Journalism!: The Real Hang-Up in The Eric Bledsoe “Max” Talks



The actual reason the Eric Bledsoe talks took all summer?

Contract language.

The problem?

How to spell the word “max”.

“I wanted three x’s to make the word maxxx. Like max, but to the next level. Like Xtreme Maxxx,” said Rich Paul, Bledsoe’s agent.

“We just weren’t willing to go that far, and that’s what negotiation is all about,” said Ryan McDonough, the Suns GM. “Our position was: Phoenix only has one ‘x’ in it. This is a team for the community. No player is above his community or his team. We have to play together.”

Eric said he was “heavily influenced” by a time in the not-too-distant past when “cool” things were spelled with an “x” like “xtreme” and “xbox.” Eric wants to take things “even further than people think they can go, ya know?”

But detractors say that the “XXX” could have racier implications.
“It’s just not a good brand image,” McDonough explained, “to have the three x’s.”

What to do?

Talks and contract revisions went back and forth all summer, while rumors swirled about what Eric might do. Finally, he relented and went with only two x’s. Maxx.

“One day I was roving in the suburbs and pulled into my fave shopping center, and there it was: TJ Maxx. Two x’s. I was like, ‘Dang this is my fave store and it only has two x’s, I can do it, too!’ I called up Richie Rich right away, and said ‘Do it. Two x’s. That’s how it came to be.”

McDonough said that was “kinda” what happened but that where also something about four years and not as much money.

“But yes, let’s go with that,” McDonough concluded.

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