McIlvaine: We once kicked Jack Haley out of a meeting because he had recently retired. He was there as a mole. Years later he told me that ownership had somebody listening on every call and knew exactly what we were strategizing. I don’t know whether this was Jack blowing smoke, but there were certain players that were sympathetic to owners. Hunter: Stern would always tell me, “I got my people everywhere. I know as much about what you’re doing as you know. I got my eyes and ears.” Clearly, I think there was someone amongst the players, but there also may have been people within my office and on staff. I have my suspicions, but I’m not going to disclose that.
McKie: We would get on those conference calls and oh my God, guys would complain about this, that, and the other. It was crazy. You had some guys, obviously the guys who were making a lot of money, that wanted to hold the line and then you had other guys like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, I got to get back to work. I got a wife. I got kids. I got family members that I have to help.” Kauffman: A lot of players were scared. Let’s be blunt: They were scared. Ratliff: You had a lot of guys who had their own agenda and that agenda was getting that check.
Kessler: David is bombastic and volatile and could blow up in the meeting at any time against anybody including his own owners, own lawyers, players, the other side, me, Billy, Patrick Ewing, anybody. He had a very tempestuous negotiating style. Quinn: His way of negotiating is more or less yelling. Kessler: Players got to see that side of David that was digging and belittling and shouting and boisterous. Kauffman: He wasn’t Easy Dave anymore.
Hunter: He talked to me for like 15-20 minutes. Before we hung up, he said, “Promise me you’ll call David Stern.” After he hung up, two minutes later I called David. I remember that when I called David that he was anticipating my call. I don’t know if Leonard had called beforehand and informed him that I would be calling; I didn’t leave Leonard with the impression that I would call. But David was receptive and said he wanted to get together and he was hopeful we could work something out.
High Flying Bird, like Unsane, was shot on an iPhone and will be the first of – at least – two Soderbergh films released as Netflix Originals, ahead of the director’s upcoming Panama Papers drama The Laundromat. The former was written by Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney of Moonlight fame and follows Ray Burke (Holland), a sports agent who ends up stuck between a rock and a hard place when the NBA is hit with a lockout. However, in his efforts to stay in “the game”, Ray discovers a loophole that could forever change how the NBA works and save his career to boot. Of course, that’s assuming he can pull a major deal off within the next 72 hours.
21 Sep 17