It’s the narrative of what the league has always been. From a team’s perspective, they control the narrative. They’ve controlled the narrative for how players should be, how they should act, how they should treat the organization. We just want people to understand that there’s two sides of the coin. It’s not just one-sided.LeBron James
James echoed many of the same sentiments, refusing to piggyback Draymond’s words, deciding to be strategic about verbalizing his thoughts on the spot. But he did praise Green for his engagement with the issue, saying he was “so smart about everything he said.”
I’m right with him. That is the way of the land, I mean, that’s how it’s always been, and we want to be able to have an opportunity to create and control our own destiny at times as well.LeBron James
In terms of coming up with a solution, LeBron emphasized the importance of discourse as the first step toward change. Not so much in a players-owners dynamic – player empowerment has done so much in that department already – but how their actions are perceived compared to when teams operate on the same principle.
How do we change it? It’s all about communication. It’s all about being respectful, being a great teammate. Because at the end of the day, your teammates will speak for you. Organizations will throw you under the bus, but in the long run, I think you just talk to former teammates, and they’ll tell you about them.LeBron James
It’s obvious LeBron and Draymond – both clients of Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports – are on the same page regarding the NBA’s double standards. And I get their message — there is a level of hypocrisy when judging players’ actions compared to when organizations do similar things, and we can all agree there’s room for improvement. But isn’t that more on the NBA media than the league itself?
Let’s look back at the Decision, which is regarded as the origin of the player empowerment revolution. For the first time in NBA history, a player took control over his own destiny. The media and former players crucified LeBron for it — the NBA said and did nothing.
Green also used Harden’s example, saying, “he was castrated for wanting to go to a different team.” Once again, the former Rockets‘ superstar did receive some backlash for his actions; not because he forced his way out of Houston, but because of how he did it. And once again, it was all coming from the media. The NBA did and said nothing. He was fined for breaking the league’s COVID protocols, but that seems reasonable to me.
So what exactly LeBron and Draymond want from the NBA? It seems like their frustrations are directed at the discrepancy of representation between the players and teams/owners — what does the league have to do with that?
I’m not going to use the “they make millions playing basketball, why are they complaining” argument. But the fact is, both Draymond and LeBron are wrong to call the NBA out on this one. Especially when complaining about players having to “remain professional and in shape despite pending or rumored trades” or talking about how players “get fined for publicly requesting a trade.” Don’t contracts mean anything anymore?
I’m all for player empowerment. Guys should be able to make their own decisions and take control over their pro careers. I’m also in favor of equal treatment for teams as well as the players. What Draymond and LeBron need to realize is, the league has been doing that all along.
The NBA isn’t mistreating their players. The NBA media is misrepresenting them.