On Monday, player’s union executive director Billy Hunter, announced that labor talks had broken down and the union would decertify. Unfortunately, this means no NBA any time soon.
“We’re prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA,” Hunter said in an interview with ESPN. “That’s the best situation where players can get their due process.” Decertification of the union means it loses the power to jointly
bargain. The rapport between the league and players without the union would be governed under anti-trust law. This could, and more than likely will, lead to an anti-trust lawsuit.
From a fan’s perspective, this whole ordeal is reminding me of a juvenile quarrel, with both sides playing the “blame game.” You would think the players and NBA owners could come up with a way to settle disagreements for the sake of the fans, but instead they would rather go back and forth. Why not focus on the key monetary issues?
That seems to be the only thing owners and players are worried about anyway. The league wouldn’t exist without the fans and they have forgotten about us.
“Obviously after being hopped up by Mr. Hunter and the lawyers brought in, they thought this was a good negotiating tactic,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said to ESPN. “That’s all it is. You don’t get exactly the deal that you want so you disclaim interest and you sue. But it’s not going to work.”
Stern nonchalantly and sarcastically told ESPN that the player’s rejection of the revised plan was just a short term
negotiation tactic and that if their plan (the players) was to sue or decertify, they would have started the process a long time ago.
“We had revised proposals which met many of their concerns over a two and a half year negotiating period. We thought the executive committee and the players would have the good sense to put it to their membership but they decided not to accept, “Stern told ESPN.
The new deal would have had guaranteed contracts, it would have taken the average player’s salary from somewhere in the mid $5 million range to between $7 and $8 million over the life of the deal.