Day 137 of the NBA lockout and the NBA players union voted unanimously not to accept the NBA owners latest contract proposal. In attendance were superstars like Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, the league’s future in players like Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul plus players that are in the final years of their NBA career like Etan Thoma, Dahntay Jones, Jason Terry and more. The next for the Union is to disband and file an antitrust action against the NBA.
“This is the best decision for the players,” union president Derek Fisher said. “I want to reiterate that point, that a lot of individual players have a lot of things personally at stake in terms of their careers and where they stand. And right now they feel it’s important — we all feel it’s important to all our players, not just the ones in this room, but our entire group — that we not only try to get a deal done for today but for the body of NBA players that will come into this league over the next decade and beyond.”
While the players thought the offer and ultimatum that Stern gave was “extremely unfair,” Stern appeared on Sports Center following the players presser and said
the offer on the table was no ultimatum, but “a revised proposal which met many of their concerns.” He declined to go as far as to say he would cancel the season, but said the union’s action put it in jeopardy.
David Stern is a master of spin, a great deal of his interview centered on how this was Billy HUnter’s fault and “if he was a player he’d wonder what Billy Hunter was doing.” Stern also said he found it strange that the union was following in the NFL’s union footsteps from their lockout situation as they didn’t turn out well for them in the 8th Circuit.
The NBPA is in the process of converting to a trade association (not decertification which would take longer.) All players will be represented in a class-action suit against the NBA by attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and David Boies. Boies is new to the team and represented the NFL owners during last summer’s negotiations while Kessler represented the NFL players. Not sure if that’s an advantage for the players but we’ll see.
To see the NBA’s last offer in powerpoint highlights, go HERE