Derek Fisher: Allegations Are Only Beginning of Heated Rift in NBA Lockout

The mudslinging appears to have started in earnest in the battle for leverage between NBA players and owners, as Derek Fisher may be casualty No. 1 in what is sure to be a very long war. 

The owners have said their piece: We will concede nothing and you will like it. The players have stated they will not be strong-armed: We have conceded all we plan on giving and will give nothing more.

With no new negotiations being scheduled, the sides are taking to trench warfare, it seems. Yahoo! Sports reports on the latest from ground zero of the NBA lockout.

Behind the scenes, the players have been hit with a grenade of sorts. Derek Fisher is being accused of consorting with the enemy, and now a union that has been hit hard by the owners is forced to regroup at the top of the leadership food chain.

The allegations come from unnamed sources—aren't they always when two sides are in the middle of high-powered negotiations? Hell, David Stern could have leaked this delicious bit of gossip that has Fisher trying to work a deal under the table with the owners.

As if Fisher didn't have enough to deal with in saving the league, he now has to save face. The Lakers point guard did not mince words in a letter to the players regarding the rumors of his wheeling and dealing with the owners. Fisher wrote:

Let me say on the record to each of you, my loyalty has and always will be with the 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.

It is laughable to think this is the end of the mudslinging. The NFL lockout ...

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