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Players union files grievance saying owners not negotiating in good faith

May 24, 2011, 3:18 PM EDT

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Consider this your lockout amuse-bouche, just a little something to whet your appetite for the ugliness of players/owners negotiations to come.

The National Basketball Players Association — the players union — filed a filed unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, saying that the NBA and the owners are not negotiating in good faith, reports Chris Sherridan at ESPN.

As part of that, they are seeking an injunction to prevent a lockout, which would begin July 1 after the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

Sources have told ESPN.com that the players were so infuriated by the owners’ latest proposal, which seeks a nearly 40 percent rollback in existing contracts over three years and a hard salary cap, that the union would refuse to present a formal counterproposal….

In a statement, the union said the unfair practices included failure to bargain in good faith, demanding huge financial takeaways from prior contracts without offering concessions in return, bypassing the Union to deal directly with players and threatening an unlawful lockout.

“We have urged the Board to investigate this matter quickly and to seek an injunction against the NBA’s unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat,” the union said.

This puts a damper on the “hey, at least they’re talking” optimism for now.

But also know that pretty much everything going on now is posturing. The owners need to look tough (appeasing some hard liners) while the players are working to show solidarity. While a lockout will start July 1, the real pressure on both sides starts later in the summer and into the early fall, when the lack of a deal would start to mean no training camps, lost exhibition games, and eventually cost regular season games and the loss of paychecks. That’s when both sides lose money.

That’s also when both sides really start to lose fans who will take years to get back. If they ever come back. You’d like to think both sides understand this, understand the momentum the league has now and don’t want to mess with it. You’d like to think cooler heads will prevail and a deal will get done.

But we have yet to see any evidence of that.

  1. edmazeing1 - May 24, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    could you picture no NFL & no NBA…..we would see over 7 foot tall doctors & 300 pound tatto guys, with there own law offices.

  2. rajbais - May 24, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    The players don’t deserve a 40% rollback in salaries!!!

    The contracts should be the way they are, but new contractual lengths and a hard cap need to be implemented.

    Owners need to make sure that 90% of players don’t get deals that are longer than 2 years. They are not all worth an average of $5 million per year or contracts that are 3-5 years long.

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