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Friday, November 4th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  123 responses

50 NBA Players Pushing to Decertify Union Again


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

For the players, getting rid of their union is not a new idea. It’s just an option that hasn’t moved ahead very much since it was introduced.

But all of that may soon change.

With NBA labor talks set to resume tomorrow in New York, according to multiple published reports, some 50 hard-line and extremely frustrated NBA players — guys like Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Ray Allen etc. — are seriously looking into decertifying the union if the framework of a deal that’s considered fair can’t be reached this weekend.

The NY Times reports:

About 50 players, including some All-Stars, are planning a drive to dissolve their union if talks again falter, or if the talks produce a labor deal that they deem unpalatable, according to a person who has spoken with the group. The threat could throw a wrench into negotiations as league and union officials attempt to broker a deal, knowing that any compromise might trigger a legal battle that could last for months. “It’s a potential threat to all,” said Gabe Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University. “It could signal the breakdown of collective bargaining talks.”

Dissolving the union, also known as decertification, would allow the players to sue the N.B.A. under federal antitrust law, and could force the owners to end the lockout. But there are many potential obstacles, both legal and otherwise, and the decertification process could take two months. By that time, the entire 2011-12 season might be lost. The most immediate outcome of a decertification drive would be chaos, the mere threat of which could hasten a deal. Feldman said it could be “just another ploy to gain leverage” for the players and a “major weapon in collective bargaining.” But it also could make it tougher to reach a deal. The 50-player faction is essentially demanding that the union make no more concessions. That means holding firm for a 52.5 percent share of league revenue — as the union has done so far — and rejecting any new restrictions on contracts and free agency.

Decertification would signal the end of Billy Hunter’s run, and for that to take place, 30 players need to sign a petition, leading to an election, after which a majority win would trigger the dissolving of the union.

There’s no telling at the moment if this renewed push for union decertification will lead to action from either side of the labor fight, but due to the uncertainty it causes, the mere threat will undoubtedly place additional pressure on everyone to get a deal done soon.

That’s not such a bad thing.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    it felt like we were close last week, if this goes through (i don’t think it will) this might drag on for a good minute

  • Fat Lever

    One thing that Stern said last week in his press conference really stood out to me. He was talking about lost revenue to this point and additional lost revenue and how that will factor into the owners next proposal. In other words, 50/50 might be the best offer the NBAPA gets from the owners from this point forward. Then again, it could be Stern blowing smoke again, posturing for the media and using scare tactics against the players.

  • Fat Lever

    This isn’t ending anytime soon, people. Get used to life without the NBA. I have.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    They should have decertified a long time ago. The NFLPA did the same thing earlier in their dispute with the Owners. I knew that DeMaurice Smith’s advice to the NBAPA not to dissolve its union was a ploy by the NFL to keep the NBA in a lockout as long as possible.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He didn’t tell them not to decertify. He just said they had better be certain if they did because there was no going back.
    Seems like this has become the only option. The owners have not budged at all on their figures on the BRI split. Clearly, they need to be nudged.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I mean when he says it that way, he’s implying them not to decertify. Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Can’t really blame the players if they have to take this step. The hardline owners have forced them into this move. My hope is all sides see the big picture this Saturday, and don’t let greed and bitterness (finger point to Gilbert, Kroenke, Allen) hurt the game anymore than it already has during this lockout. Real progress won’t happen this Saturday until the owners collectively realize they’ve already won, and if they continue to hold their line, it will be their pride that goeth before the fall of the NBA.

  • Mburb321

    Just read stein’S article on espn,the comments made me sick. I literally think 95% of them were racist. Players are probably reading them to and are like f*ck EVERYONE we’re doing what we want. I just hope if they do decertify they get the results they want because things are looking worse an worse.

  • bike

    It’s defiantly the last and only card to play. And it is most assuredly is something the owners don’t want. But Stern and the owners had to know it might come to this. The most likely scenario for them is to continue the lockout, accept the antitrust suit that will follow, and try to wear the players down before the crap hits the fan.
    Good luck with this players, but remember, this is a major game changer.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    ofcourse the comments are racist. ppl are afraid to admit it tho. every1 knows basketball and the NBA is a black dominated sport. it means more to blk ppl. other ppl who feel inferior to the fact its a black dominated sport are rooting for the owners HARD. even more so, they just dont want to see it. like i always say, everyone who talks about the popularity of the NFL, let it be a bunch of mike vicks and cam newtons as the faces of the league i BET football will have a “image problem”

  • http://forumblueandgold.com jbn74sb

    Fellow old schoolers and Slam scribes:
    Are “The Links” a thing entirely of the past? I was hoping to come on here and see “FRIDAY!”

  • bull22

    not of you have even addressed as to why the players are not being taken seriously… when you got players who are bored going to the press about dressing up like justin timberlake,painting your toe nails black, nba player participating in a 10 million dollar wedding,clubbing,playing in these goofy leagues to gain sympathy or attention, at home sleeping or playing video game
    s,talking about going to china or overseas bull. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IS GOING TO TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY! just because you have all this money does not make you smart, if these guys had any initiative they would have started their foundation of starting something new two years ago. but sadly like like those in my old hood, JUST SIT AROUND AND WAIT FOR A MIRACLE TO HAPPEN..

  • LA Huey

    ^Taj Gibson bringing up irrelevant points again.

  • CubicleWorker

    I’m not sure I understand exactly what the players hope to do by decertifying. Just because they decertify doesn’t mean they automatically win their anti-trust suit. It just brings in more people that will be looking at the situation objectively, more money to lawyers, more lost games/revenue. If the players take a 50/50 split and if that figure is $1B over ten years, that’s still less than the $2B they lose if they miss the whole season. I don’t understand how that’s not logical to everybody involved in the situation. Maybe allenp can tell me the exact reason players are willing to give up $2B to potentially earn an extra $1B (save for the fact that this CBA sets precedence for future negotiations).

