During a recent interview with Heavy On Sport’s Steve Bulpett, Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce shared his thoughts on the era of player empowerment in the league. Pierce noted that he’s not sure the move is good for the NBA, but he understands why players have sought to control their own destiny as best they can.
Over the past decade, player empowerment has been a topic that has swept the NBA. Players began to take control of their own narrative. They force themselves out of situations that do not satisfy them. They control their own image via social networks. And they have become keen negotiators when it comes to discussing contracts.
“I’m not sure how good it is for the game,” Pierce said. “But at the same time, players have learned that they largely control their own destiny… If your best player or one of your best players says they want to retire, what does that look like when Are you trying to promote your team? your audience, when you’re trying to sell tickets and get people to watch your local televised games? The owners say the only people bound by contracts now are us. Players feel no sense of contractual obligation.
Pierce spent 19 years in the NBA; he understands how the business side of the league works and how front offices and ownership groups work. Player empowerment was about creating a level playing field.
Whether the balance of power has shifted too far in the other direction remains open to debate.
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