NBA players reject owners' proposal

November 14, 2011, 6:55 pm
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The 2011-12 NBA season is in jeopardy.It already was, you say? Well, maybe so. But after the NBA players announced on Monday that they were dissolving their players union, it is now more likely that the season will be canceled than simply delayed or abbreviated.The players feel that theyre not prepared to accept any ultimatums, said Billy Hunter, the unions executive director. They felt it was extremely unfair on the part of ownership and management to give them an ultimatum -- that they had to accept their proposal or confront a rollback to 47 percent (in basketball-related income).

We have negotiated in good faith for over two years and weve done everything anybody could reasonably expect us to do, particularly when you look at the give-backs and concessions. But the players felt theyve given enough and that the NBA is not willing or not prepared to continue to negotiate. Things were not going to get better.Hunter said an anti-trust lawsuit will likely be filed within days.RATTO: Blame the owners
NBA players have been studying the owners latest proposal -- a revised proposal -- since Thursday night. Commissioner David Stern indicated at that time that if the players rejected the offer, the league would reset the proposal to a worse one for the players.After the unions press conference, Stern shot down the notion of the players showing resolve by the move.This is going to wind up being a very unwise decision that will not be classified as resolve, Stern said. Theyve been badly misled.Stern said disclaiming the union is simply another negotiating tactic by the players and it will not have the desired effect in his mind, giving the union added leverage in bargaining.STEINMETZ: NBA will be fine, fans will return
Union president Derek Fisher said 30 player representatives voted unanimously on Monday morning to turn down the NBAs offer, and begin the disclaiming process. Disclaiming is not as comprehensive a move as decertification.Decertification is a process that usually lasts approximately 45 to 60 days, and conventional wisdom was that if the players went that route the there would be no season. Disclaiming the union is a less formal process, and wouldnt necessarily pre-empt future negotiations.Reversing the process of disclaiming the union is said to be easier than reversing the process of decertification.Stern also said that he believed the owners latest proposal would have likely been approved by the leagues 450-member union but that Hunter and union attorney Jeffrey Kessler didnt want to conduct a vote.What theyve done is destroyed incredible value that wouldve gone to the union membership, Stern said. We were very close, and they decided to blow it up.

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