Agents Unwilling to Support New Deal?
Support among players and agents for the owners’ revised collective bargaining proposal appears to be lower than it was for the previous offer, and approximately half the union membership is expected to sign decertification petitions in a show of defiance, multiple people involved in the process told CBSSports.com Friday.
“This isn’t going to fly,” said one formerly moderate agent now on board with the movement to decertify and vote down the owners’ latest ultimatum proposal — if it goes up for a vote at all.
At least 15-20 agents representing an array of agencies held a conference call Friday to plot their next strategy as players and their representatives angered by the proposal prepared to submit the decertification cards to the National Labor Relations Board seeking an election to dissolve the union.
The NLRB almost certainly wouldn’t authorize an election unless the National Basketball Players Association withdrew its unfair labor practices charge against the NBA — something union officials are not believed to be considering, as an NLRB complaint remains the most ironclad chance for a federal injunction lifting the lockout, legal sources said.
Even if the NLRB charge were dropped, an election would still take 45-60 days to schedule. In the meantime, negotiations between the league and union leadership could continue. The pressure perhaps would be shifted to the owners to modify their proposals if they are serious about having the 72-game season that Stern promised Thursday night, complete with Christmas Day games and a regularly scheduled All-Star weekend, if the players approved the existing offer.
In addition to the seven major agencies that have been clamoring for decertification for months, several other previously moderate agencies have joined the movement, sources told CBSSports.com.
“They’ve lost me,” said one of the previously moderate agents. “Three months ago, we thought this would be done. We thought people would be reasonable.”