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Players, agents may begin union decertification Friday

Nov 11, 2011, 12:46 AM EDT

NBPA Representatives Meet To Discuss NBA Lockout Getty Images

They have the signatures. A band of agents has had the more than 130 signatures needed from players to request the decertification of the union for most of this week, but they sat on it out of respect for the ongoing negotiations.

After watching the outcome of another round of talks, those agents and players are ready to start the process to disband the union and take the entire NBA labor negotiations into the courtroom (by filing anti-trust lawsuits). It was expected, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo tweeted it (and it has been confirmed by others since).

Several agents tell Y! Sports they have 200-plus player signatures for union decertification petition and paperwork could be filed Friday.

This is fine with union director Billy Hunter and the rest of the union leadership.

Even if the group files the petition to decertify the union with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday (essentially trying to displace Hunter), it will take likely at least 45 days (meaning after Christmas) before there is a vote to actually decertify the union. And it could be a few weeks later than that. Which means there is time to negotiate. The union actually had started this process in 1995 but signed a new deal before it ever came to a vote, and that would be the likely scenario again.

The petition would give the union some leverage they could try to bring into the negotiating room — and try to force David Stern and the owners to negotiate more and not just use their “reset” proposal. Although, frankly, the threat is fairly empty. To get a legal ruling that could go against the owners (it’s a crapshoot) would mean the loss of a couple NBA seasons and at least $4 billion in players salaries, not to mention another estimated $100 million or so in attorney’s fees. You really think that is a fight the players want to push to the end?

But the uncertainty it creates is seen as leverage. And right now, as players feel they are getting the losing end of this deal, they will do just about anything for leverage.

  1. david8726 - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:45 AM


  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    Good Bye 2011-12 season!!

    Thanks, Players.

    • skids003 - Nov 11, 2011 at 7:46 AM

      These dummies don’t get it. Now they will make zero, nothing. They are making the league even more irrevelant. And of course it’s OK with Billy Hunter, he keeps getting his paycheck. Unbelievable at the “entitlement” attitude of these employees, and that is exactly what they are.

  3. acieu - Nov 11, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    Right on let’s decertify. Form your own league guys and pay yourself whatever you want. I am sure Soap TV will want the rights. About six franchises in NYC, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles. That way only about 200 jobs will be lost on the court. No union all free agency and whatever the market will pay. Everyone is an independent contractor.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      It would be more than 200 jobs, probably closer to 275. At least fewer jobs means better basketball, right? Then again, that assuming the 6th-12th man on the bench, might have all-star caliber level players. That’s assuming their egotistical greedy and selfish attitude can handle not being a starter. That’s assuming these players want to take a pay cut to stay here in America and not hed to China. We might have to settle for the likes of Joel Pryzbilla as a starter.

  4. bassethund - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    What gets me is everyone keeps talking about how much the players are”giving up”. Um, the contract expired, that means a new contract is offered. Their last deal should have little to do with new deal. How is 50/50 not fair? I love know all the players we hear want to”stand strong” have banked 100s of millions over their career. That is why Steve Blake is on the phone…

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      I will let your boss know that how much money you make today should have no bearing on how much you make tomorrow. He should be thrilled.

  5. brooklynbulls - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    They are not going to decertify. No one is that stupid; to give up one or two years of salary to drag this thing through court. Its just a negotiation tactic

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Nov 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      NFLPA decertified during their lockout. They were smart enough to do it early where all the legal mumbo jumbo could be cleared up before games were missed. NBAPA has already taken it up their butts so hard, they may have nothing to lose by decertifying now….except more game checks.

  6. bigrele - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    GOOD! I’m so glad to hear the players/union rejected dictator Stern & his incompetent lackey owners ultimatum, excellent! Stand up for what you believe & don’t allow some jakked up pathetic imbecile owners & their 20 million puppet Stern dictate to you what you are going to accept! ESPECIALLY when its suppose to be a “collective BARGAINING agreement”, a NEGOTIATION! I truly hope this results in decertification & ends up going to court & the players end up winning or at best get whats fair in this process; bottom line is fans do not go to & fill up arenas to see some fat-ass owner sitting in a pressbox or luxury suite, they go because they love the game & to see the superstars who MADE the damn game what it is today. David Stern did NOT make the NBA the big money making machine it is today, it was done off the backs of NBA legends such as Kareem, Magic, Bird, Dr J & Michael Jordan! Yes I’ll give Stern some credit for managing the aspects a commissioner has to do to maintain good order in the league & what not but he is not overlord dictator who’s every word is law & knows whats best for the game, he’s doing only what his fool ass mismanaging jackass owners want him to do & that’s to receive a bailout from the players end of the money pot to make up for their incompetence. Also for those same STUPID ass idiotic posters on here who continue to post the same tired ass BS that I’ve read since day one about: “nowhere does an employee dictates or negotiate his salary to his employer blah blah blah BS, STFU & get a clue you dumbass idiotic imbeciles! YOU ARE SO STUPID! Stop trying to compare YOUR peon ass daily wages to that of those who make millions & billions, there is NO COMPARISON whatsoever nor does your existence at your job equal shared profit! You MAKE someone profit BUT know that you ARE expendable & can be replaced, nor does your stay or talents make a beneficial profit for you & your employer, you can be replaced easily; however in the NBA these owners are dependent on these athletes talents to fill the arenas & they are in a SHARED business venture AND are not expendable which is why these incompetent owners sign them to ridiculous amounts of money, HELLO?!!!! Furthermore if these players were/are so selfish, expendable & so on then why have the owners & the league not opened the arenas & filled them with strike players? Wanna know why? Cause they cannot be replaced nor would anyone waste their time filling arenas for Joe Schmoe offf the street NOR would anyone waste their time watching the garbage from home, in other words there would be bad ratings and no attendance. Finally if the players had no leg to stand on then why did the league file the suit to the NLRB to try & stop decertification? Hmmm…..I wonder, maybe cause they know they got a good chance to win in court, oh and one final thing as well; for those that continue to post that same tired ole BS you keep coming back about “not going to miss the NBA & let them go & who cares, it sucks & so on. If that’s the case then STFU & stop posting on here every fukkin day then! Go away! Fukk off! Get a fukkin life already! If you don’t give a sh!t about the NBA or the so-called greedy players then why do you KEEP posting that same tired ass line you useless fat-azz trolls?!

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