NBA lockout: Derek Fisher vs. foxsports.com
The president of the National Basketball Players Assn. was annoyed that a foxsports.com column Monday suggested he had met secretly with NBA Commissioner David Stern and was willing to accept the owners' hard-line proposal of a 50-50 split of basketball-related income. The players association publicly has toed the line at accepting 52% of BRI.
The column also alleged there was a rift between Fisher and players association executive director Billy Hunter.
"The implication that I am doing anything but working in the best interests of the players is disgusting, defamatory and a flat out lie," Fisher said in the statement. "I have issued a letter through my attorneys demanding a retraction for the libelous and defamatory stories the site and reporter have continued to publish.
"Regardless of the media reports, the Players Association, our staff, Executive Director and Executive Committee are unified and working side by side to serve our players. There should be no more distractions. We must continue to negotiate a fair deal for our players."
Whitlock also wrote that he stood by the "accuracy, integrity, sourcing and truthfulness of all the stories I've written about Derek Fisher during this NBA lockout."
Talks between players and owners broke down last Friday in New York. No further talks were scheduled between the sides.
The NBA season was supposed to have started Tuesday, but all games were canceled until at least Dec. 1.
-- Mike Bresnahan
Photo: Lakers point guard Derek Fisher. Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images