanimous vote, the group suggested that Fisher resign. The committee scheduled a conference call with Hunter and discussed some of the concerns that Fisher has brought up relating to the union’s leadership and practices. Hunter provided in-depth answers and erased the group’s concerns. The board scheduled a similar phone call with Fisher to discuss his allegations and, but Fisher failed to call in. “Derek has the right to handle this as he sees fit,” Evans said. “We have already expressed what our desires are as a board. We didn’t expect this from Derek, with the leadership he has displayed in the past, and it was becoming a huge distraction from the great season that the NBA is having right now. The executive committee understands that we don’t make decisions as individuals. We make decisions as a whole. This is not about Mo Evans, Billy Hunter or Derek Fisher. This is about us making decisions collectively and when we don’t demonstrate that desire to make decisions as a group, we think it’s in the best interest to part ways.” HoopsWorld

The NBPA just did a financial audit in February and didn’t find any issues, according to sources close to the situation. Fisher is calling for transparency, but other members of the executive committee don’t believe there are any problems with the union’s business or financial practices. “I can’t speak on Derek’s behalf, I can only speak on behalf of the group, but we believe in transparency and believe in being forthright,” Evans said. “We want nothing more than to be transparent with the entire general body as we represent them. This isn’t about our individual desires. We just want to move forward and help the union to function better. We don’t want to be a distraction to our players. We want to shift the focus away from Derek, Billy and the executive committee and back onto the great season that we’re having.” HoopsWorld

“We believe that Chris Paul will be the next president,” Evans said. “He played an intricate role during the lockout and throughout the negotiations. He has the confidence of a lot of guys on the board and around the NBA. Going forward, we believe that he would do a great job. That has yet to be determined or voted on and we’ll address those matters down the road. For now, we’ll continue to support every member of the executive committee and value every member’s opinions.” HoopsWorld

April 11, 2012 Updates

I once did an interview with former DC United soccer player Charlie Davies while we got pedicures, so when Wizards team podiatrist Dr. Howard Osterman went on record saying that a “handful of his team’s players” get regular pedicures, it wasn’t surprising. But then I started thinking about which Wizards would go on record themselves about it. “My toes are so ugly that I wouldn’t dare,” said Mo Evans when I asked if he was one of the ones with sweet feet. “I tried to go one time, a long, long time ago and I was embarrassed when the lady started trying to shave stuff.” Trevor Booker admitted that he goes about once a month. “It makes my feet softer,” he explained. “I usually go to the Pentagon Mall. They always put on gloves when I come in.” It’s one thing for big athletes to admit to getting pampered, but is it okay for regular men to get them? “Yeah, that’s cool,” Booker said. Washington Post

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And while an extension for Grunfeld certainly is out of the question at the moment, the Wizards actually will be fairly well positioned next summer to make a significant move in a deep free-agent class. Assuming they buy out Rashard Lewis, who only has $10 million guaranteed out of his $22 million salary, Washington would have less than $35 million in committed payroll. And since the youth movement is in full swing, Grunfeld might be able to extract another asset if he decides to move veteran guard Maurice Evans and/or Roger Mason to a contender that needs guard help. Both are on one-year deals and can't be traded until March 1, and their veteran experience is needed in the locker room. But if either one decides he wants a trade, sources say the Wizards will try to accommodate them. CBSSports.com

January 7, 2012 Updates

Assembling a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t an easy task. It can be very frustrating at times and there were plenty of points during the lockout where talks turned sour. However, looking back on the experience, Evans and Mason felt it was extremely rewarding and worth the time they spent traveling and sitting in various hotel conference rooms. “It was a serious mental grind,” Mason told HOOPSWORLD. “You don’t know what it’s like in that room until you’re there. The guys that are there, David Stern and the owners, are savvy business men and that’s what they do for a living so it was a good learning experience. It was business so obviously there were never any hard feelings. I feel really proud that I was able to represent the guys.” HoopsWorld

Prior to every game this season, opposing players have gone out of their way to thank Mason and Evans for the work they did throughout the lockout. Not only did they attend nearly all of the meetings in New York, but they also traveled the country to hold regional meetings with players and agents. It was a busy summer for the two veterans, but they’ve received plenty of support. “It’s been awesome,” Evans said. “Every game, we play guys who have just been so grateful and thankful for the work that we all put in during the offseason. I’m sure Derek [Fisher] is getting those same compliments from a lot of the guys.” HoopsWorld

Evans, 33, and Mason, 31, are hoping that their experiences, both on and off the court, will help them eventually land a front office job once their playing days are behind them. “I would love to share my knowledge and my talents in the front office, and somehow use my ability to read people and evaluate talent,” Evans said. “I want to use the great experiences I have, playing on championship-caliber teams, to really help young guys develop and prosper in this league.” “I love the game,” Mason said. “I want to keep playing for awhile but when I’m done, I’ve got the experience of putting together the CBA. I’m very versed in that now and I’m sure I’ll be doing something that can take advantage at that skill set.” HoopsWorld

January 6, 2012 Updates

Evans believes it’s time to take the focus, and the speculation, away from the coaching staff and management and put it back where it belongs, on the players. “We have to look internally as well and find out, who are our leaders? Who are we trying to go to when we need a bucket? Is it Dray [Andray Blatche], is it Nick [Young], is it John [Wall], Jordan [Crawford]? So those are the questions I posed to them, and things that we have to know going forward if we’re going to win games, and more importantly, if we’re ever going to compete for anything real.” Washington Times

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