NBA Players’ Union to Decertify?

It’s a legal ploy the players are reportedly considering (and that a few of them have even voted to move forward with), and one that could allow them to file a lawsuit against the NBA to stop a lockout next season. It should be noted that a similar move was attempted back in 1995, and it failed. Sports Business Journal reports: “NBA players have begun the process of authorizing the decertification of the National Basketball Players Association, a move meant as a countermeasure if the league locks out players when the collective-bargaining agreement expires in June, sources said. Players for at least two NBA clubs have voted unanimously to authorize decertification after meeting with NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter, sources said. Hunter is asking players at each club to vote to allow the union to disband, or decertify, as he makes his annual fall tour of locker rooms … If the NBPA were to decertify, it would, in effect, operate as a trade organization but cease to be a union. If the league then tried to lock out players, the NBPA could sue the NBA under U.S. antitrust laws and contend that the league was conducting a group boycott, which is illegal. It could not sue the NBA if it remained a union with collective-bargaining authority for its members, under the labor exemption to antitrust laws. ‘If the owners are going to lock the players out, the players want to have the option of decertifying the union and asserting their antitrust rights to stop the lockout,’ said a source close to the NBPA. ‘This would keep the game going, not just for the fans but for the players and everyone else.'”