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 14, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 6:10 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Do the players think that current ticket prices are cheap?  Do they think the price fans pay for a hot dog and parking are a bargain for the level of entertainment they provide?  The owners knew two years ago that cost had to be reigned in because they can not keep raising prices for the fans year in and year out.  They told the players TWO YEARS aog this was happening.  Good for the owners for sticking to their guns.  If the players think that 10% raises for every player every year are realistic then I am happy to be rid of them.  Decertify, void the contracts, start again with scabs.  You will see real heart, effort and passion return to the NBA. 

Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:58 pm

Fans start a league replaces NBA FBA BETTER

It would be fun if We the fans owned the teams like they do it in greenbay. Hire some suits as GM's 20 mill fans at $200 each is 4 billion thats less  than million fans per team or we can start off with 20 teams at first. Where are the entrapenures in america. The stadiums are owned by the cities we paid for them with tax dollars The teams just play there and call it home. Tv contacts thats the easy part once we get a product they will come running. Telemundo would pick us up lol  or we start our own network Pay the players with ad revenue from our network the only place on tv you can see lebron, wade and company sounds pretty appealing to me. Im ready ill give up the 200 today i want into to 2 franchises new york and okc lol 

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:53 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

I don't think either side will allow the entire season to be cancelled. Would destroy whats left of the NBA and it would never recover. Give it a couple of days and " Look! Its a miricle! They have an aggreement!" Just a bunch of rich fools posturing for each other. There is no way an anti trust lawsuit would suceed against the NBA and by the time the union decertified, they will have an agreement.

Since: Aug 25, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:42 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Greetings and I wish the current players only the best in all they do from here on out.    I understand there are teams in Europe and Asia and where-not that would love to have these guys play there, and, I wish these teams and the former NBA players only the best in all their future endeavors.

Mr. Billy Hunter and his band of Union players have succeed in only the following:

a.)  Ruined the National Basketball Association - as had been developed by Larry Bird, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Walt Bellamy......

b.)  increased the popularity of College and High School Basketball !!!; and

c.)  increased the likelihood of Replacement players - guys who REALLY want to play !!!!


Since: May 2, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:16 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Billy Hunter has decided to put the sason in jeopardy
The understatement of the year.
Doesn't this move by the NBAPA essentually END the 2011-2012 basketball season???

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:13 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

It's obvious that stern is being disingenuous in placing the blame entirely on the players, but he works for the owners. He has to take that position. I still can't get over the notion that the real problem is with the owners themselves and their inability to share a great deal of money among themselves, as well as keep from spending more money on contracts than they can either afford or is prudent. 

If each team shared the gate equally at each game, and the visitor got 20% of TV revenue from the games, big market vs small market inequities wouldn't exist. From there it would come down to good business management, and prudent decisions on how much money any particular player is worth.

That's why I see this as mainly a problem between the owners. The players really have little control over how much they get paid. 

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:04 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

There would be no way they could organize a league of their own this year, or even next.  They would have to start from scratch. Who does the business plan?  Who sets up the league structure?  I don't see any of the vastly NBA owned facilities allowing them use of the facilities.  They would have to either build their own (not going to happen) or play in much smaller and outdated facilities.  Who is going to pay the players?  Who is going to bankroll the league itself and all of it operating costs?  Who is going to risk thier own money to own a franchise?  It's great to have a league of their own but without any money to run who is going to play for free?  Until the league and the franchises have the capitol they can't pay the players.  Kobe gonna dig into his pocket to play players?  They may be able to get some TV rights from alternate networks but that would be doubtful as the network would be cutting their own throats in getting TV rights to any other professional sports because of it.  Who is going to run the show?  Who is going to decide where teams will be?  What if the cities don't want the new league in fear of losing the NBA franchise?  That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to running a professions league.  There is an infinite amount of other issues that would need to be resolved. 

Best case if they could overcome all of this it would take at least 2 to 3 years before any league could get off the ground.  Do you think the NBA will not have replacement players playing by that time?  Don't you think that some kid coming out of college would be more than happy to play ball for $500,000 a year under some new NBA agreement with new players?

Anyone who thinks that the players can start their own league needs to go do their homework and spend a little time in business school.

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:35 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Thats funny, where are they going to play, the playground, ...Who is going to put their games on TV, since the NBA owns all of the TV contracts...Do you really think that these morons have the wherewithall to finance a league, which includes building and maintaining   40k seat arenas, marketing and advertising, TV contracts ect, ect, ect, ect...Half of them are so stoned that they don't even know what day it is, and the other half have IQ's in the low to mid 70's, so somehow I don't see these mental juggernauts forming their own league, and all that that entails...Not toomention, the majority of the players don't have anywhere near the capital it would take to overthrow the NBA with their own league...

Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:28 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

Then the players will become owners and try to squeeze the new players because they play for MONEY not the love of the game

See the example of MJ and I am totally agree with him on this issue

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: November 14, 2011 4:22 pm

Stern responds to players' antitrust lawsuit

I'd be very interested to see what the actual vote was and who voted for and against. I would be willing to be good money all of the rich stars voted no and those who make less than the league average voted yes. Being involved in union negotiations myself thats usually how it works. The veterans who stand to gain the most gode the rookies into their way of thinking. It never works out well for the rookies in most cases and this is certainly no exception. Once they start loosing paychecks it will sink in what just happened and the ones who already have millions will just sit in thier plush homes and count thier money while the guy who has played one season for 300k will have to start clipping couons and sell his brand new merlot Brougham with cloth interior.

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