Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  9 responses

Players’ New Lawyer: Owners ‘Overplayed Their Hand’

Legendary attorney David Boies — get familiar with dude — addressed the media after NBA players filed separate anti-trust lawsuits against team owners, and did not mince words when it comes to his feelings about David Stern and the men he represents. Per the AP: “Attorney David Boies put the blame squarely on the owners, saying players were willing to accept a lower percentage of revenues but owners insisted on more. ‘By overplaying their hand, by pushing the players beyond any line of reasonableness, I think they caused this. You don’t give up hundreds of millions of dollars unless you want to make a deal and that’s what the players were doing,’ Boies said. ‘I think it was mistake to push it as far as they did.’ And it could potentially cost them billions. The players are seeking ‘treble damages’ – meaning triple the amount of the more than $2 billion they would have made under a full 2011-12 season – for what they argue is irreparable harm by preventing them from playing in their ‘very short’ NBA careers. Boies, who represented the NFL during that sport’s work stoppage and now has been brought aboard by basketball’s players, said the NBA lockout violates antitrust laws by refusing to allow players to work. He added that Stern’s ultimatum to the now-disbanded union to accept the owners’ last economic model or face a harsher proposal ‘turned out to be a mistake’ that strengthens the players’ case because it proves that the collective bargaining process had ended. ‘If you’re in a poker game, and you run a bluff, and the bluff works, you’re a hero. If someone calls your bluff, you lose. I think the owners overplayed their hand,’ Boies said at the players’ association headquarters. ‘They did a terrific job of taking a very hard line and pushing the players to make concession after concession after concession, but greed is not only a terrible thing – it’s a dangerous thing.’”

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS


  • Justin

    LMAO@ “irreparable harm”. How about you just sue for the money you’ve lost thus far and will lose until a decision is made? Triple your salary? For what? Greedy b!tchez

  • http://null.com Anon

    You obviously have no idea how the legal system works

  • DieselMechanic

    These players all make more than enough money average contract 5.5 million. Irreparable harm is narishkeit.

  • burnt_chicken

    i’m secretly starting to hope that all the players join some freakish ABA2K and leave the NBA in the rearview. Oh and MettaWorldPeace would be the new commish of the renegade league, of course.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com OTB

    The NBA bargained in good faith and made concessions that they felt would sustain an economic model that would work in accordance to their finances. Stern has some good lawyers on his side as well, not to mention the accounting information that will back all of this up. Keep in mind that the NBA has anticipated this anti-trust law suit ploy for months now, and even filed a claim with the NLRB that “players never intended to sign a deal and always sought to find relief in the courts.” That will count in court.

  • http://sportsnickel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/silvastpierre.jpg Jukai

    OTB: Uh… the NBA wanted 300 million in profits from a 300 million failing industry. That’s not bargaining in good faith. Bargaining in good faith would be getting out of the red and trying smarter business practices. Asking for double what you need to survive is absurd.

  • http://sportsnickel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/silvastpierre.jpg Jukai

    I mean, everything you said in that rant is crazy, so I regret even responding to you.

  • DieselMechanic

    @ Jukai where do you get these numbers? A 300 million failing industry? That doesn’t sound very accurate.

  • bike

    I think that Stern’s ultimatum might be a very key issue in all this. Stern has issued ultimatums before and later relented but it seems like who/what ended the CBA talks is going to be key. Threatening the players with a significantly worse deal if they don’t agree by a very short deadline should be viewed as ending the negotiations. Still surprised that Stern did this—then again he is a lawyer and had to anticipate the player’s response.