Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  28 responses

David Stern Warns Players Against ‘the Nuclear Option’

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Players Association president Derek Fisher confirmed a report from earlier in the week, telling the media that union decertification is indeed on the table. It’s one of the so-called trump cards that players will have in their fight against the owners once the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

David Stern, as you can imagine, is ready for battle. He warns Fisher, Billy Hunter and the rest of his opponents that decertification might not serve them well in the end.

Stern provides the warning in his own inimitably subtle (yet wholly terrifying) way.

The AP reports:

NBA Commissioner David Stern says it would be risky for NBA players to decertify their union. Speaking with reporters Wednesday before the Charlotte Bobcats-Memphis Grizzlies game, Stern said if the union decertifies it wouldn’t just mean the end of the NBA players association, it would nullify the labor contract as well.

That would allow players to challenge antitrust laws, the commissioner said, an opportunity they don’t have with the collective bargaining agreement in place. But, he said, decertification is risky because there are $4 billion in guaranteed player contracts in effect for next season. “It’s a nuclear option,” Stern said, “but I’m not sure whether it isn’t the nuclear option that falls on the party that launches it.”

For what it’s worth, Billy Hunter told the press earlier this week that decertification isn’t a serious threat at the moment.

It will be interesting to see if the players have the collective courage to consider this “nuclear” option once the fight with team owners really starts. One thing is certain, though: David Stern is ready.

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    Wasn’t he always ready? I hope there is no lockout next year. The NBA is finally headed somewhere. The last year of the great Celtics. The Knicks resurgence. Blake and Wall. And there is not enough words that can be said about my HEAT. so come on guys, make a deal already.

  • http://afjkl.com Jukai

    Did David Stern REALLY grow out that beard?

  • http://bugmarley.com LeoneL

    That Beard!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    There really is an upgrade in play by the “vogue” teams in the league this season which is always good for business. It could be said that even the worst teams in the league have some of the games brightest stars. Now is a time for the two sides to come together and find a workable solution and not try to have a c*ck off at a negotiating table. They owe the FANS that much. Going to an NBA game is an expensive affair. Yet they have no problems filling 99% of their arenas. The fans will always want to see great basketball and great players. The average fan could give a f*ck less about player contract lengths, incentives, owner liabilities, etc. It’s all politic bulls*it. Cats get paid a ton of money to play a kids game. Owners get a ton of money keeping their teams viable. It’s not that hard to put it together.


    Well said Eboy. 1 question though, why is your name highlighted in blue. Are you a subscriber.

  • http://www.twitter.com/chris_griff_3 Chris_Griff_3

    Personally, this is just the wrong year for the CBA to end. Lockout might force Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, and Ray Allen into early retirement, along with several other key players throughout the NBA.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Do you fill in each section of the comment box Mubwar? That should do it, I think. “A subscriber….ha, ha….I’m not just a subscriber…I’m the president!”. Wasn’t that a commercial for Hair Club for Men years ago?

  • Sizzle

    I can’t argue with the players. Revenues for owners and high tv ratings. It’s hard for the players to see that and walk away with less from the table…

  • Fat Lever

    We’re all about to feel the effects of the biggest episode of “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong”.

  • http://www.mauricegarland.com Maurice Garland

    Stern with that beard…looks like he’s about to say. “ELEVENTY BILLION ZILLION DOLLARS!”


    come on Eboy, I love basketball for so many years and I just found out about this website a few months ago. What do you expect me to do on an 8 hour shift 5 days a week.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    I wasn’t trying to be mean, mubwar….just asking if you filled out each section.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Did Stern grow a playoff beard already? The Hornets haven’t made it to the second season yet.


    Up in here in Canada man, we don’t get frustrated as easily as americans.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Anon E Mouse

    Eboy, pretty much agree with all your points. I still see the league as being competitive and as you say there are plenty of teams that may not be contenders but are still playing some exciting and watchable ball such as Thunder, Jazz, Hawks (and of late even my Knicks). I do see Sterns point in the main article though about levelling the playing field re teams just paying crazy salaries and simply paying tax to have a better team. especially in light of what is happening at NO.

    Mubwar it’s because he has a web link in the website box (the one below your email address) when commenting.


    thanks 4 the answer dude.

  • JTaylor21

    F DStern, dude don’t care about the game itself and is only there to slobber on the owners because they are the ones that are keeping his sorry a** in charge. Could there at least be a commissoner that played some level of professional ball instead we have a freaking lawyer. I’m trying to become a lawyer but I wouldn’t trust myself either.

  • rikson

    The problem was the MJ era, when basketball boomed worldwide and the L made an s$$load full of money… they thought itll go on like that, but… it didnt! Now we have a league full of overpaid players, in which only half the teams actually generated income last season… something HAS to change!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Are you counting the television contracts in your “generated income.”
    There is a reason why Donald Sterling has always made money, even with crappy teams and empty stadiums.
    Revenue sharing is a wonderful balm, that doesn’t actually get included in the team finance numbers. Check the stats.

  • Drew

    Stern looks better with a beard, much slimmer looking.

  • JTaylor21

    How is it the players fault that some of them are overpaid? Are they the ones that are writing checks to themselves? It’s the dumba** owners that keep one sign undeserving players to too much money and now they are crying for a change. Ain’t that a bi*ch!

  • JD

    Did he grow that beard last time there was a lockout? If so bring it back for the next!

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Stern’s beard is g.o.a.t.
    Reminds me of the “Most Interesting Man In The World” guy.

  • Gabe

    Okay, this is kind of weird. the last time I went to post a comment, I had vince13′s name and email saved on my browser. why did that happen?

    Also david stern looks mad evil in that picture.

  • biged

    David Stern is Santa Claus…
    @Gabe that happen to me once, I had EBOY’s info

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    That’s not weird, Gabe. That’s Slam Online. Happens every once in a while. And Stern’s beard is dope.

  • garrick g.

    LOLOLOL that beard.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    F*ck david stern