Blog Entry

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:54 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 6:27 am
Posted by Royce Young

Read Ken Berger of on the players' choice to file a disclaimer suit

It didn't take long for David Stern to respond to the players' dynamite announcement that they plan to file a disclaimer to disband the union and file an antitrust lawsuit against the league.

Stern was on SportsCenter just 45 minutes after Billy Hunter said that the "collective bargaining process has completely blown up."

"Billy Hunter has decided to put the season in jeopardy and deprive his union members of an enormous payday," Stern said.

Stern had promised over the weekend that if the players did not accept the current proposal from the league that the "reset" offer would immediately go into effect that included a 47-53 revenue split and a harder "flex" cap like what's used in the NHL. Basically, a deal the players would never accept.

Billy Hunter said that the disclaimer would be filed "in a few days," presumably to give the league time to come to its senses and offer a realistic deal to the players. But everyone should've known that David Stern would not be bullied.

"That's not happening," Stern said.

Stern said that at a bargaining session in Feb. of 2007, the players' attorney Jeffrey Kessler said this could happen. "That threat has been ongoing until now, despite the NBA's good faith bargaining," Stern said.

Stern listed all the positives he saw in the new offer like guaranteed contracts and higher average salaries, but then said, "But apparently it was not to liking of the players. We anticipated this."

The theme from Stern was passing the buck to the players. "We were very close, and the players decided to blow it up," he said. Stern called this tactic "irresponsible at this late date" and even called the disclaimer a "charade."

"It's not going to work," Stern said. "If they were going to do it, they should've done it a long time ago ... they seem hell-bent on self-destruction."

As for when the next round of games is canceled, Stern simply said, "The calendar takes care of that by itself." Which is true.

Stern passed pretty much all blame to Hunter and the lawyers for persuading the players against the current proposal saying that they got the players "all hopped up" on this stuff.

"We're about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA," he said. "If I were one of the 450 players in the NBA, I would be wondering what Billy Hunter just did."

The NBA later released the following statement from Stern:
"At a bargaining session in February 2010, Jeffrey Kessler, counsel for the union, threatened that the players would abandon the collective bargaining process and start an antitrust lawsuit against our teams if they did not get a bargaining resolution that was acceptable to them.

“In anticipation of this day, the NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board asserting that, by virtue of its continued threats, the union was not bargaining in good faith. We also began a litigation in federal court in anticipation of this same bargaining tactic.

“The NBA has negotiated in good faith throughout the collective bargaining process, but -- because our revised bargaining proposal was not to its liking – the union has decided to make good on Mr. Kessler’s threat.

“There will ultimately be a new collective bargaining agreement, but the 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy.”

Category: NBA

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:32 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

What blows my mind is how does the union get away with not putting the NBA offers out for a vote?  I'm not a lawyer, but how can the union claim to be bargaining in good faith and win anything in court when they haven't given their own membership even one chance at voting on the NBA's latest and final offer? 

Good luck to NBA players, they're gonna need it.  The league filed lawsuits well in advance of the players decision to file an anti trust lawsuit, letting the courts know in advance what the union's intention was.  This is most likely going to be devastating for the players.

That being said I predicted on another thread the union would turn the league's final offer down.  I made that prediction because I live in a big union city in Canada and have been around unions my entire life, I know how they operate.  The only way anything is going to change is if the players demand a chance to see the league's offer on paper and demand the right to vote on it.  

Right now the players are letting 30 or 50 very wealthy players for the most part represent them, and as long as that's the case, there is no chance for a settlement.  

Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:30 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

As a longtime fan of the NBA I suggest we as fans go on strike.  When the comeback refuse to buy merchandise/tv packages/ game tickets until an attempt is made to reconcile with fans.  We are the reason the league has been successful and they continue to think we will keep coming back and keep buying more and more no matter what.

It's about time we show a professional sports league that enough is enough!

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:26 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

David Stern-the ultimate spin master. First of all he gave the players 2 ultimatums over the last 2 weeks and this time basically told them either they accept the deal or a worse deal would be on the table. He also told them  not to come back with any further requests for discussions as this was the final offfer. So now he claims the players and their representatives blew up the deal-which is simply a flat out untruth. They rejected the final offer and the only other choice based on the commissioners ultimatum is to take legal action to try and get back on the court. Commissioner Stern also always fails to point out the most obvious fact of all-which is the players did not strike or refuse to play.They were locked out of the buldings and the court even though they have contracts which they have offered to go out and play under. I would say to the Commissioner the following "Thou doth protest too  much ,methinks".

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:24 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

David, SQUEEZE HARDER!!  Once the players see a few of their fellow players' gonads explode, they will come around.  KEEP THE FAITH!  Eventually, the silent majority that is the middle of the road players will realize they need to sign onto this in their best interest.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:22 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

I agree Riegert. When you are this close there is no way a deal shouldn't get done.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:17 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Please ... please ... please don't let there be a season.
I'm so damne sick and tired of listening to billionaires and millionaires fight over billions of dollars.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:14 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

As long as owners like Dan Gilbert and Donald Stirling are involved, this will never get resolved.  Those greedy, whiny SOBs need to sell and move on.  Then perhaps we will get owners who want to resolve this.  I will say it again, the real owners of the league--Buss, Arison, Cuban, and a few others--should buy teams overseas, move the best payers there, and just stick it right in the face of Gilbert and the other miserable bastards.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:05 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Stern and Hunter are very good at  playing the blame game, the truth is that both side deserve the blame.  I don't expect agreement till sometime between January to June, so we still have an long way to go on this Soap opera.

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