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Please tell me you didn’t just compare NBA players to hood cats, please? What do you expect them to be doing during a long and extended lockout? They have to stay in shape somehow and playing in “goofy” leagues keeps them in game shape, this is not the NFL where all the players do in the off-season is lift weights and work on position specific drills, this is the NBA where you have to constantly be in the gym working on your craft. I would expect DRose’s biggest d*ckrider to understand but his looks must be the reason why you superheaded him all season long.

  • LA Huey

    Cubicle, this an excerpt from Adande’s article on ESPN:
    That begs the question: If he loves the game so much …

    “Then why don’t we take the deal?” he said, not waiting for the rest of the sentence. “I think it’s about standing up. We’ve given in so much. Guys are doing this not just for the players we have now, but for the future. Seven years from now, are we going to take 47-53? Seven years after that are we going to take 40? So why not stand for something now, so we’ll be better 10 or 15 years down the line. If they’re going to keep taking from us every six years, every seven years it’ll get to the point where we have nothing to fight for anymore.”

    Surely, you can understand the precendent that’s being set and that the owners will likely try to grab more of the BRI pie in the future.

  • Riggs

    They should have decertified when it was first put on the table. Now it’s too late and reeks of desperation, the owners have them right where they want them and they are not going to budge on 50/50. This should show them that hunter was the worst person for this job and he is being maneuvered by stern.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Your last sentence answered your question.
    If you start at 50 percent now, do you think they will ever earn more money?
    The NFL has the most favorable labor agreement in sports from an owners perspective and has for years.
    Yet the owners STILL locked the players out this summer to get more money.
    I just stumbled across a quote from Albert Camus the other day that sums this up to me:
    “Man is mortal. That may be;but let us die resisting; if out lot is complete annihilation, let us not behave in such a way that it seems justice.:
    Every man must have a line in the sand. He must fight to defend that line. Because if he does not, his opponent will continually fight to take more and more from him.
    That players will lose. This is a foregone conclusion. They lost when negotiations began and the proof is that their opening gambit was to offer to return money to the owners.
    The question is now how much they will lose and how much they will make the owners pay for their victory. If the owners get victory too easily, they will quickly be back for another, larger bite at the apple soon. If victory costs them, they may think twice about capriciously instituting another lockout.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    In hindsight it may look like decertifying was the smart move, but honestly, I’m not sure. I think the players and Hunter believed the owners wanted a lockout, but would still be reasonable.
    They miscalculated. Plus, the NFL players decertified and they STILL lost money. It’s not a magic bullet.

  • LA Huey

    So according to ESPN reports, the union could decertify 45 days after a petition is filed by X number of players. I think the players should file the petition if they truly feel they should get that 52.5% split. The owners are reportedly not even in agreement on 50/50 so what makes anyone think they would come to 52/48 in time to salvage a 2011-2012 season? The CBA already works in favor for the hardlining small-market as it is. If there is no union, they don’t get any of the protections (max salaries) or privileges (draft rights) under anti-trust law.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Bodie, the Links are long gone….kind of like Lang’s presence on the site itself.

  • LA Huey

    The NFL is a different animal, I think. Pro football comes with more risks to players as far as long-term health. They already have shorter average careers and smaller average salaries than the NBA or MLB. And I feel like NFL players benefit more from a union than the NBA, MLB, NHL. Still, decert is by no means 100% going to work in their favor but at this point, it should seriously be considered.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I agree Huey. i just don’t think that was the route they had to take immediately. I thought negotiating in good faith was smart. But, only one party was doing it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Funny how “a group of 50 players push to decertify” the day after a report that says the only thing that will get the owners to move off their number is to threaten to decertify…..

  • O

    Que mierda…

  • LA Huey

    Yeah, I commend the players for trying to negotiate first. But now it’s so obvious this is equally an attempt at a power grab and money grab by the owners, they’re going to have to get the courts involved if they want more than that 52%.

  • jayb

    if this goes through i guarantee that we will have no season…dream team tour back on..kobe to italy….kobe at duke practice…this is not looking good. i dont think hunter did a great job but if the players wanted to decertify they should have done so in August not now!!! this is Very bad!!!

  • CubicleWorker

    LA Huey, I don’t think I agree with the quote or Allenp’s NFL reference. My thought is this, if the players think they deserve 53% and are willing to miss a season over it then do so when you have more leverage. Take the 50/50 deal now (keep in mind, nobody is going to get a pay cut on current contracts and nobody will be starving at 50/50), let the owners make some money over the next 7 years, save up enough money to live for a year or two after so that you know owners aren’t f-ing around, have a more thoroughly thought up back up plan (ie. negotiations with foreign leagues in advance of a lockout), and when there is no dispute of owners losing money THEN go on a strike.

  • CubicleWorker

    This whole thing is like chess in a way, the owners are several moves ahead. The players are reactive to every move and just trying to keep up. Right now it’s “check”, soon it will be “check mate”.

  • CubicleWorker

    If they do everything I’ve outlined above and create a union option after 5-7 years, then they can come out swinging in the next negotiations with far more leverage, then can go on strike, win the PR battle, and get the 53/54% of BRI that they want.

  • tavoris

    good thing 2K12 is so darn realistic.

  • bike

    My money is on the owners not being swayed by this threat. It will get under their skin for sure, but I think power is driving them as much as the money now. They want to regain control that they perceive they have lost. A lot can go wrong with moving into the antitrust arena for both sides but the odds are more will go wrong for the players. I guess if I’m the average player, the question becomes ‘how badly do I want to stick it to the owners and still lose?’.

