Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association made quite the comment yesterday, specifically singling out the Sacramento Kings when he brought up the “threat” of contraction:
Hunter said earlier Friday that he fears much worse than canceled games if the lockout drags on.
“If everybody begins to dig into their respective positions, then I think the league will be decimated. It took us five years to recover from the 1998 lockout and there’s probability that we may never recover [from this lockout],” Hunter told ESPN before Friday’s sit-down with players. “I think there will be some teams that won’t survive. Particularly if the season gets shut down, there will be teams that will not be around next year.”
Hunter singled out the Sacramento Kings as a franchise that may fall victim to “forced contraction.”
I’m not even sure where to begin with Hunter’s comment.
First off, this isn’t anything new in terms of contraction talk – it’s Hunter simply trying to be dramatic and using a somewhat volatile situation in Sacramento as a pawn in his argument. Secondly, really? Using contraction as a threat? That’s exactly what the players you represent what to hear – fewer teams resulting in less jobs.
Now, whether or not contraction would be beneficial to the league is an entirely different argument – but are the Kings a potential contraction franchise because Hunter says so? Not in the least bit. Much like anything else Hunter says or does, you can’t take it seriously.
If somebody needs to be worried about contraction, it’s Hunter himself, who’s job is seriously on the line after the awful approach he’s taken during this lockout.