The National Basketball Players Association has decided not to accept or extend the opportunity to vote to all players after meeting for almost three hours in New York Monday to discuss the league’s latest proposal.
“We’ve arrived at the conclusion that the collective bargaining process has completely broken down,” Billy Hunter said.
Hunter announced the players have decided to file an anti-trust disclaimer against the league and its owners. The NBPA will be transferred from a union into a trade association. So really, this skips a step in decertification as the union is disbanded immediately.
“This is where it stops for us as a union,” Derek Fisher said.
Fisher said it was a unanimous decision to file the disclaimer.
Union attorney Jeffrey Kessler and David Boies will represent players in anti-trust action against NBA. Boies was part of the NFL’s legal process during the players’ decertification.
In attendance were some heavy hitters like Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. Many players were there and crowded in behind Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher for the announcement.
Because the players have chosen not to accept the league’s revised proposal, David Stern has promised to present the players with the feared “reset” offer that includes a 47 percent Basketball Related Income split for the players and a harder “flex” cap like the NHL operates under. Basically, a deal that no player would be in favor of.
But the players have decided to completely blow up the talks. The negotiating process is no more as the union doesn’t exist anymore. The battle now heads to the courtroom.
“The players felt they’ve given enough,” Hunter said. “The NBA was not willing or prepared to negotiate.”
Fisher concluded by asking the media to respect that this is a legal matter and that players cannot comment.
Before you dive off a ledge, this does not mean a season is lost. It’s just the players’ response to the league’s ultimatum offer. Owners genuinely seemed to think the players were ready to accept this deal. But the players moving to this action has basically been a slap in the face to the owners’ offer. I would assume the hope for the players is that David Stern reconvenes quickly with the owners and responds with another revised proposal that meets the players halfway. Hunter said they’re filing this action in a few days. If they didn’t think that the NBA would bend a little, it would’ve been immediate, you’d think.
The players are trying to make one last ditch effort to get a deal they can live with. They’re furious the owners have refused to flex on the system after the players moved on the BRI. They’re banking on Stern taking some egg on his face and coming back with a new, better offer.
If not, this is going to really start getting ugly. As if it weren’t already.
I know you want to blame someone. And the reality is, you have to blame both. The owners could’ve flexed on the system and got a deal done. The players could’ve caved and just lived with making million to play basketball.
And you know what, both of those things still could happen. It’s just Nov. 14.
Otherwise known as day 137 of the NBA lockout.