Roberts: Complaints About Player Movement Hypocritical

With NBA training camps set to open up later this month, Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated sat down with the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, Michele Roberts, who feels that there is a “double standard” between how players and teams are viewed when a decision is made for the player to move franchises.

“If you want to be critical of one, be critical of both,” Roberts said. “No one has said a word about what happens when the team precipitously trades a man, especially a family man, and the consequences that that has on him…. We spend so much time criticizing a player’s decision to move but no time wondering or thinking … about a team’s decision to move a player.”

According to Roberts, if a team has the right to move a player without backlash, then a player should have the equal right to change teams, pursuant to league rules, without being unfairly criticized.

“If a team has the right to trade you, then that’s the way it works. Similarly, if a player has the right to leave, that’s the way it works too… there’s just a perception that owners have rights and players don’t… I mean it’s unfortunate that we tend to, on some levels, continue to view players as property as opposed to people.”

Ultimately, Roberts analogizes player movement, or at least the motivation for players to want to change teams, as any other individual in the workforce who wants to change jobs, firms, or companies.

“What I think has to happen is we have to somehow stop the chatter that I think is growing in intensity about the problem of player movement. I don’t see it as a problem any more than I would see a lawyer deciding to work in another firm as a problem. I thought that that was something we were supposed to be able to do in this country.”

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36 thoughts on “Roberts: Complaints About Player Movement Hypocritical

  1. Codeeg

    Honestly I think teams should just be offering no trade clauses. Carmelo though saw that teams won’t work with the player at all because it hurts their asking price.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I haven’t heard a lot of OKC fans whining about Westbrook coming to Houston like they did when KD joined the Warriors. Although one being a trade and the other being a player leaving in free agency, Russ did ask to be traded so it’s not really all that different. I wonder how he will be greeted by Thunder fans on January 9th?

      • Eric Lord

        The two situations are different. Durant ran to the Warriors after choking against them in the playoffs a few weeks earlier. He also after the elimination that he had unfinished business with the Thunder. Then, he left for their hated rival at the time. That isn’t going to win you any fans. Westbrook stayed for 11 years & was honest with the organization & fans. He’ll be welcomed back with a standing ovation.

  2. signal_lost

    What utter foolishness. When I go to work for my company and quit to work for another company, I’M NOT BREAKING A CONTRACT!! I actually was involved in an employment contract before. I sold a software program to a company and contracted to maintain it for 4 years. I fulfilled the contract and then moved on.

    • Jason Lancaster

      So you sign a contract with company x. Company x says “we got a call from company y, and we’ve decided to give them our contract rights. You work for them now, and you’re give to have to move.”

      Does that sound even remotely close to your situation? Or would you say that maybe your experience isn’t super applicable here?

      • Also, “we’re changing the boss you agreed to work under, you’ll no longer be doing what you signed on to do, and we’re giving your role to someone younger.”

  3. phillyballers

    Its delusional fans. Drafting a player is luck of the draw. Unless you’re drafting 1st and have a crystal ball. The only thing that really ties an elite player is the contract structure. Team A could have drafted them just as easily as Team B. Some guys prefer location, some guys dont care and it’s about teaming up, or being the lone dog. Some guys are content hiding in obscurity.

  4. Rewane

    If the team doesn’t give a player a no-trade clause then the player should expect to be traded.

  5. Eric Lord

    Player movement isn’t the issue. A player telling a player under contract with another team to demand a trade is an issue. Tampering is the problem, not the movement.

  6. IslandFlava

    I totally agree with Miss Michele in that, I think is always good when a player wants to move, can’t see why fans hate on them, if teams can move players without their consent, players have to have the same right. NBA or any other league is not about teams, who cares for them anyway, is about the players, the stars, the personalities, that is what sells the league not the teams, the players is what the fans follow. So to me as much as teams can move players whenever they want, the players should have the same right to move.

    • TJECK109

      They knew this was a possibility when they signed a contract for millions of dollars. I have zero sympathy for privileged athletes.

  7. It hurts to see a player you have watched grow and develop say he doesn’t want to play for your favorite team any more. It’s like being dumped.

