of Yahoo! Sports reports
that one NBPA official is referring to Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen as "the Grim Reaper" for his emergence in the ongoing NBA labor dispute.
Nevertheless, Portland Trail Blazers billionaire Paul Allen stepped out of the shadows, declared himself as the hardest line of the hardliners and played the part of the improbable boogeyman in these dysfunctional labor talks. "Here came the Grim Reaper," one exasperated union official sighed in a quiet corridor Thursday night.
Here’s the scariest part of it all for those who want labor talks to have a puncher’s chance at saving the season: Allen appears to be checking out on the Blazers, and there’s suspicion that his motives center on saving as much money as possible in this CBA to eventually ready his franchise for a sale.
"He’s gone the other way, the complete other way," a high-ranking league official told Yahoo! Sports. "He’s been the most vociferous lately that [the owners] have given up too much to the players, that they should be holding out for a hard cap, for 40 percent to the players [on the revenue split]. No one has gone after the labor committee harder about this than him."
The piece also touches on Allen's decision to fire Blazers GM Rich Cho in May and asserts that Allen has lost interest in the organization.
Wojnarowski also reports that the Blazers considered former Phoenix Suns executive Steve Kerr and current Utah Jazz executive Kevin O'Connor for their GM position but nothing developed on either front.
NBPA executive director Billy Hunter (here
) and union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler (here
) called out Allen publicly for his role in the NBA's labor breakdown.
Here's Dave's take
on Allen's role.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter