If you weren’t depressed enough after the meeting on Monday in New York between both sides of the NBA lockout went nowhere and was punctuated by commissioner David Stern’s words slamming the players union, then today’s news that the NBA is actually filing a lawsuit against the union will definitely send you over the edge.
Essentially, the NBA has adopted a “take-it-or-leave-it” approach with their offer to the players yet somehow they’re alleging that the union is the party not negotiating in good faith. Which is interesting because the players seem to be the ones that have made some concessions while the owners have done little of that themselves beyond abandoning their willingness to adopt a hard salary cap and getting rid of guaranteed contracts.
Below is the full press release from the NBA:
The NBA filed two claims today against the National Basketball Players Association: an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board, and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York. The unfair labor practice charge asserts that the Players Association has failed to bargain in good faith by virtue of its unlawful threats to commence a sham “decertification” and an antitrust lawsuit challenging the NBA’s lockout. The federal lawsuit seeks to establish, among other things, that the NBA’s lockout does not violate federal antitrust laws and that if the Players Association’s “decertification” were found to be lawful, all existing player contracts would become void and unenforceable.
“These claims were filed in an effort to eliminate the use of impermissible pressure tactics by the union which are impeding the parties’ ability to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Adam Silver. “For the parties to reach agreement on a new CBA, the union must commit to the collective bargaining process fully and in good faith.”
Somehow I doubt owners like Jerry Buss, Micky Arison and Mark Cuban would be thrilled if “all existing player contracts would become void and unenforceable” although plenty of lousy teams would certainly accept that outcome. Forget last summer, imagine the chaos that would ensue if every player became a free agent!
Don’t hold your breath on any of this resolving itself soon. About the only thing you, the NBA fan, can do is boycott all NBA products and refuse to give the league and its owners any of your hard earned money. After all, isn’t that essentially what both sides are fighting for?