The militant talk of decertification from some of the NBA’s most powerful agents has died down, according to the latest reports, and the player reps are now seeking to align themselves with Billy Hunter and the union.
Those agents — Arn Tellum, Bill Duffy, Dan Fegan, Jeff Schwartz, Leon Rose, Henry Thomas and Mark Bartelstein — had been strong behind-the-scenes advocates of decertification for the Players Association but, according to the source, now believe that the time to do so has passed. None of the agents involved returned calls seeking comment, but a source said the tone of Wednesday’s call was far less militant and anti-union than previous discussions. According to sources, the agents are focused on how they can best help union chief Billy Hunter get a fair deal for the players.
Meanwhile, there are no talks planned for Thursday, and several of the principals are expected to observe the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur Friday and Saturday. That means Sunday could be the only day left to save the Nov. 1 start of the regular season, after commissioner David Stern said Tuesday he will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season in there is no agreement on a new deal by Monday.
It will likely require a small miracle this weekend for the start of the NBA season to be saved.
From the players’ side of things, having everyone on the same page this late in the game certainly doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s better than the alternative.