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Bill Guerin to NBA players: Give up

Oct 21, 2011, 4:54 PM EDT

Bill Guerin Getty Images

Former NHL player Bill Guerin has some advice for locked out NBA players: Quit fighting the owners and get back to work.

“It’s not worth it. Get a deal done,” Geurin told McClatchy’s Mac Engel.

Coming from a player who was a loyal union man during his hockey career, it was an astonishing admission. As Engel writes, “There was not a single NHL player during the Great Lockout of 2004-05 who was a bigger proponent of the union’s fight than this man. No one believed in the cause more than Guerin, and to hear him admit this is a bit stunning.”

Presumably Guerin would do things differently if he could go back in time.

“Burning a year was ridiculous,” Guerin said. “It wasn’t worth me giving up $9 million a year, or 82 games plus the playoffs, then having a crappy year and being bought out. … Guys in the NBA making $15 million or however much better think long and hard about this.”

It will be interesting to see if the NHLPA has any response to Guerin’s comments. With the current CBA expiring at the end of the season, union head Donald Fehr might feel the need to do some damage control. A union’s resolve isn’t exactly strengthened when a former player says things like, “It’s (the owner’s) league, and you are going to play when they want.” Which is exactly what Guerin said.

  1. charlutes - Oct 21, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Guerin, you’re an idiot.

  2. canucks18 - Oct 21, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    You might say he’s an idiot but he’s not completely wrong either. These players make an insane amount of money, why should they bitch about not making a lil more money.

  3. bcjim - Oct 21, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Do those fools really think a *year* of lost $$ is worth it..whatever it is?.

    They are nuts.

    Plenty of those clowns will never make back the money they will lose.

  4. nhlbruins90 - Oct 21, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Workers of the world, unite! Oh, please.

    These are rich businessmen negotiating with other rich business owners. There’s no labor vs. management here. They can fight it out, and I for one don’t give a damn what happens. I’m so sick of hearing about these spoiled, elite morons. Unemployment’s at 9%. Maybe they should do their negotiating in private.

  5. charlutes - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    they should. but its not all about a few extra bucks. its about atthletes not being pimped. its about control. its about standing against a total takeover of basketball by billionaires. just because the players are rich so what? they deserve to be, they generate so much revenue, they create jobs, they give us the pro sports that we love to experience. they have earned their money through natural talent, abnormal work ethic or by convincing one of the pimps to pay them a pretty penny to perform for the Everyman. I love sports, and the essence of sports. I don’t give a darn about the owners, in fact I’d pay more to see the same athletes play at sandlots.

    The green bay packers are as close to the model of a perfect ownership structure as I know. why? Theres no head billionaire in charge of it all, with greed as his ultimate motivator.

    Give all the teams back to the people. Cut out the rich guys who control everything. make everyone accountable for their own job. give the players their money, they are special. they compete for the love of the game and our great pleasure…and yes money, because players are greedy too. but that doesn’t change what they bring to the table. we need them and not the owners, that’s for sure.

    • nhlbruins90 - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:47 PM

      The ‘rich guys’ include the players. They are the epitome of success in the capitalist system. They work hard in one of the few pure meritocracies left, and the demand for their services is huge, hence they make huge bucks. Good for them.

      But to characterize them as anything but very rich, pure capitalist, cut-throat businessmen is foolish. Nothing wrong with being a cut-throat businessman either, but it takes owners to do their thing, and players to do their thing to make it all work.

      If you ‘give the teams back to the people’ will you have a better product? It might work in Green Bay, but plenty of public companies, and most government agencies are poorly run. The Patriots are extremely well-run by a rich, private owner, and Tom Brady is a very rich man today in part because of the Kraft’s money and talent as an organizational leader.

      I’m just saying, please rich people, do your grubby negotiating in private and leave us folks trying to make ends meet in a sinking economy alone. It’s not making you look very sympathetic, owners and players alike.

  6. charlutes - Oct 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    No argument there. Both sides should be a lot less focused on the political styled smeer campaigns.

    That being said, just because some billionaires succeed doesn’t mean all organizations couldn’t be run like the Packers. The fact that they are such a small market proves that. I live in Toronto and I know we could support an NFL team, especially with the revenue sharing model in the NFL, I’m guessing almost all of the American cities already invoked could do it. Aaron Rodgers will get his money in GB. They have the most stacked team in the NFL by far.

    I’m saying clean up Sports just like Wall Street needs to get cleaned up. Generate the same revenue and cut out the Pigs at the top who take most of the pie for themselves .

  7. mianfr - Oct 22, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    In hockey your life span is a little longer, but most of these people are hockey lifers without great education, so they really can’t ever afford to leave a year off the table, even at the veteran minimum. You have to sell a lot of cars to make that up, and that’s for the most fungible players in the league whose careers are especially short.

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