  • EJ

    It would probably help if more big names would go play overseas. Just say F U to the owners, show them you don’t need them and won’t play for them unless you get a fair deal. If #Basketballneverstops, then what you need NBA for?

  • CubicleWorker

    You absolutely can’t win a battle if you’re underprepared and have less resources than you’re opponent. I can see where the players are coming from but at the end of the day you have to cut your losses. Losing a season will cost them more than they’d gain by winning that extra 2%. This is why owners are billionaires, they mostly make decisions based on financials and logic not emotions or principals. Warren Buffett bought Berkshire Hathaway out of spite, he said that decision cost him $200B over his lifetime

  • CubicleWorker

    Let’s not forget that players can invest their money as well. Just did a future value calculation of $5M for 30 years @ 10%….. it equals $87,247,011.34. And players are fighting for what will really work out to a couple hundred thousand each?????

  • LA Huey

    I agree that the game is chess but it seems the union is playing it like its checkers. Maybe they should take 50-50 (keep in mind it’s been reported the owners haven’t even agreed to that) and try to regroup. However, the way so many communications have been leaked amongst the union, the league would probably catch wind of an upcoming “strike” and they’d plan accordingly. And I don’t even think that would work as millionaires will not outlast billionaires in a drought. The only real leverage the players could gain is through the courts.

  • LA Huey

    The superstars should just play in a foreign league and start dropping like flies “with injuries” to prod their large market owners.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    dude the owners spend a star player salary on his private planes and multi-million dollar yachts lol ppl dont see that tho. outta sight outta mind

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    idc if u lose a season. the players just cant give in on this, you just cant. allen said it best, u gotta draw aline in the sand eventually. anybody who cant understand that never stood up for anything. even when the odds against u

  • CubicleWorker

    Yada, the owners also spend two or three star players salaries on the players’ private jets, five star hotels etc etc. Smarten up. Just like you can’t show up to an NBA Finals series and expect to win because you have a pretty good team or ran a few drills, you can’t expect to win a labour negotiation because you have some good points or feelings of entitlements. Read my above posts or a book please.

  • CubicleWorker

    LA Huey, although the owners would catch wind of something like that, the players (right or not) are in an uphill battle in all aspects of this lockout: PR, leverage, and ROI (return on investment). The players have to call a spade a spade, look at the financials and take a 50/50 deal for the next 7 years and come back more prepared and with a better strategy for those three aspects.

  • CubicleWorker

    Yada its like losing a battle but not losing the war, you know what I mean?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    CubicleWorker, you realize the only way the players will be able to get something better then 50/50 if they agree too it is too strike right? This lockout is a result of the owners, and the owners alone, having a problem with the system. It’s hardly a negotiation, even though that’s what it is labeled as. There is no “come back prepared with a better strategy,” – they knew the lockout was coming years ago, David Stern even told them, if there was a better strategy to have they would already be employing it.

  • CubicleWorker

    I disagree, look @ the players tweets. They were all shocked when the NBA cancelled games. Look @ what I wrote above and tell me specifically with what you think would not help them have a better strategy in the next CBA.

  • CubicleWorker

    I don’t really care for your validation on that point though. I’m really curious as to how players are willing to give up $2B to earn the extra 2% ($800M over 9 years). And how do you reconcile those figures with the fact that $5M (average salary) compounded at 10% over 30 years is $87M. It just boggles my mind when the only difference most players will see is a couple hundred thousand on a $5M/year contract. And that’s future contracts. Current contracts stay the same… I’m really waiting for allenp to step in and enlighten me here.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    What do you mean a better strategy? smh, do you think they went in their with blank sheets of paper after some improv classes? They were as prepared as they were going to be. They just didn’t go about getting a fair deal in the right way (decertifying as soon as the season ended would have probably helped more then what they’ve done so far for example). It wasn’t about being unprepared, more about hesitating. You can do whatever accounting you want to find out how much money these guys could be making by signing the deal. But the principle is being totally ignored in your brain, the players don’t want to be taken advantage of (more then they have too), if they sign the deal that is offered then that is exactly what is happening, they are being taken advantage of, only too start in an even worse position during the next negotiations. If you think the Unions position will somehow improve from this negotiation to the next then your being very very very naive.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And stop with that 10% over 30 years sh*t. You think these guys want to put their money away in low-risk bonds? Where are they going to get 10% on their investment and still have money to spend in the mean time? And you talk about the average salary, like there are more players walking around making $5M a year then there are making $1.2M (which is a lot of money a year, but a professional basketball career is an average of 4 years). The “average player salary” is skewed by huge money contracts (Rashard Lewis, Gilbert Arenas, Kobe Bryant, ect.), most guys make a great living, but it is not nearly as much money as the league, and ESPN would want you too believe. Regardless, the principle of taking “good money” over “being treated fairly” is your argument. Would you teach your kids that money is more important then their rights?

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    I’m honestly so lost with all this lockout talk..

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I don’t see how the players are unprepared during this lockout. That’s just an excuse to discredit their position. Even if the players had called a strike–as opposed to the owners–do you think the general public would support them? A bunch of millionaires going on strike is about as sympathetic in the public’s eyes as Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries going through a break-up. The owners have leverage in the eyes of the public no matter what. Face it.
    It’s the exact same pseudo-logic the mainstream press uses to discredit Occupy Wall Street. “They aren’t prepared; their demands aren’t clear.”
    In the case of the protestors, when you’re getting screwed by the ruling elite, you don’t have just a narrow list of demands.
    In the case of the players, they don’t have a clear list of demands because they aren’t the ones calling for the lockout in the first place. If the owners want real credibility, then they have to publish their financial records–if not, then they deserve no sympathy.

  • Heals

    Uggghhhhh!?!? Blood is in the water and the Sharkers smell it. Say what you will (we all know the heads who have their 3rd eye open in these comment sections), but there is no strategy to combat the approach the owners have taken. Good faith, competitive balance, 40+ years of significant player progress, the league as we have come to know it left the negotiating room about 10 days ago…

  • Heals

    Cubicle, in many ways you’re beyond enlightenment on this one. You have your position and won’t budge, regardless of how anybody presents their info. You bring up several good points and engage others, but your distaste for the players’ side of things is too blatant.
    1) Those tweets from “all” the players you refer to, only represents about 10-15% of the league and shocked is just internet hyperbole
    2) It’s not that they feel they deserve 53%, the owners have stated 53-47 solves all of their current financial woes
    3) You keep stating the NBAPA was unprepard, but never back it up with what could’ve been prepared better (were they Belechik pepared no, but they’re far from The 3 Stooges you portray them as)
    4) The chess v checkers comparison is lousy at best. The Owners appear one step ahead because they keep moving starting point once the players get lined up
    5) “It just boggles my mind when the only difference most players will see is a couple hundred thousand on a $5M/year contract. And that’s future contracts. Current contracts stay the same” – back this up with anything substantial. Only a couple hundred thousand (say that aloud to yourself please)
    6) “Yada, the owners also spend two or three star players salaries on the players’ private jets, five star hotels etc etc.” This has been your fallback FALSE go-to argument. Absolutely false and very-telling about how you view NBA players. Lemme know of just 1 owner that flies coach, stays at motel 6, carpools to the arena and eats of McD’s dollar menu and then you might have the beginning of decent argumen…

  • Mburb321

    AGAIN this is why HUNTER is to blame for this. He didnt want to decertify when everyone else did because he didnt want to lose power. He didnt want it in the courts hands, he wants to be the one who saves the players from these owners. He however miscalculated and now the players might suffer for it. If the players came out of that meetings yesterday with information that decertifying still makes sense then go for it! If not, they should put their pride to the side, realize they dropped the ball and now its time to take 50/50.

  • LA Huey

    Heals, I think my chess-checkers comparison is better than lousy. The players are limited in what they can do (like checker pieces) and aren’t on a level playing field right now. It sucks, because I’m on the players side at this point, but they’ve conceded on just about every point according to pretty much any report and it looks like they’re in store for more losses

  • Heals

    I just think it’s too simplistic a comparison for a labor situation this nuanced. Lousy was probably too strong, but when you fully understand the various proposals the NBAPA has offered and agreed to I don’t think it holds up (a flexible cap depending pn revenues generated, a MCuban proposed system with no cap and no vet minimums, etc., a short term deal with Owner opt-outs and extension options, amnesty clauses allowing teams to axe a previously guaranteed contract). If I were to extrapalate your analogy I’d say both sides are playing chess, but the owners are taking 2 turns in a row, asking for do-overs, telling the NBAPA to take back successful moves and threatening to stop the chess game entirely if the NBAPA doesn’t abide by these “rules”…

  • http://forumblueandgold.com jbn74sb

    Kobe needs to hire an attorney to do the negotiating for the players. In fact, with all of the shoes that Nike and adidas are NOT selling, why haven’t they hired some top dog to come in and dominant. Fisher is a mediocre player who has hit some big shots and flopped his way to 5 rings. As an attorney with a devious mind myself, I’d much rather that I negotiate the purchase of a car than have Fisher do it for me. Bring in a pro and go get your clipboard, Fish. Kobe needs you in a suit on the bench than he does in his starting lineup.

  • CubicleWorker

    Alright guys, this is fun. I actually like the debate and hope we can keep this going. Seriously, I want to be wrong. I’m open to some logically consistent rebuttals. I’ll address heals comments as they seem to have the most substance.

    1) The slam “tweetcaps” involved around 50 players of all calibres: rookies, 8th men, starters and superstars. To me that’s a pretty big representative sample of the players. This is actually quite a large sample, a normal distribution curve only requires a sample of 30. Any election poll or statistic you read about anything will likely have a sample of less than 11% of the population. Shocked may be a stretch, but there was a definitely a sense of “oh, this is actually happening??”

    2) A report I read is that Peter Holt (one of the biggest proponents of 50/50) said that 53/47 can help them break even and give them a chance to make some profits. I hope I don’t lose people here but there’s a concept called weighted average cost of capital (WACC) that businesses and investors use when deciding to invest in a project. This represents the return that the investor could make if the money was put elsewhere. Now I have no idea what this cost is or what the ROI is for NBA franchises, but I’ll even humour you guys and say even if the NBA is profitable, if the WACC isn’t high enough for the owners its honestly their perogative to try to make it higher. It’s their right, just as its the players right to try to make as much as possible. Allenp said the growth rate in the NBA is 4%, if inflation is at 2% that means the ROI can only be 2% at best! That’s less than treasury bonds.

    3) I didn’t mean they are unprepared. What i mean is that they can come to the next CBA negotiations under more favourable terms. That being if they give owners 50/50 there will be no dispute over losses, they can fight over profit. That’s the big issue. Some owners (whether its 22 or 8) are losing money. You wont have a season if someone is losing money. If everybody is making money then the owners won’t want a strike or a lockout and maybe they can do things like increase the MLE, reduce luxury taxes etc.

