Blog Entry

Billy Hunter explains NBPA disclaimer in letter

Posted on: November 14, 2011 9:13 pm
Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

Hours after Billy Hunter declared the National Basketball Players Association dead, he sent a letter to the NBPA's membership explaining why.

Following a Monday morning meeting of the NBPA executive board and player representatives in New York City, Hunter said that he had moved to file a disclaimer of interest which would dissolve the players union, a necessary step so that the players could pursue antitrust litigation against the NBA. 

"The collective bargaining process has completely broken down," Hunter said. "As a result, within the last hour, we served a notice of disclaimer on commissioner Stern and the NBA."

Monday evening, Hunter sent a letter to NBPA members, obtained by, explaining the move.

"We will now function as a trade association to assist and support NBA players, but we will no longer engage in collective bargaining with the NBA owners," the letter read. "The Players Association will instead dedicate itself to supporting individual NBA players in the assertion of your non-labor rights to be free of any illegal restrictions on competition for your services." 

Hunter's letter went on to express hope that the move would lead the NBA to nd the ongoing lockout.

"With no labor union in place, it is our sincere hope that the NBA will immediately end its now illegal boycott and finally open the 2011-12 season," the letter said. "Individual teams are free to negotiate with free agents for your services. If the owners choose to continue their present course of action, it is our view that they subject themselves to significant antitrust liability." 

The letter reiterated that the NBPA can no longer engage in collective bargaining negotiations with the league. It also said that the NBPA has to withdraw its unfair labor practice charge that was submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. 

The players will now be represented by union lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and David Boies. 

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:52 pm

Billy Hunter explains NBPA disclaimer in letter

Hunter's representation of the NBPA members was appalling.

No one denies owners made the mistake of overpaying players, creating the loss that forced the NBA to lock players out.

What I don't understand is the rhetoric that owners should somehow NOT CORRECT their mistake, and keep losing hundreds of millions of dollars so players could keep being overpaid...and they also wanted to be able to play where ever they wanted, and create talent and revenue pools in 5-6 teams while the rest of the league went broke....The NBA had to lockout because the animals that had been running the zoo since the last CBA were bankrupting the NBA.

It WAS, IS and ALWAYS will be THE big issue. NO ONE runs a multi billion dollar business to lose money, very long.  

Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher NEVER explained it that way to players...their anti-NBA rhetoric was always how the players gave and gave and gave (only about $250 mil of the $300 mil required) and the NBA always wanted more...

Hunter insisted the NBA "give something back" in the spirit of compromise, and of course, the only "compromise" possible to keep the NBA afloat, was for players to give back more than $300 million a year... Simple. Honest....Contrary to what Mr. Kessler and Mr. Hunter believe, the NBA WAS negotiating in "good faith" by sticking to that critical point...The NBPA seems to have the mistaken impression that "good faith" means it always has to be good news. 

In the end,  Hunter NEVER EVEN ALLOWED THE NBPA TO VOTE ON the final, break -even proposal to end the lockout,  before rejecting the offer.  

Billy Hunter's mind was made up, long before the ultimatum. The problem is, he's cost the people he represents millions of dollars they will never get back, and possibly set events in motion that might fold the NBA.

For WHAT ?  

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:21 pm

Billy Hunter explains NBPA disclaimer in letter

Why did Hunter neglect to mention that player's contracts may now be voided? I am sure Gilbert Arenas will be overjoyed to find out his windfall soon will be gone. All the overpaid underperforming in the league will be shocked to find out the money to pay for their mansions and Porche's will not be "in the mail".

The players gave up a lot, a fair contract that would not make teams turn huge profits. They passed on that so heaven help them. OOOPS I take that back: heaven help the parking attendents and ushers: to h#ll with the players!

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:53 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:47 am

Billy Hunter explains NBPA disclaimer in letter


Since: Mar 21, 2007
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:21 am

Billy Hunter explains NBPA disclaimer in letter

I think that the players are doing a poor job in this negotiation, or lack of a negotiation.  It seems like they could have come up with a counter offer, or a best offer similar to what the owners did.  As a matter of fact, they could have just made adjustments to the owners offer to make it more in line with what they would accept.

For example, owners want to lower rookie salaries by 12% players offer 5%
Maximum annual increases 12% & 8.5 for bird non-bird vs 8% & 3 %

Just because the owners say they are not negotiating does not mean the players cannot state their stance just like the owners did.  Negotiations go a lot better when both sides specify what they want.

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