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NBA Lockout 2011: Derek Fisher Denies Side Negotiations In E-Mail To Players

NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher e-mailed his fellow players Monday to deny reports that he has been negotiating a secret side deal with NBA commissioner David Stern.

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, NBA Players Association president Derek Fisher sent an e-mail to his fellow players to deny reports that he has been trying to cut a secret side deal to end the NBA lockout with the commissioner's office.

"...Let me say on the record to each of you, my loyalty has and always will be with the players," Fisher wrote in an email to players. "Anyone that questions that or doubts that does not know me, my history, and what I stand for. And quite frankly, how dare anyone call that into question. The Players Association is united and any reports to the contrary are false. There have been no side agreements, no side negotiations or anything close. We are united in serving you and presenting the best options and getting everyone back to work."    

The initial report from had sources saying Fisher had been secretly negotiating for a 50-50 split of basketball-related revenues (BRI) and that he had been confronted by one player and union executive Billy Hunter on the final day of labor talks before they fell apart. Hunter denied the confrontation in a story reported by the Sports Business Journal.

"The clock is ticking and we are aware that games are being lost, our jobs are on the line, as are those of all the arena workers and business owners impacted by the lockout," Fisher wrote in his letter. "We have been prepared for this and need to make sure we are getting the best deal possible. As this sets the precedent for the next six, seven, 10, even 20 years.

"My goal, the executive committee's ONLY goal is to present you with the most fair deal possible. A deal that is both fair on system and BRI. One isn't more important than the other. They are both extremely impactful to our business, our sport and our day to day life in the league."