    4)I’ll agree a bit, but this thing is in motion. It’s not restarting, its like the players move towards the owners to take out a pawn but leave their King vulnerable. That’s what happens in chess, one person makes a move, then someone moves again. Just seems the owners are making the right moves to win the negotiation.

    5) Actually its less than I thought. Plug this into excel =((2,000,000,000)*0.02))/450 2B = BRI, 0.02 = the two percent difference from 52-50% and 450 players.

    Average player salary decreases by $88,000. Growth will swallow that up in two years and they’ll be back to even. Plus EXISTING CONTRACTS STAY THE SAME

    6)”Lemme know of just 1 owner that flies coach, stays at motel 6, carpools to the arena and eats of McD’s dollar menu and then you might have the beginning of decent argumen… ” None. My point was both sides are receiving these benefits.

  • CubicleWorker

    “If I were to extrapalate your analogy I’d say both sides are playing chess, but the owners are taking 2 turns in a row, asking for do-overs, telling the NBAPA to take back successful moves and threatening to stop the chess game entirely if the NBAPA doesn’t abide by these “rules”… ”

    lolllllllllll

  • LA Huey

    Fair enough.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    A few things
    1. There is no master negotiator that would have saved the players from this situation getting to where it is. The players own no leagues, their primary source of income is provided by the party they are negotiating with, few of them have the on-hand resources to withstand a long term work stoppage and they have the larger more fractured group.
    There is nobody who could change these facts, and thus convince the owners to give the players a better deal.
    2. The deal on the table is not “50/50.” There is no deal that splits the BRI evenly AND maintains the same “system” that allows players to create a real market for their services. As David Aldridge reported, the 50 percent BRI deal, which was actually fought against by most owners, was for players to accept wholesale “system” changes that would have greatly reduced their ability to get teams to bid on their services, greatly reduced player movement in free agency and basically made it so the owners would have their hard cap that they wanted initially. The deal that left the “system” in its current form was for a 53/47 split in favor of hte owners. The exact same split they initially proposed.
    3. This is not chess or checkers. Using that analogy implies that there is some way that the players could have won using the rules of negotiation. There was not. All they could do was lose slowly and less decisively once they went the negotiation route.
    4. Decertification requires a belief that the United States federal court system will side with the players in a decision that would greatly upset the status quo and result in the possible loss of millions of dollars for a small group of conservative, wealthy white men.
    I really can’t understand why anybody would believe this would happen given this country’s history.
    Also, I think that decertifying now is not the clusterf*ck everybody seems to think it is. I don’t believe the owners would have moved any faster if the players had decertified earlier, nor do I think the courts would have moved that swiftly either. The owners would have still wanted to see how the players reacted when they started missing checks. That was always their goal. Decertifying now is not a bad thing as far as strategy because I doubt the owners would have ever caved before they could put financial pressure on players.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And your under the impression the owners are going to show what they are actually making during the next negotiation? They aren’t showing any financial information during this, when they supposedly aren’t making money. Now your assuming they will be willing to show what money they are making, only to give a portion of it away during the next negotiation?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Allen, wouldn’t decertification force the owners to reveal their financial information in the court of law? If they were fibbing about loses, wouldn’t that, in itself, defeat their case against the NBPA?

  • CubicleWorker

    They’ve showed their financials to the players and those involved with the bargaining sessions…. that’s old news man

  • LA Huey

    4:28 was not the real Huey

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The only reason owners are losing money is because their revenue sharing system sucks.
    Period.
    Baseball has the same disconnect between larger teams and smaller teams. The larger teams subsidize smaller teams so those smaller teams can stay in existence and can allow the larger teams to make the massive amounts of money the continue to make.
    The NBA owners don’t want to do that AND the smaller teams want the ability to actually compete for championships without having to spend as much money as the larger teams.
    That’s the rub here. The big market teams make more money, but they spend more money to make that money. The smaller market teams, outside of those that draft a superstar, want a guaranteed profit AND the prestige that comes with winning championships without having to take the same risks as larger market teams.
    And the assumption that if the players take a worse deal now, they can demand a better deal later is asinine. The power dynamics will not have shifted in 10 years, the public perception of black millionaires will not have changed either.
    There is no reason to believe that taking a poor deal now will somehow result in a better deal based in real life history AND based in the history of the NBA. In every instance where player rights have improved it’s been based on either suing the League or threatening to cause maximum financial or reputational harm. Like boycotting the all-star game.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No they haven’t. They showed the BRI, which is automatically given too the NBPA, considering it involved their wages. But team financials have not been shown to anyone.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Cubicle
    That is not true.
    They have shown the players the audited financial statements for the teams only.
    They have not shown them the financial information for the arenas, they have not provided the players with any data on any subsidiary businesses that are bolstered by the NBA connection. And the players, after seeing the teams initial documents said that they numbers trumpeted by Stern were a misrepresentation. So, it’s not old news. And more importantly, they haven’t released that data to the public, the same public Stern has convinced that 22 teams are losing money.
    NBK
    They aren’t attacking the owners on their finances in court. They are attacking them on the legality of their system.
    Antitrust laws prevent collusion, price fixing and monopolies. The NBPA is going to argue that the league has engaged in all of those practices. Once it goes to court it’s not going to be about who is losing money, it’s going to be about who is breaking the law.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK
    Are you sure about that information on the BRI?
    If so, that is even more ridiculous.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Ahh, I see. I was under the impression that the financial statements for total team/league revenue would be revealed in order for the Players Association to prove that the Owners were not “negotiating in good faith” – to go along with the anti-trust lawsuit, my bad.

  • LA Huey

    The real Huey says the very existence of a CBA works in favor of a small market owner and that they need to be more reasonable in what they are asking from the players.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Total Team/League Revenue & Expenses*

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’m double checking the BRI v Total Finances thing right now. But as far as I can see the players are only shown the BRI and what is involved in it.

