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Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Posted on: November 8, 2011 8:53 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 9:07 pm
NEW YORK -- Union chief Billy Hunter said Tuesday he's "cool" with Paul Pierce leading a decertification movement within the National Basketball Players Association and is "not at all opposed" to the Celtics star taking the lead.

"I think Paul is kind of frustrated with the process," Hunter said after a news conference in which the players said they were rejecting the league's latest take-it-or-leave-it proposal. "Paul has been at the bargaining table and he doesn’t feel that we’ve been making any kind of progress. And so he thought that maybe that’s necessary. We don’t have a lot of options and that’s the option Paul was pushing – still is pushing."

Asked in a small group of reporters if he's cool with that, Hunter said, "Of course. Listen, I’m cool with Paul and all these guys. I think it’s very important. I’m happy that Paul and the others are involved in the process. That’s always been the problem with athletes, that a lot of stuff is foisted on them and they have no input. Paul has been actively engaged, he understands, he’s been in five or six of our negotiating sessions, he talks to me, and when they had the (decertification) calls, he called and let me know that they were having the calls. And I said, 'Hey, I'm not at all opposed to you doing that.' ... I endorse what Paul did."

Hunter later said in an interview on NBA TV that Pierce informed him Tuesday that about 200 players have committed to signing a petition seeking a decertification election if a deal is not consummated before commissioner David Stern's 5 p.m. ET Wednesday deadline to accept the owners' latest proposal -- which includes the same 50-50 split of revenues the union is now prepared to accept.

With owners almost certainly following through on their threat to forward a worse proposal to the players if they didn't accept the one on the table, the talks could be thrust into chaos even if Hunter is successful in securing another bargaining session Wednesday. Once the decertification petition is filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the players seeking to dissolve the union would have to wait 45-60 days for the agency to hold an election -- a period during which negotiations with the NBPA could continue.

But given how long Hunter has been waiting for the NLRB to act on the union's unfair labor practices charge, filed in May and amended in July, it's anyone's guess as to whether a decertification threat could be carried out and reach a conclusion in time to save the season. In general, the NLRB does not authorize decertification petitions and or schedule elections while a union has an unfair labor practices charge pending.

"It’s like waiting for the fairy godmother," Hunter said, chiding the NLRB for failing to act on the union's charge, for which a complaint against the NBA could result in a federal injunction lifting the lockout. The NBA subsequently filed am NLRB charge of failing to bargain in good faith against the union, and there's been no action on that one, either.

"I'm hoping that they will get some expedition, particularly if they’re reading in the papers all the things that are happening," Hunter said. "It’s getting hectic on both sides of the table. It’s a federal agency beaurocracy and maybe they think it’s too hot a potato, they don’t want to touch it."

Or just as likely, the NLRB has been hoping the two parties can reach a new collective bargaining agreement on their own without the agency's intervention. If rational minds prevail, that's still possible -- given that the league and union have finally closed what was once a multi-billion-dollar economic gap and have only a handful of system issues, some fairly minor, standing in the way of a deal.


Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2011 3:41 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Stern has made the move to get these boys back to work and they will picking very soon.  They are going to bend over backwards to PLEASE Stern.  The owners have not given in and they will get what they want for they own the league and deserve the profits.  Screw the lawyers, who hump the brains of the players.  The boys will have to go back to work - for all of them do not make millions in a year.  There is a reality to life.....RICH VS POOR....the poor has to work, the rich do not.  THE FANS NEED TO BOYCOTT AND TEACH THEM ALL A LESSON.....AFFECT THE SPONSORS THEN YOU AFFECT THE BIG PICTURE.....

Since: Nov 10, 2011
Posted on: November 10, 2011 5:31 pm

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Ignoring the rascist nature of your comment, it's obvious that the players would hire lawyers, who are happy to be paid for these matters, would handle the process for the most part.  Could be that you're the one needing to be handed a shovel.  

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2011 9:15 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

I can see it now, Paulette being wheeled into the room in a wheelchair, KG rubbing his bald head looking confused, LeBron picking his nose and balling up his snot to flick over at D-Wade, as D-Wade screams there are no more marbled bagels to eat. All of them dressed in $5000 suits that look weird on them. Put them all in Carharts and hand them all shovels to rebuild our infrustructure.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:30 pm

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Actually SOS you say you are joking but if someone ever started a movement to boycott the NBA (in person and on TV) until 20% was returned to the fans in cheaper tickets and other concession, I would sign up.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 12:24 pm

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Is Paul Pierce a lawyer too, now ?  Hilarious. These guys would be better off allowing people to think they are fools, instead of opening their mouths and proving it.

