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: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:58 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

You keep assumimg that the NBA would still be around. You keep assuming that the union would still be around.
Neither one has to exist.  Sports has and will continue forever.  It doesn't have to be run by a cartel that is in turn
being bullied by another cartel.

Players have been playing ball for decades, with or wothout the money. The players did not ruin basketball...greedy unions and greedy owners and greedy agents did. Quit putting this on the players. I've never heard players complain about playing ball, its always about all the bs that comes outside the game, and that bs is created by agents & owners.

You yourself talk of thousands of players that are of NBA caliber.  If that is true, then there should be league where they can showcase their talents.  Fans will decide whether they are worthy? But the NBA mafia won't allow another league. They tell cities and states the only way to get a team is through them.

I am not talking about the NBA replacing players, I am talking about the NBA being replaced!

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:50 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

I'm just surprised it took this long for the NBA owners, a group ran like the mafia, to get dragged into court. Just because you are rich doesn't mean you can ignore labor laws that everyone else has to follow

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:48 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Hey owners------you are punks who got punked. You got punked not by the players but by your own sorry hardlined owners. You read me? Punks!
There, I fixed it for you...

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:41 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Stern in a real class act. Standing in front of a microtelling the players to take a 50/50 split, or it will automatically go down to 47%.  That's ggod faith bargaining. There are so many things wrong with the way the owners do business. But the NBA's way of doing business is wrong. They have had a referee, going to prison for gambling on NBA games. The association has to change their business model if they are going to get better. Start by having more teams on nation tv. I'm so sick of watching the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Knicks. I touched on the problem of ref's, but there is so much more. It always appears that these overpaid, underqualified ref's are with the NBA in making sure the RIGHT teams win. It makes me sick to watch a game anymore. Also the teams should teach the basics. Running the floor, spacing, and actually shooting the ball from INSIDE the 3 point arc. And try to play defense when the ref's will let you.
Stern thinks that the contract with the players is all he needs to worry about. Think again, when college teams play better team basketball than the pro's, there is something inherently wrong with that.

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:41 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Hey players------you are punks who got punked. You got punked not by the owners but by your own sorry lawyers and agents. You read me? Punks!

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:38 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

What are the timberwolves or bucks making. how about cleveland or golden state. you can not judge what  the leauge makes based on what the
lakers . the economy sucks , teams are not selling out the arenas . very few can afford to go to games . the owners neede some relief until things
 get better. owners are looking at what now ... the 4th year of no growth , and the players dont care. well the money tree has died time to work together and get back to work. someday things will improve . until then get your heads out of your a**'s  

Since: Jan 31, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:26 pm

Out of sight - Out of mind

This is probably the best thing that could happen for the game of Basketball.  This will force true fans of the sport (like myself) to follow college games more, and remind us that team play and fundamentals are what is most important. For the past 10 years I have watched from 75 - 85 regular season Nuggets games, depending on my schedule.  I’ve got caught up with individual accolades like many of us have, and have lost perspective of what it means to play a TEAM sport.  At least in college, the coach runs the team, not the players.  I am actually excited to follow college basketball this year instead of professional basketball.  After I play in my city league game tonight, I will go home, take a shower, and watch Coach K beat Bobby Knights record of most wins by a college basketball coach and not think once about what Lebron, Kobe, or Garnette is doing ….

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:19 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Current poll on this very same website says 89% think the NBA season is not worth saving.


It must be the other 11% who plan on actually paying to see NBA games going forward?   I won't .... I'm done .... Never even watch an NBA game on television again. Going back to the college game. NCAA is where it's at anyway.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:55 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

NBA sucks and has for years.  Selfish players (eg - no CBA) more worried about SELF promotion than TEAM play. If any form of PRO basketball NEVER came back, I'm sure there are many that would not care.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:50 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Parity of the NFL pretty much makes every game watchable.
Parity in the NFL?  Quick, who do you have winning the Super Bowl this year!!! Let me guess? Patriots, Steelers, Packers? I'm sure your answer would be one of the several teams that have won all of the Super Bowls over the last 10 years.....minus the Colts of course. Peyton's injury does open the door for another team.  I think there is a perception of parity in the NFL, when the reality is they have crowned fewer different champs over the last 10 years than baseball......and only one more than basketball. So NFL has less parity than baseball and has virtually equal parity as the NBA.

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