  • ctkennedy

    The players r f*ck period …millionares dont beat billionares…especially when they the reason u millionares aka they paid u …mfs better get rich while u can n invest

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I see where y’all are coming from but what were the downsides if the NBAPA decided to decertify during the first few weeks of the lockout?

  • LA Huey

    From what I’ve read, the legal battle stemming decertification would have dragged on long enough to effectively kill any chance of a ’11-’12 season.

  • http://deweynortonmba.wordpress.com/ nbk

    click my name

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Okay but isn’t that looking like the case right now? The owners are talking about moving away from that 50/50 line and if the players refused to negotiate anything concerning a 50/50 split and the owners lower their offer, decertification is the next step. We might not see NBA basketball for a long-time.

  • http://deweynortonmba.wordpress.com/ nbk

    It supposedly 10-12 Owners pulling away from 50/50. Not the majority. (Idk how much that matters)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So according to that website I posted at 5:12 the Owners are giving good financial information. But I can’t find anywhere that it says they are revealing all of the teams financial information. Just what is involved in the CBA

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Thanks NBK.
    You know what’s sad?
    The failure of most of the media on this story. It’s so ridiculous it only confirms my longheld suspicions about how sportswriters really feel about athletes.
    The information is available. I’m a writer and I found it. I don’t cover sports, but I found it. It’s not that hard to understand. It is important to understand.
    Yet so many writers have failed to discuss salient points. At this point, i can’t just chalk it up to laziness. They are lazy because they don’t want to know anything that forces them to question the NBA to stridently. They don’t reinforce the salient points because they don’t want to be accused of taking sides, but in doing so, they actually are taking the side of the owners.
    It’s sad.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That website is saying that they are following all legal accounting practices.
    It’s not disputing that those practices can make gains appear to be losses.
    Just because something is accepted accounting practice does not make it grounded in reality or truth. It makes it the standard practice adopted by businesses interested in making as much money as possible and paying as little taxes as possible.
    He calls it a transfer of wealth that NBA teams pay players. That is a red flag right there.
    The owners pay for a service. We live in a service based economy. Paying your workers is a not a transfer of wealth, and people who think that way are dangerous.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ^ Cosign that a thousand times. I’m in no way shape or form a journalist or accountant. I can find this information very very easily. If I was paid (and had the ability) to convey the truth about the lockout in a journalistic fashion I would go above and beyond to be as accurate and informative as possible so that the interested fan (like most of the Slamily) could get a firm grasp on the happenings of the lockout.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    When I said, “giving good financial information” – i was confirming what you said about the terms of desertification and whether or not it covers proving financial fiction. (or I was proving myself wrong lol)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I wasn’t talking about the accounting manipulation, if it’s legal then they can manipulate the numbers all they want. Wasting time on it will prove fruitless

  • http://nba.com GP23

    …if only Kim married the lockout

  • Heals

    First off, lousy was a poor choice of words. Cubicle I think your taking the discussion to a place that is different than where the initial commentors and Allen intended. You can’t plug the numerous extraneous variables into your equation to adequately account for the all revenue steams and expenses involved in running franchises (let alone that each franchise has different needs). That (a person in favor of 50/50 who probably votes Repub, was in favor of Wallstreet bailout, but against welfare, unemployment etc. Yeah we know the type) source may say that, but there are others arguing contrary (i.e. the union, economists, owners in other leagues, Allenp, nbk), so depends on who you get your info from. nbk it matters alot man cause 2 out those 10-12 should probably be contracted as well…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Contraction won’t even be on the docket for at least a year. If the owners get what they really want, every team will profit, contraction won’t be necessary, unless the league’s popularity literally shrinks. I was more or less referring to their affect on negotiations and the final vote.

  • Heals

    If those 10-12 franchises need this much in concessions from the NBAPA just to be viable than eff it, 2-3 of them should be contracted. But we ain’t having that discussion cause we’re to busy fleecing the players. Simple and plain, it’s called Capitalism right? If a business can’t turn a profit that makes it worthwhile for you to own a franchise then sell it. Why should the previous system be tore to shht just so you can nickle and dime, take advantage of rookie contracts, overprice tickets and GM moestly to success. In the streets it’s make money or take money. Funny how the owners wanna get real street with the players money, but not each others…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Its not really that simple. A lot of these franchises, (Charlotte for example) are a huge aspect of the local economy as a whole. The last thing the league wants to do is contract. It is also the last thing the US Government/Courts want the league to do. So if they can institute a system that allows those big market teams to still pull in their enormous profits, while also allowing these smaller market teams to remain profitable then it is a win, both for the league, and the economy as a whole.

  • Heals

    Oh yeah nbk, I was just venting about yet another example of owner hypocrisy in this heist. The onwers whole “woe is me” defense is so laughable to anyone with knowledge of this shht. The owners can’t trust each other not to give contracts that don’t hamstring their franchises for 3-5 years at time. They created this mess (Stern sat back as his “supposed” 22 franchises lost cash without any intervention) with dumb signings (players partly responsible for Arenas and BDavis types, but not the whole system). Signings that weren’t always made with team success or financial gain in mind. So rather than say we need to blow this up because we ran out teams so poorly under the current CBA, Salary cap, and Draft that we can’t currently operate effectively, they play the “Players make to much” card. It’s insulting. What’s further insulting (as Allen and you said) is that the media just slurps it up without any question or skepticism…

