ESPN reports that the players' union shot down the league's latest offer, setting the stage for a potential lost season.
NBA players rejected the league's latest offer Monday and began disbanding the union, likely jeopardizing the season.
"We're prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA," union executive director Billy Hunter said of the union's potential legal strategy. "That's the best situation where players can get their due process."
And that's a tragedy, as far as NBA commissioner David Stern is concerned.
"It looks like the 2011-12 season is really in jeopardy," Stern said in an interview aired on ESPN's "SportsCenter."
"It's just a big charade. To do it now, the union is ratcheting up I guess to see if they can scare the NBA owners or something. That's not happening."
Hunter said players were not prepared to agree to Stern's ultimatum to accept the current proposal or face a worse one, saying they thought it was "extremely unfair." And they're aware what this battle might cost them.
"We understand the consequences of potentially missing the season; we understand the consequences that players could potentially face if things don't go our way, but it's a risk worth taking," union vice president Maurice Evans said. "It's the right move to do."Is it the right move? The Associated Press suggests that dumping the season might not lead to a successful legal fight.
Antitrust attorney David Scupp says rulings in the NFL players’ case against owners this summer make it an uphill battle for their basketball brethren. NFL players dissolved their union and filed an antitrust lawsuit this summer. A federal judge in Minnesota lifted the lockout in June, but that ruling was overturned on appeal.
Scupp says that ruling is not binding for other courts, but it likely will be influential as any judge considers the arguments.The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz left little doubt what he thinks the players' union has done -- committed professional suicide.
But this was the bonehead move of all bonehead moves.
The NBA players decided Monday to reject the owners’ latest proposal for a new CBA. They plan to decertify the union and take the league to court for antitrust violations. This is what it looks like when an entire league of players commits suicide.
If the players are serious about all this, forget this season. At least.
Commissioner David Stern said Monday, “If I were a player, one of 450, I would wonder what it is [NBPA] Billy Hunter just did.”
Stern also referred to this as a “nuclear winter.”
Something tells me he has been practicing these soundbites for a while. My only hesitation in completely taking Stern’s side on this is, like the players, I don’t trust him, either.A nuclear winter cannot be good. But, hey, the NBA Network will be able to deliver lots of post-season games from years gone by. That ought to be good for something, right?