I just do not understand professional athletes. Not only because I am not partaking in any sport at the elite level, but also because the sense of competition is so heavily relied on but so complained about. Derek Fisher states that one reason why the players are not backing down is because they do not want to be treated like the NFL players are, as reported by Slam Online.
‘It breaks my heart to see the way guys like LaDainian Tomlinson get dealt with in the NFL,’ Fisher said of the former MVP who gained 914 yards for the Jets last season after he had been waived by the Chargers. ‘To see what he’d done for the San Diego Chargers and to get to that place where he was under a contract that’s already been signed. The Chargers were able to absorb value in income and potential profits from years of his services, and then at the drop of a hat, based on arbitrary thinking because he’s a certain age and he can’t produce at a certain level anymore, he’s gone. Out the door.’
Not to say that players should be treated as apparel, but when you have worn down a pair of gymshoes and they have scuff marks that cannot be removed, what would you do with them? Would you just toss them out the door? Or would you trade them for a prettier pair? As raw as that may seem, that is just how the professional league works.
Fisher does not want to be treated like an NFL player, but how comfortable would he feel being treated like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar post-career? Or maybe he would adjust well to being treated like Scottie Pippen, great and occasionally forgotten? If you are not producing right here and right now in a league that functions off of greatness and ferocity, then you will be tossed on the backburner.
It amazes me that he mentioned LaDanian Tomlinson in his righteous speech about how NBA players refuse to be treated, but left out one of his own brethren in Brandon Roy of the Portland Trailblazers that was reportedly going to be asked to retire.
Roy is a standing member of the league and still could not get the recognition of his peers during a comment that seemed aimed directly at how he is being treated. Stepping into the spotlight to put the magnifying glass on such an issue with the owners may fair a lot better if you include the men directly affected by the situation in your discussion.
While those poorly treated NFL players are making money and playing the game they love, NBA players will still be whining about what sacrifices they must make for the good of the people. Sounds just like every Spike Lee movie I have ever seen.