  • Heals

    That’s another thing too, so the NBAPA should be punished because an entire local community is dependent upon a struggling basketball franchise (one that upped and moved a decade or so ago, but no one worried about the community then. How about Sea’s community and local businesses?) to prosper ecomonically? I am not attacking your points but just trying to provide an opposing, NBAPA friendly, POV…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    yeah homie I feel you

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I am just saying the threat of contraction doesn’t really play a role in these negotiations at this point, there would be too many other factors that make each team a unique situation to tie it all together. I agree that some teams need to be moved or contracted

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, I see where you’re coming from but I’ve been to Charlotte and trust when I say that the Bobcats leaving town or being contracted wouldn’t make a big dent on its economy. The Panthers stunk it up last year (the same season the Bobcats made the playoffs) but they were the more popular team and this was before Cam Newton. It’s all about star players, without a star player, no way can the bobcats compete with the Panthers or become highly profitable. Winning every other game and losing in the 1st round is cool and you might attract 13,000+ fans but having a star equals sellouts and a boon in popularity. Ask the Cavs.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    My bad Taylor I was just trying to use an example. I don’t really know how important any small market team other then Oklahoma and San Antonio are to their team.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    To their city*

  • ctkennedy

    get rid of Bobcats,Raptors,Timberwolves,Kings,Nets,n Bucks ….the test i always use ….Use them teams n make one team …n you cant make a title contender.. thats sad.. thats 20percent of the league(the best players n the world)…factor n egos.positions,n etc be realistic

  • Heals

    Nothing BHunter can do when the 1st story on ESPN is “Sources: Owners’ hope for Saturday deal bleak.” Thanks Broussard for that real insider knowledge, hope the TV time is worth it. Of course this wouldn’t have anything to do with a minority group of owners from small franchises in lesser markets unreasonably reestablishing (yet again) what they want the split to be. Total nonsense…

  • P.barr

    Sick of this..prolly jst another teaser..like last week and da week before and da week before..ive had this blue balls for a while..

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Allenp: Mainstream journalism, for the most part, has become an absolute joke. Just look at the abysmal reporting on the Libyan civil war, or the Occupy movement. There is no longer (if there ever was) such a thing as unbiased reporting–everyone takes sides. Most of the time it’s the side of the advertisers.
    It comes as no surprise that the mainstream sportswriters would pull the same crap.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Generally speaking, of course. I still have much respect for journalists (such as yourself).

  • Heals

    2 pieces, 2 writers, 2 walk-offs

    Whitlock – “The NBA lockout is all about respect — a general lack of respect for NBA players.Ownership doesn’t respect the players. Fans don’t. And neither do the media.”

    VParasuraman – “The owners aren’t holding out for parity. They are holding out because of indifference and vindictiveness. Financially, they have so much money and so many alternate sources of revenue that it doesn’t matter if their teams play or not. And since most owners’ teams aren’t going to win anyway, the motivation just isn’t there to cave. For certain owners, like Dan Gilbert, this is taken to an extreme.”

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    REALLY!!! this is EXACTLY what Jerry Stackhouse was saying the other night (or something very similar)!!! Derek Fisher, nothing against him like he isn’t the right person for the job, but even HE doesn’t negotiate his OWN contract. His AGENT does. So why is he being allowed to negotiate something even BIGGER than his contract. I’d want someone who speaks the same lingo to negotiate on behalf of ME! THAT is how the league is currently set up and its not right…..

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    ^^^real talk !!!

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    ^^^ real talk !!!

  • Justin

    Heals, how many companies pay for ALL of their employees to stay at five star hotels, first class flights, meal allowances, etc. etc.?

  • Justin

    Get rid of the Raptors? Aren’t they one of the more valuable franchises in the league?

  • Marco

    - Now tell me who can stop me?
    I’m in the zone.
    Competition is not in the league that I own.
    All about the dough, Imma bring it home
    when it’s over with Imma be the king of the world. -

    D.Stern feat M.Jordan

  • Heals

    Actually a lot – but they do it to maximize player performance. If 1 owner decided not pay for these things another would come along that would. How do you think teams got private jets, 1 owner thought it gave him an advantage. Justin this issue is small fries man and you know it…

  • BostonBaller

    This is still only sports folks…I couldn’t care less about who wins the battle b/c all I want is to see games and if there are NEVER games my life keeps going and there are still poor people out here actually “working” for their small pay with no option to go to the company owner and pretty much demand a cut of their business. Both sides are greedy and I don’t think a majority of players have the future players in the front of their minds even when they speak of it. The owners want every penny they can squeeze out of this also and do not have the best interest of the game in the front of their domes either. In the “real” world owners make a lot more than workers . There are pay scales and unless you own stock you don’t get paid anything but your salary. To me, 50/50 is as fair as it gets considering the options. Unless I’m missing something (I haven’t followed this hard) splitting anything right down the middle is as fair as it gets. We just finished lessons on being FAIR, SHARING & CONFLICT MANAGEMENT in stewardship class and I will follow those classes up with what is going on during these negotiations..which means I now have to bore myself with the details. Thanks NBA for making teaching that much harder. lol

  • BostonBaller

    (some) Players generate a lot of money for the owners with their talents and marketability and since it wouldn’t be “fair” if only the “money making” players got royalties (what a mess that would be) all of the players share in the $$$ pit (just like when a dominate sport in college shares the revenue with all the schools sports programs) ON THE OTHER HAND the owners provide everything else for the players to be able to showcase their talents including the best hotels, travel, arenas, salaries, etc etc. (some owners provide better than others) If said player(s) do not like the millions they are getting or the working conditions they have options to play in other countries. The players would get less $$$ and travel would be less luxurious. If that happened, the owners would have to shut down but they wouldn’t don’t go broke. Most team owners own more than just a team. If the NBA folded (never happen) we would still see great ball b/c the media would go wherever the action is. Tell me that ESPN wouldn’t broadcast games from Turkey if all the teams there had at least 5 TOP NBA players on it? That would be the end of the NBA marginal players though since I’m sure each foreign league would make sure that their countrymen had a few spots on each team. If I were a player I’d want as much money as I could get as far as salary and I’d also want a cut out of what I helped generate from the fans paying THEIR money but I know I wouldn’t try to get more than the person who is paying me millions to play a kids game. If I were an owner I know I’d want to more than break even on MY investment $$$ and I’d feel as if 50/50 was more than fair b/c I am the one shelling out the cash but i’d also know that w/out the players I’d have to stay rich off of my other ventures.

