Enough head-hanging at the season gone by, Suns fans. The NBA draft is a month away, and soon after, it’ll be time for free agent signings, then the Vegas summer league, and then, before you know it, it’s training camp time for the 202007-08 season.
It’s time to look ahead, to think about the future. That’s what I’m doing, and I started the process last week by holding talks with the Suns organization to renew my status as a blogger for the Suns.com website.
Such negotiations can be tense. If talks between players and a team are nearly as nerve-wracking as talks between a blogger and a team, then it’s a wonder team officials and pro basketball stars have any fingernails left, let alone knuckles or wrists. In the interests of continuing to use my somewhat special status as a typical fan officially associated with the Suns to bring other fans “beyond the curtain” whenever possible and share glimpses of what goes on behind the scenes, I thought it might be educational to present the transcript of my renegotiation talks with the organization. Present for the conference call were Suns VP of Interactive Services Jeramie McPeek, my Agent, and myself.
Beechen: Jeramie! My man!
McPeek: Who is this?
Beechen: It’s Adam Beechen!
Beechen: From the website!
Beechen: The Suns website. I write a blog. From the fan’s perspective.
McPeek: Oh, right. How did you get my home number, and why are you calling me…at 3 am?
Beechen: Oh, well, see, I read in this book about negotiating contracts that you’re supposed to use the element of surprise, and hit up your employer when they’re not expecting it! Are you surprised?
McPeek: Yeah…So are my wife and children, who were sleeping soundly. “Hit up your employer” for what?
Beechen: About extending my contract to continue my blog for Suns.com for the 202007-08 season! I’ve got my agent right here on the phone!
Beechen (loud whisper): Mom! Wake up!
Agent (startled): Adam! Is there an intruder in the house? What do I smell on your breath? Are you on drugs?
Beechen: Heh heh…Just lulling you into a false sense of security, Jeramie…You should know we’re very prepared for a brutal series of negotiations, and we have a lot of leverage on our side.
Beechen: Yep. I hate to break it to you like this, but the Milwaukee Bucks have made me a very lucrative offer…
McPeek: To write a “Superfan” blog for them?
Beechen: That’s right.
McPeek: But you’re not a fan of the Bucks in any way, shape, or form.
Beechen: Well, no. I was going to try to convert their fans into being Suns fans…
McPeek: Uh huh. What are they offering to pay you?
Beechen: Pay me?
McPeek: Are you telling me their “lucrative offer” was just to LET you write a blog for them? The same as we do?
Beechen: They offered to match anything I was receiving from the Suns.
McPeek: We don’t give you anything, except a little bit of bandwidth for your blog.
Beechen: Exactly. So you better sweeten your deal with me, if you want to keep me around!
McPeek: Sweeten it how?
Beechen: Oh, I have a list of demands! My agent will read them off.
Beechen (loud whisper): Mom! The list of demands!
Agent (startled): Huh?! Oh…Adam demands season tickets.
Agent: Adam demands Suns locker room access and a ride to and from every game with Steve Nash.
McPeek: No and no.
Agent: Adam demands a spot in the Ring of Honor, with a special halftime induction ceremony during the regular season opener.
McPeek: Heck no.
Agent: Adam demands lambada lessons from Leandro Barbosa.
Beechen: I’m aware it’s a forbidden dance, so I’m flexible on that one. Keep going, Mom.
Agent: Adam demands a spot in the team photo for 202007-08, his own bobblehead doll, an autographed foam finger from Robert Sarver, and a bag of the Gorilla’s toenail clippings.
McPeek: I’m going back to bed. Adam, good luck in Milwaukee.
Beechen: Wait! Jeramie, wait! You know I don’t want to go to Milwaukee! I’m a Suns fan for life! Negotiations are supposed to be give-and-take…Tell me what you’re prepared to offer me, and we’ll go from there!
McPeek: What we’re prepared to offer you? How about your own fan blog on Suns.com for another season?
Beechen: That’s it?
McPeek: That’s it.
Beechen: How about at double my current salary?
McPeek: Well, we’re not paying you anything, so two times nothing is nothing.
Beechen: I know, I know, but it’ll sound good in my press release. Is it okay if I say I’m getting twice as much?
Beechen: Then it’s a deal! I’ll have my agent draw up the papers, we’ll send them over, and then we can start discussing plans for next season! I’m thinking I’ll fly everywhere with the Suns on the team charter…
*Sound of McPeek’s phone hanging up*
Beechen: Yes! Back with the Suns for another go-round! I’m a veteran, now! Sure feels good. Although, I gotta say, I kind of expected more from you as my agent, and I’m seriously considering cutting your percentage of my new contract down to four percent from five. Still, all in all, I think everything worked out pretty well, don’t you? Mom?