Players’ New Lawyer: Owners ‘Overplayed Their Hand’

by November 16, 2011

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.'”