  • slamnation

    Justin, the Raptors perpetually suck, and from a player’s perspective, T-Dot is about as appealing as Milwaukee or Cleveland. This will become even more apparent when DeRozan pulls an LBJ on them.

  • BostonBaller

    At least a lot of families are saving money by not having to pay for high priced tickets and food at the games. I feel kind of bad for the average worker in the arenas but the economy is bad which means they are in the same position as millions of others. I pray they all find jobs and when the lockout ends they don’t go back…then we’ll see if both players and owners realize who really does the work and deserves more pay. In most companies not many people know the cleaning crews by name or even sight but when they go on strike everyone wants to know where “that guy or gal” is who takes out the trash, replaces toilet tissue, vacuums, cleans the windows, etc etc. This is the ONLY part of the NBA that is like the REAL WORLD and that my friends is what really sucks..not who gets what % of the cash cow. BTW the great part about this is that that show bball wives might go off the air and maybe just maybe the gold digging groupies will leave and get a job. yeah right..there are still other pro sports out there so their “jobs” are safe. lol

  • BostonBaller

    Teddy the B you made an excellent point up there about Mainstream journalism. As far as reporting on foreign affairs and war we will only get what the Govt allows and spins. Unbiased reporting is a sad joke b/c each station has an owner and what ever way the owners lean that is which way their reporting will lean. My Pastor works at a TV station in the editing department and used to be an investigative cameraman and he is about to leave b/c of the tainted reporting and coverups. as far as the sportswriters, I myself am biased. I will not read certain mags b/c of the way they are put together with too much fluff and the writing is weak. Writing, even for sports, should come from the heart and be truthful yet entertaining. Thanks SLAM from a old school head who has been dow since ISH #1

  • http://Slam.com Illwill

    Players are buggin they should have done this back in July this almost ensures the season is lost

  • Andrew Woods

    ‘too big to fail’ was a excellent movie. Reminds me why I oppose the owners

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    Labour talks are starting to remind me of the movie ’50/50′: us fans are Rogen’s character (the friend), not directly involved, but have a lot at stake emotionally; the owners and players (NBA as a whole) are Levitt’s character (cancer patient), who have the most at stake and could potentially ‘die’ if the cancer is not treated; and the role of cancer is played by basketball related income (BRI), which if not contained during chemotherapy (labour negotiations) could reach metastasis, and then all parties concerned are f***ed.
    Check it out on my site where I drink my way through the cancelled games.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Boston
    It isn’t splitting down the middle. That is what they do now under the current expired deal. The new deal means the owners make a total of $500 million more than players if you use the most recent BRI and total revenue figures.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre
  • http://twitter.com/djys DJ YS

    At this point, them blowing the whole popsicle stand and decertifying may be the most entertainment we get this year.

  • VanCityBBall

    i cant believe the players are actually meeting about weather or not to have meetings

  • Peter M. Arel

    I personally DO NOT CARE if a deal IS NEVER reached by both sides. City officials in EVERY U.S. CITY WHERE THE NBA PLAYS SHOULD TAKE A STRONG STAND AGAINST THE NBA IF THE 2011-12 SEASON IS LOST BY LOCKING NBA TEAMS OUT OF THEIR ARENAS AND USING THE SPACE FOR CONCERTS, PUBLIC AUCTIONS, OTHER SPORTING EVENTS(IN THE CASES OF CITIES THAT ARE “MULTISPORT” CITIES) AND ICE SHOWS.Fans SHOULD BOYCOTT THE NBA, TOO, and KEEP BOYCOTTING THE NBA until it goes belly-up or until DAVID STERN IS OUSTED AS COMMISSIONER OF BASKETBALL, whichever comes first!

  • Peter M. Arel

    The NBA MUST LOSE ITS FAN BASE AND NEVER GET IT BACK AS A HARSH LESSON TO BOTH SIDES! There are lots of things fans like myself can do if the 2011-2012 season goes down the tubes.Like play basketball(I have my own basketball, too, with my name on it), watch a movie or play on my VCR, etc., but during that time the NBA can GO BELLY-UP and I won’t care.Not entirely true-I will care about the people whose businesses went bust or the arena employees who were forced out of their jobs. I WILL care about them. BUT I hope they and others in the NBA cities and towns where these people have lived and worked for most of their lives WILL REALLY TAKE A STRONG STAND AGAINST BOTH THE NBA OWNERS, THE PLAYERS AND COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN!

  • Peter M. Arel

    The NBA PLAYERS WILL BE DOING EVERYBODY A HUGE FAVOR IF THEY DECERTIFY! BUT THEY MUST EITHER “Fish or cut bait,” as the saying goes. I am Still hoping that the people who stand to lose their jobs at the arenas where the NBA teams play-and others too-WILL TAKE A HARDLINE AGAINST THE OWNERS AND THE PLAYERS IF THE CURRENT NBA SEASON GOES DOWN THE SEWER!

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