Apparently still salty from a scathing column by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock over the weekend accusing him of being a pawn for NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league’s owners (a Cheese Wagstaff to Stern’s Marlo, if you will), NBAPA President Derek Fisher released a statement from his attorneys demanding a retraction from Whitlock and Fox Sports.
“The statements made in recent articles on the Fox Sports website are inexcusable. Among the many baseless accusations, to allege that I am working with the league for my personal gain is unequivocally false. The implication that I am doing anything but working in the best interests of the players is disgusting, defamatory and a flat out lie. I have issued a letter through my attorneys demanding a retraction for the libelous and defamatory stories the site and reporter have continued to publish.
Regardless of the media reports, the Players Association, our staff, Executive Director and Executive Committee are unified and working side by side to serve our players.
There should be no more distractions. We must continue to negotiate a fair deal for our players.”
There’s little substance or purpose to Fisher releasing this statement or even expecting a retraction from Whitlock, who seems determined to stretch this out as far as he can.
Those close to Fisher don’t seriously believe he’s in the back pocket of the league. The 15-year veteran and five-time champion has a longstanding reputation as a stand up, straight-forward guy.
However, the one thing working against Fish is the long history of NBA Player’s Association Presidents – from Bob Lanier to Isiah Thomas to Michael Curry – receiving cushy NBA jobs after retirement not long after negotiating against the Stern regime.