Matt Barnes was among several NBA athletes on hand Sunday at a L.A. charity basketball game organized by Baron Davis. Naturally, the postgame media sessions centered a lot on the presumably ended lockout and basketball happily back in business. Of course, there's been a lot of bumps and bruises endured by both sides before reaching this point, and the players have long maintained -- rightly, I'd say -- more concessions were made on their end.
With that in mind, I asked Barnes if the battle was worth it. His response reflects the complicated nature of this labor battle:
“It’s tough. It’s always a business, and we definitely need to stand up for ourselves. Everything wasn’t met, but I think it’s as good as it’s going to get for us. I’m definitely glad we took a stand. I wish we didn’t have to miss so much time, I wish everything could have started a little bit earlier in the summer so we could have fought and still had a full season, but 66 games is going to have to do.”
I imagine those sentiments summarize how most players feel in a nutshell. They're not thrilled with the new CBA, nor do they feel it's as fair as it could or should be. But they can live with it. And in the meantime, more is gained by playing professional basketball in an imperfect-but-still-pretty-darn-good setting than holding out for a Utopia not likely to arrive.
More thoughts on the lockout were shared in the videos below.
Davis is among those heavily rumored to be waived by his current team through the use of the new CBA's anticipated amnesty clause. Answering questions about getting cut isn't a particularly pleasant conversation, but to his credit, Davis manned up.
Davis, on the lockout ending:
Davis, on winning back fans:
Nick Young -- whose awesome hair makes him a unique challenge to frame -- learned the lockout ended after a 3 a.m. phone call from his mom. He has no idea why she was up at that hour, either.
Demar DeRozan, on the lockout ending: