By now, it should be clear why there is no such thing as “superstars.”
They are just players who play for teams.
And that means there is virtually no discussion of their worth in a public forum, let alone a team-building meeting.
That’s because teams have decided to shut out the players, which is exactly what they did last year when the Warriors were a major contender for the NBA championship.
That meant no team was allowed to meet the players during the summer, a rule that has been in place since the 2012-13 season.
The Warriors are not the only team in the NBA that does this, of course.
In fact, the only other league that does so is the NBA Finals.
There’s no reason why a team cannot meet its players in person in any given summer.
But that doesn’t mean the league’s governing body shouldn’t be doing more to ensure that players are treated equally.
If there is ever a chance that a player will get a call from the league office, that’s when the league should act.
The NBA has done everything possible to prevent such a thing from happening.
In the past few months, the league has worked with the NBA Players Association to increase the number of player-to-player interviews.
This summer, the association reached a new agreement with the league to open up those conversations to more players.
It also introduced new rules that allow for teams to schedule more regular-season games without being subject to the same restrictions as teams.
If the NBA wants to be able to talk about the impact of the lockout on the players in a way that is useful to the fans and the teams, it needs to do so in a meaningful way.
And when it does, it will need to have the players come together and talk about their futures.
That would be great.
But this lockout was bad for the players.
The owners, who took the lead in the lockout, didn’t take a clear position on this.
And in the end, the players lost.
But if there is any upside to the lockout at all, it is that it is the first time in a decade that a major league is talking about players being treated equally in the workplace.
That means the players should be getting more out of the negotiations than they have been since the lockout started.
In other words, it’s the first step toward getting the players to come to a deal.
The league is now talking about having a collective bargaining agreement that would be more than just a new rule.
It would be the first meaningful step toward equal treatment for players and teams.
That doesn’t sound like a bad start, but there’s still a long way to go.
It’s also hard to imagine that the league and the players would be able, even in the current climate, to reach a deal in a reasonable time.
The players have a very tough job ahead of them.
And a collective-bargaining agreement is the only way that they will be able negotiate a fair deal that works for everyone.
That is the goal, at least.
But even in that case, the first thing that should happen is that the owners and the owners’ union should make a deal on how to reach that goal.
That way, there is a chance the players will get the attention they deserve.
But first, the owners need to be ready to talk to the players and get the players’ perspective on what they want in the labor negotiations.
It is their right to express their concerns and demands.
But the league needs to be open to those talks.
That includes a willingness to address the problems that the players face when they are working in the public eye, even when they’re playing in a team’s arena.
It includes having a real plan to make sure that players have the opportunity to work together, with equal opportunities to be heard and respected.
It means having an agreement on what the players are entitled to and how they will receive that.
That should include a guarantee that the parties will make it a priority to find a solution that works well for everyone, and not just the players who are at the forefront of it.
That will mean a lot of hard work.
It will require an investment in players and coaches who have been in the league for a long time.
It could mean giving up some of the stars of the league.
It may mean taking some of its best players off the court for a little while.
But it will also mean getting everyone to work toward the same goal: Equal treatment for the workers in the professional and amateur game.
This is what we should have done a long, long time ago.
And it should happen this summer.
That can’t be the only thing we do for the next couple of years.
Andrew Greif is a national sports columnist for ESPN The Magazine.
He covers the NBA for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @greifespn.