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Kyrylo Fesenko Would Like Your Respect Ukraine - The Downbeat - #571

  Kyrylo Fesenko took to a Russian/Ukrainian Facebook-type site (Google translate) to express his concern over the negativity that Ukrainians expressed online after the team's performance in Eurobasket.

It's no secret that lately has become "fashionable" watering players defend our team-colored mud. But you wonder whether at least once, a lot of pressure it exerts on us? When was the last time you wrote something positive in comments to the game? After every game I go online and see a bunch of tough, rough and generally not constructive criticism. Yes, I do not deny that there are people who objectively describe their thoughts. But how many people? It's much easier to write, "Fesenko log", "Nafig its general release?", "From this time to tie the game with basketball and isat yourself in another reality," "Born to crawl ..." than analyze the game and write in essence?

That's obviously from Google translate as I don't currently employ a full-time Russian translator here at the Dunk.  You get the gist of what he's saying though.  We do it as well here on this site and elsewhere.  Our justification is that they get paid millions of dollars; certainly they can suck it up and take some criticism.  Playing for your country though is often a labor of love. 

While I don't expect his statements to curb online outrage, he does bring up valid points in regards to the sacrifices that he and other professional basketball players make to get to where they are,

 In America, a professional basketball player to be - it is a privilege, it is recognition of the many years that you spent the sport. Treat you with respect. Yes, with a capital letter. Because the data is not all that you need to be held as an athlete. It's also the years and often decades of hardship, missed holidays with family and friends, the high injury and very little chance to achieve his goal.

It is a high risk, high reward situation.  Those that are in college can at least get a degree while playing the game.  After that, very few play professionally and even fewer make the NBA.  There's no guarantee that years of work will pay off in that respect.

Respect.  That's all that Fess is asking for.

Thanks to moni for the link/tip

  Your daily lockout updates:

With NBA labor talks dragging out, players calling for Billy Hunter to deliver - Sam Amick -
The executive director of the NBPA is in a precarious position these days. Some agents question his every move, glossing over his respectable résumé and wondering aloud about the competency and leadership of the former U.S. attorney who took the union helm in 1996. They question why there wasn't a move to decertify the union at the outset of the lockout, some of them subtly suggesting that Hunter is more interested in saving his own skin (he wouldn't be paid in that scenario) than doing what's best for his constituents. Other player representatives simply stew about the state of affairs, unsure who to blame and ever-mindful of the fact that someone must lead their clients to a best-case scenario finish here no matter how Draconian commissioner David Stern and the owners prove to be. A possible head Hunter, in other words, comes in many forms.

NBA, union finally feel sense of urgency in labor talks - NBA - Sporting News
When asked whether there is time to complete a deal in time for the season to start as planned, union director Billy Hunter told reporters, "I think there clearly is, there is more than enough time." Well, maybe not more than enough. Stern pointed out on Wednesday that, to save the season, "We have three weeks." Training camp is supposed to start in less than a month. When the NFL was in a lockout, there was an emphasis on saving training camp, but according to a league source, that’s not necessarily as important for the NBA.

Multiple signs of progress in NBA lockout talks -
A good litmus test for how this is actually going will be the reaction of agents. In the past few days there have been multiple stories alleging a critical stance of Billy Hunter on the part of agents, which means that agents are freely talking to media about how angry they are Hunter didn't come out firing with decertification and a full-blown legal assault. The players' representatives have been volatile throughout this process, either out of a concern for their clients' well-being and looking to be aggressive or out of a sense of self-preservation, wanting to fight and scrap and claw for every penny, particularly every future penny as opposed to next year's rake. If you begin to read tales of agents talking about how none of this matters, Hunter's still going to have vipers in the den. If all's quiet or if agents start to leak talk ofa season starting, that means the players may have nailed down a concession or two.

Lockout Update: Checks totaling $161 million being paid to players by NBA | SheridanHoops
A total of $161 million in escrow funds were withheld last season, and the league office sent a stack of more than 350 checks to the Players Association last week to begin issuing the refunds, SheridanHoops has learned. In previous seasons, 10 percent of players’ salaries were withheld under the escrow system, and in most years only a portion was returned. But last season, the amount of salaries paid out by the 30 NBA teams came in well below 57 percent, meaning the players will get all of their withheld funds back as soon as they notify the union where they checks should be mailed.

Hush-hush labor meeting means there might be progress - NBA - Basketball
Both league officials and those from the National Basketball Players Association expressed surprise that reporters were able to determine the location of the high-level bargaining session, which the parties had vowed not to divulge. To my personal knowledge, neither did. The reason for the secrecy? Both sides believe public rhetoric could be damaging to the bargaining work that is beginning to progress, if by no other evidence than the fact that the league and players will meet again Thursday -- the first back-to-back sessions of the lockout -- and possibly Friday, too. For there to be concern about damaging the process, there would have to be something worth damaging. As to the assembled scribes' ability to sniff out the one hotel among hundreds and hundreds on the island of Manhattan where the meeting was taking place ... well, what do they think we do?



  Perhaps we're reading too much into Roger Mason Jr's tweet yesterday about the season.  Without context, who are we to determine what he was talking about?  He could have been replying to something in regards to something other than basketball.  Tom Ziller makes several stabs at what could have caused the reply.  One of my favorites:

"Is that Tajikstani team paying you $10,000 a month, or the whole year?" -- Maurice Evans



  In case you missed this comment from yesterday's DB from candybarr15, Hayward made a Lebron/Decision parody about joining IPL.  It's a dated effort but pretty good nonetheless.

Gordon Hayward Makes His Decision: IGN Pro League (via IGNProLeague)

Drooooooooooooooooool..... (via Counter Kicks)