Lakers' Steve Blake discusses push for union vote with Kobe Bryant, source says
Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake is making a behind-the-scenes effort to get the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to vote on owners' latest collective bargaining agreement proposal before a Wednesday deadline, a source told The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday.
Yahoo! Sports first reported Blake's effort.
The veteran guard has recently contacted Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant and Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge, among others, according to the source.
Bryant rivals LeBron James as the most popular athlete in the NBA, while Aldridge is Portland's player representative. Both were open to the idea of pushing for a vote, the source said.
Blake played Sunday in an exhibition game in Portland hosted by Aldridge.
NBPA president Derek Fisher is a teammate of Blake and Bryant.
Fisher said Saturday the union won't consider owners' current offer before a deadline imposed by NBA Commissioner David Stern. Owners will retract the offer and put forth a much stricter "reset" deal if the union allows the deadline to pass without a new CBA.
Sports Illustrated reported last Saturday that Bryant is open to a 50-50 split of basketball-related income.Many NBA players feel they have been left out of discussions during the lockout, while several agents feel the union is being poorly run during a crucial time in negotiations.
Brian T. SmithTwitter: @firstname.lastname@example.org/tribjazz