Chat with Maurice Evans
Evans has played for 7 teams in his career.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, we'll be chatting with Maurice Evans of the Washington Wizards, as well as the vice president of the National Basketball Players Association.
The NBA announced on Friday the cancelation of 43 preaseason games in light of the ongoing lockout, which has now extended more than 80 days.
ESPN.com has spent the offseason ranking every player in the NBA, from 1-500, as voted on by their 91 NBA experts. Evans came in at No. 320. Evans, in his eighth year in the league, played with Washington last season. He averaged a career-high 9.7 points per game and shot a career best 93.3% from the free throw line.
Send your questions now and join Evans Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:23 PM)
NBPA VP Maurice Evans will be here at 4:30 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (4:30 PM)
We've got Maurice!
Jeff ( CA)
Maurice, are you a big Tweeter? What do you think of being able to put your message directly out to the fans, instead of having to go through traditional media?
Maurice Evans (4:31 PM)
I think that social media in the right hands is a great and very useful tool. But I've seen it do more damage to athletes careers or image than I've seen it enhance them. So, I'm not a big social media guy, as of yet.
Youv'e already played overseas in your career.....would you do it again if this lockout continues?
Maurice Evans (4:32 PM)
Yeah, I would definitely consider going back to Europe. The last image I have of Europe was when I was player of the year there. My coach there was now the assistant at the Lakers. I'm definitely not opposed to going back to Europe.
Maurice, we've all seen and heard a lot of reports on how the labor negotiations are going......what are your thoughts on how they're going?
Maurice Evans (4:33 PM)
My thoughts personally are of a lot of regret. It's too bad that we have to go through a lockout after having so much success as players and owners together. A resolution is inevitable, but it should be taken more seriously.
How have you been spending your offseason?
Maurice Evans (4:33 PM)
I've been very busy. I went back to school. I got my degree from Texas, which I was very proud of. I've been actively negotiating on behalf of my players and colleagues to get a successful end to the lockout. Busy summer.
What do you think is the biggest misperception about the negotiations?
Maurice Evans (4:35 PM)
The biggest thing are the things that have been reported in the media, that the players are greedy that the owners are losing money, that the system is broken. The system isn't broken. The owners aren't losing money. The players will concede a certain amount, but the system isn't broken and the owners aren't losing money.
Nick (MN )
Any chance the season starts on time?
Maurice Evans (4:35 PM)
Very slim. That's what I would say. I'm as optimistic as they come, but I think it's slim that it starts on time. Regretfully.
Bryan (Springdale, AR)
How is it that the league can tell you to keep quiet about the lockout yet their is no contract in place that would says they are currently your boss? Seems like they are being bullies and don't want the truth coming out.
Maurice Evans (4:36 PM)
I don't think it's so much to keep quiet like a gag order on the players. David Stern has done a great job of keeping the owners quiet. It's easier to keep 32 guys rather than Billy Hunter who has 450 guys. That's where social media can hurt. We're trying to keep guys informed in what they say.
If this lockout is about money this is crazy. All you guys make millions a year... attending T-Wolves games for years I always saw Mark Madsen getting a minute off the bench and he's making 1 million per year. What are all these OVERPAID players whining about?
Maurice Evans (4:38 PM)
Nick, you should start reading some of the articles and listen in to some of the things that Mr. Hunter have said and what Derek Fisher and myself have said. We appreciate your support in buying tickets that allows us to make a living.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will we see NBA Basketball for 2011-2012?
Maurice Evans (4:38 PM)
I don't think the entire season will get cancelled. I think sometime between November and January we'll see basketball.
Usually you're getting ready for a season, but this year, you're not. How weird is that?
Maurice Evans (4:40 PM)
It's a very weird feeling. I would like nothing more than to be getting ready to get back to training camp and be getting ready for a long and exciting season. But this is a process and is something that needs to be dealt with. The owners are trying to change how we do business. It would be a disrespect to the guys that came before us if we allowed them to change the CBA and disrespect the work they did to make the NBA what it is today.
Are you frustrated that it seems you guys are only in talks once every few weeks?
Maurice Evans (4:41 PM)
It's been very frustrating at the pace at which the negotiations have moved. But it's all a part of negotiations. But it's a tactic to use time to persuade us. The players are more than willing to engage the owners whenever they're willing to meet. We've made proposals that have shifted real dollars from our side to theirs. We'll be ready whenever they want to meet in real negotiations.
Do you feel like the players are giving more than the owners? What are they waiting for?
Maurice Evans (4:43 PM)
I don't think the union has conceded anything. We're negotiating in fairness and trying to get a deal. We're trying to fairly negotiate a CBA that would allow the owners and players to be successful. It's not about winners and losers. We're trying to put a deal together that makes sense for both of us.
When you guys are meeting both sides, are you meeting internally? How much of your time is spent dealing with this?
Maurice Evans (4:44 PM)
A significant amount of our time has been dealing with this. My summer has been spent having regional meetings informing them of what's going on in the meeting rooms. We've spent time meeting as an executive committee. We have the same legal defense that the NFL hired. So we feel like we have a great strategy. We're very prepared. It's a matter of being able to have the owners engage us in fairness and reach a deal. We can't negotiate with ourselves.
How long have you been on the ocmmittee? Is this always something you wanted to do?
Maurice Evans (4:46 PM)
I've been on the committee for three years. I've been actively coming to meetings since my rookie year. I've always been a player that wanted to be informed and take advantage of everything they offer. Money management, career opportunities. It helped me not only be a better player but a better man. I like the opportunity. Thanks for the question.
Any fear of not being able to bounce back to the main stream after a lockout. It seems like the NHL owners are happy with the results of their lockout, but its become less mainstream or more of a cult. The NBA is already losing out to the NFL and MLB. Will the NBA fall behind the NHL with a lockout?
Maurice Evans (4:47 PM)
We're very aware of the ramifications. We understand that if we lockout and miss an entire season, the NBA would not stand to regain its financial status until 2023. We understand that sponsors are ready to commit their dollars instead of the NBA to other sports. There is a lot of competition in the sports world. For us to willingly concede our position would be foolish.
Maurice Evans (4:50 PM)
Thank you for all of the questions. Unfortunately that I think there was only one bad one, the one with the gentleman saying about athletes being whiney. If you could look at what is being proposed and see what's going on and have the information we do, you might change your thinking. It's too bad that everyone can't see what we're seeing. If he was asked by his boss to take a pay cut, you wouldn't be so happy to come to work the next day either. Thank you for the time. Thank you for the questions. I hope I could give some insight.