Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  16 responses

Agents to Sue the NBA on Behalf of Rookies?

The legal mess in the NBA is likely only going to get uglier and bigger, so it shouldn’t be a total surprise to learn that agents may be looking to sue the League on behalf of their rookie clients. From Yahoo! Sports: “Some agents are discussing the separate filing of an anti-trust suit against NBA on behalf of league’s rookie players, sources tell Y!”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • Patrick

    I think Billy Hunter is an idiot, because I think he is arguing acting more on emotion than logic. I think they should decertify the union and then never recertify it. If there is no players’ union, there is no union to be “locked-out”. Thus this would quite simply eliminate lockouts going forward.

  • LA Huey

    ^as long as you understand that this would drastically alter the league as you once knew it. No CBA = no draft, no salary cap, amongst other rules that contribute to a sense of competitive balance.

  • bull22

    agents suing now??? this is becoming comedy central for the union and some of the players.. they make it to my ALL BOZO TEAM for doing this late in the year.. loved how dick vitale railed into both the owners and players this morning, HILARIOUS!

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

    @LA hueay, why no draft? couldn’t that be done without a cba, and let the rookies angents negotiate a deal on their behalf?

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


  • jj

    What does this solve if they win this case? The league will allow rookies to work out with teams and get paid, meanwhile every other player does not get paid. I don’t think that would go to well with the players who are not getting a salary. Who is even paying for this lawsuit, considering most if not all rookies do not have the wages to pay for this type of federal trial?

  • LA Huey

    @spit hot, due to anti-trust issues. For example, having a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement, means rules agree upon by the majority of both workers and employer) typically makes a sports leagues exempt from anti-trust law. In normal circumstances the rules that sports teams follow violate anti-trust law.
    For example, a medical doctor coming out of school near the top of his class has the right to work for whomever he chooses and can negotiate a salary with no predetermined ceiling or floor. It’d be illegal if all the hospitals, clinics, etc to agree to pay no more than X dollars. It would also be illegal to say, “Doctor, this clinic has the rights to your services based on a draft we did that attempts to improve the worst performing medical institutions.” Also, nobody can tell any of the institutions that “Your payroll must between Y dollars and Z dollars”.
    But that’s how a majority of American sports leagues operate now and without a players union to negotiate a CBA, it’d be pretty hard to do. Hopefully, I explained that with enough clarity that you can see the light of my previous comment.

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

    LA huey, i understand that having the cba eliminated the anti trust law between employer and employee. I just don’t get why there could not be draft w o the cba. What’s the difference between a player negotiating his own salary in free agency without a cba and a rookie being drafted and negioting his own deal?

  • CubicleWorker

    With decertification and without a union players won’t have guaranteed contracts. They trade off typical labour laws for guaranteed contracts and other benefits provided under the umbrella of a union. Decertification means existing contracts are void, free agency would have no structure, no draft, no guaranteed contracts. The biggest implication then is tha, no minimum salaries etc etc. This means that players can be cut (without pay) for any number of reasons including; injury, poor performance, bad attitude. Although decertification provides them with a little leverage, if the NBA resumes with no players union it will be really, really bad for the majority of NBA players.

  • CubicleWorker

    Spit hot fyah, the draft is part of the CBA. A provision that aims to create competitive balance. Without a CBA the NBA becomes a free market system. As huey said, if you graduate from university you don’t get drafted to a company. You interview and get offered a position. It would work the same way except for pretty much every top rookie would go to Miami/Lakers/NY/Chi/Boston. Teams like OKC wouldn’t have a chance…

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

    alright i get it, rookies are free agents and go to the highest bidder. in an open market, couldn’t a free still negotiate a contract that was guaranteed if it is agreed between the player and owner? i get the point that guaranteed contracts in general would not exist, but players should still be able to make clauses right? and what’s up with hunter still being in the picture? It’s not real decertification yet, this is what made the nfl loose in court right?

  • CubicleWorker

    Yea technically they could still negotiate a guarantee, but I would think there would always be legal action that could void an employment contract. An example would be a claim that a player is unfulfilling the obligations of his contract. How Hunter is still around, especially on his $2,000,000/year salary is beyond me..

  • MikeC.

    Decertification of the players’ union will lead to a very interesting landscape if play is resumed without a union and a collectively bargained agreement. If all current contracts are voided, this will impact the small-market teams in a deeply negative way. If I’m understanding the implications correctly, there will be no set of rules which any team has to follow. With no CBA, each team is essentially its own company and can fight for employees in the same way other businesses do. They can just offer higher salaries, more perks/more desirable working environment. With no agreed upon salary cap or salary max/min, and all current contracts voided, rich teams like NY, NJ, Chi, Dallas, LAL, etc can just buy whatever roster they want. Maybe we can finally see a billionaire showdown between Cubes, Dolan and Prokhorov. How much is Lebron really worth on a truly open market? I’d love to see that FA process play out on live TV. Those 3 dudes set up behind podiums Price is Right style and they all bid on Lebron’s talents. Who blinks first? Old Cuban would never back down, but he seems more mellow nowadays. Does Prokhorov make a call back to the old country for a wire transer? Does Dolan fall off the wagon due to the stress and confuse Lebron James and Mike James? I’d PPV that in a heartbeat.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-a-feldman/the-legal-issues-behind-t_2_b_1081107.html Allenp

    LA Huey I see you son. That’s what I’m talking about. Tell people what changes. It’s like people have opinions, but very little information. You give them information, they reconsider those opinions to a degree.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-a-feldman/the-legal-issues-behind-t_2_b_1081107.html Allenp

    Actually, guaranteed contracts are negotiated individually in several environments.
    But, not just players have guaranteed deals. So do coaches, general managers, team presidents, ESPN announcers, radio hosts and the list goes on.
    The people who have guaranteed contracts are the people who negotiate them. Not all players have them.
    For the record.