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Court ruling on NFL has little impact on NBA lockout

Jul 8, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

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While the two sides seem close to a deal in the NFL lockout, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has come down with a ruling favoring the NFL — saying that the lockout can continue in that sport.

What does that mean for the NBA lockout?

Nothing much.

The National Basketball Players Association (the NBA player’s union) is not expected to decertify, as the NFL players union did. The NBA union did collect paperwork from the players allowing for decertification, just in case, but union president Billy Hunter has said multiple times it was not a card they planned to play. The players union did not plan to challenge the legality of the lockout.

David Stern called decertification “the nuclear option” and warned the players probably didn’t want to go down that road.

One key reason was timing — the NBA off-season is shorter than the NFL’s, and the federal court system is not what anyone describes as speedy. The NBA does not really have time for an interlude in the courts if they plan to play all or most of a season.

Both the players union and NBA have been watching this case and will no doubt review the ruling in detail. But in the end it doesn’t mean much. What matters is the two sides getting back to the bargaining table and actually talking.

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