139-days of talks have not been able to yield a deal between NBA players and Team owners and with David Stern’s most recent deal rejected by players they are now looking to decertify the players union.
Speaking about the player’s decision to disband the union executive director Billy Hunter said:
“We’re prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA.”
“That’s the best situation where players can get their due process.”
David Stern and team owners had offered NBA players 51 percent of league revenues (realistically 50.2% based on variables), down from 57% from their previous collective bargaining agreement that expired, create a nearly $300 million loss annually for NBA Players.
Stern for his part has warned players that decertifying the union was not the right decision while Union President Derek Fisher said:
“This is the best decision for the players,” and “I want to reiterate that point, that a lot of individual players have a lot of things personally at stake in terms of their careers and where they stand.”
Once the union has been converted to a trade association they plan to file a class-action lawsuit against the NBA.
With decertification expected to take months and a lawsuit likely dragging on through the remainder of the season it’s likely that the proposed 72-game season starting on December 15 will be abandoned and the NBA season will draw to a close before it ever began.
Given the showmanship and “me first” attitude of many NBA players these days I can’t say it surprises me that they didn’t appear to be concerned about abandoning their fans, the very fans who buy tickets and merchandise that pays them millions of dollars per season. In the meantime the very same players who claim they are securing their own futures are slated to lose billions of combined dollars in salaries and endorsements over the failed NBA season.
It will be interesting to see how well the league rebounds once a new season begins.
Are you upset that players and team owners couldn’t come to an agreement? Will absence make your heart grow fonder for the league?
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