    However, I think most reasonable fans accept a certain level of player movement as part of the game. Also, situations change, and everyone in here has had a contract they wish they could change or get out of. The problem is when there is deception and a betrayal of trust on either end of the front office / player relationship, such as in the cases of Paul George in Indy and Blake Griffin in LA.

    As for a solution, I think there are limited options. Potentially increase the amount of time a player can’t be traded following signing a contract? Increasing penalties for publicly demanding a trade?

  8. Also, what is the point of complaining about how much money players make? How jealous can people be? Go back to the comment section of a Yahoo! article.

    • Kjb716818

      The nba is on damage control. Silver has done a terrible job of hiding what a sham the league has becomes. 8/30 teams are relevant. The nba hypes the star system, pushing undeserving players into the spotlight…giannis mvp? Can think of at least 5 guys who had better years than him…but hes international…the fiba tourney, complete sham by players and coaches to push…international.

      Ok…so player movement…read your contract, notice the 7;8;9 figures…notice the possibility of being traded…notice the vacation time….look at the 7,8,9 figures again…shut mouth, sign…keep mouth shut when traded… or something nice.

      When date on contract is up go about your business…

      oh btw…people, fans when a guy like kd or lbj leaves your team be happytheyre gone… theyve been using you. Enjoy the game itself because the players give a ….about you…. worry about team management not players who sign 1+1 contracts.

      There are decent players but most of the guys that are hyped become insufferable from the age 25-35.

      Trade requests ought to mean outright forfeit of half the remaining salary of contract, while team he is traded to has to pay a VERY large transaction fee to deter tampering, poaching etc.

      So player loses half the salary remaining and the new team gets hit with a huge transaction fee.

      As for guys getting traded…thats is the minor drawback to fame and fortune…dont like it…join the army, tell them you dont want to be stationed somewhere else see what happens.

      players as property…sjw crap….They can all buy and sell you.

      Watch the game appreciate good play…dont become a “fan” you’ll be disappointed.

      • Army height Standard
        Less than Six feet, Eight inches
        Allows few Players.

        Five better than Greek
        Laughable, Absurd Theory
        Please provide the Names

        Dark, secret Cabal
        Promotes the foreign Players
        Only in your Head

        Nothing of Substance
        Irrelevant to Subject
        Why does Post exist?

        • Kjb716818

          Did you watch the raps manhandle baby Gianni’s. He looked scared. Brook Lopez and Middleton kept Milwaukee in the games during the playoffs. It was pathetic that he got mvp after that meltdown.

          Let’s see… international teams winning a global tourney doesn’t help the NBA go global??? You do notice the huge international push in their marketing don’t you?

          This is obvious stuff, no cabals..
          .just hyping relatively untapped markets. ..

          Uh duh.

  9. Reflect

    Sounds like a lot of whining. Players have the right to change teams as free agents, and no one is suggesting that right be taken away. What she’s basically asking for is a fairy paradise where fans don’t ever have negative opinions about anyone.

  10. metsie1

    Boo hoo. She is just another mouthpiece of the “poor” millionaires trying to gain more from the billionaire owners. Both sides have a collectively bargained agreement over player movement. Either side don’t like it, fight to change it. Fans don’t like it, don’t buy it. Fans shouldn’t take either side as both are looking to part you from your hard earned money. Sympathy for either side? Not a chance.

  11. Jason Lancaster

    When Blake Griffin got traded to Detroit months after being assured he would be a Clipper for life, I don’t remember much of an outcry from fans. I don’t remember people slamming the Clippers for being liars, being selfish, being fake, being all about the money, etc. I wonder why?

    • IslandFlava

      Agree with you… As I always say people seems to think teams are always right & can do whatever they want, but players have to be loyal to teams & fans… Such garbage, the show is the players, teams are only the conduit for us to enjoy the players, the stars, that is what I pay to watch, I don’t follow any team in particular, I just follow the players I like, as many fans do. Following teams creates tribalism & hatred between fans, following players is much more healthier.

    • Kjb716818

      Probably because his contract doesnt have a no trade clause… so those “assurances” mean nothing and everyone knows it.

      Really wonder about the “assurances” and “for life” nonsense these pro athletes are believing must be convincing. Did it come from his coach/gm who was traded by the celtics to the clips after winning them a chip…

      Assurances… how cute.

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