"Unfair labor" is going to be tough to prove in a league that is 90% black, and players have the highest average salary in pro sports.

"Anti-Trust" is an equally difficult sell, where there are no other competitors in the U.S.

Asking employees to take a 6% cut in wages in a business that lost $300 million last year, is by definition negotiating in "good faith"...just trying to keep the NBA in business.

The NBA isn't a critical function the Governement will force back to work- they aren't as important as policemen, air traffic controllers, or even trash workers...and even if they WERE, the Government nor the courts can make a business pay their employees at a rate that will bankrupt the business.

Decertification is just a path to these dead end roads. It didn't help the NFL, did it ?

Players are dillusional, irrational and throwing a tantrum because they've never been told "no" in their adult lives. They are offended by the NBA's "hard stance"...They are being misled by agents and the top 2 dozen max contract players, who have made enough money to wait forever. Fans aren't sympathetic to players that contend that taking a cut down to an average of $4.7 million a year is "unfair", and neither will the courts.

In fact, the best long term thing for the NBA and players, is for the NBA to REALLY take a hard stance, one that entrenches the league in policy that guarantees owners, taxpayers and investors in the NBA a profit... Make a new agreement...and reduce salaries to a flat $1 million /yr and all the endorsement money they can get on their own... pay out existing contractual commitments so there are no breech of contract issues, and open camps for willing players and replacements...Allow players to strike, or that can make more money overseas go there. Change draft rules to make players under 21 ineligible, and ban players for 5 years not reporting to camp. That way, they'll have to make sure the Turkish team they sign with is a career move, not a temporary paying hobby. The flat fee will motivate players to play well to attract endorsements, not just gain elite guaranteed income not tied to performance...Players will stay in college longer or gain maturity overseas before entering the NBA.... Without price pressure from the NBA, overseas salaries will drop like the Euro.  

If players think they are qualified to be legitimate businessmen, let them start their own league...and build their own arenas, market their product, and hire employees they can afford.

...or they could just take a 6% cut and go back to work. 

Take the deal....or take a hike.  

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:45 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Actually, that is exactly what they deserve anyway.  I hope the owners bring in replacement players who care more about the game than their paychecks and their hangers-on.
You can't have replacement players in a lockout, only in a strike.  This is a lockout, if the owners bring in new players now the will owe millions if not billions in damages to the current players for breach of contract and/or labor law/anti-trust violations.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: November 9, 2011 11:02 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

"The NBA Players' Association is a bunch of mice floating down a river on their backs and asking for the drawbridge to be raised."

The hell? 

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:32 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

YOUR AN IDIOT IF YOU ARE WISHING FOR THE DEATH OF THE NBA BECAUSE COLLEGE BASKETBALL IS BETTER!  Every player in every sport who picks up a ball picks it up with the dream of going professional.  Without an NBA, all the College players your so interested in seeing now would have no place to play after college.  College basketball will not survive without the NBA as the collegiates overall goal is to get to the NBA!  They play harder and follow their coach's directions to get to the NBA.  Take away the NBA and college players will go play another sport over time.  Name any sport that thrives at the collegiate level that does not have a viable professional league to progress to.  Without the NBA we will end up watching an NCAA tournament where the tallest player is a 6 foot 2 guy with limited skills.  Athletics is a means for youth to chase a dream. Without an NBA that dream goes another direction for all basketball players.  Think about how easy it was for the Dream Team to go to Barcelona and SMASH those teams!  AT BEST, those overmatched and underskilled teams are what College basketball would turn into. 

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:18 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

God are they stupid, this worked real well for the nfl.  Obviously bouncing a ball and higher intelligence dont run together.  At least we wont have to deal with that shitty sport for the rest of 2011..its gone. YEA!!!!

Since: Jun 17, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:00 am

Hunter 'cool' with Pierce's decert movement

Here's my percentage I'm relaying to the players:  I'll be keeping my 100%! (well, after the government takes their chunk, of course).  If I keep my 100% and every other fan of the NBA keeps their 100%, then owners and players won't have any 50%/50% to argue over!  :)  There will be no NBA.  Then maybe they can start over and pay these guys a reasonable amount of money, ticket prices would go down, and the NBA would go back to being a league that the average Joe could actually care about! :)

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