NBA AM: Time To Decertify In The NBA?
Let’s Try This Again: If you feel like you are living a scene from Bill Murray’s Groundhog’s Day… remember “Rise and shine campers… Don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cold out there!”
The NBA and its Players will take another stab at reaching a labor deal with both sides set to have a full blown negotiating session on Saturday with the hopes the final details of a labor deal can be hashed out.
The Players’ Association said yesterday that Saturday’s meeting may include federal mediator George Cohen, who lent his services to the Players in the last round of meetings. However the NBA has not confirmed their intention to allow Cohen to mediate Saturday’s session.
A few wrinkles to Saturday’s meeting have surfaced, namely a series of conference calls with 50 NBA Players with an anti-trust lawyer outside of the Players’ Association. The topic of calls were options for a Player-imposed decertification movement, which is now on the table.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports originally reported the details of the calls, saying players such as Paul Pierce, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, Ray Allen, Blake Griffin, Jason Kidd, Al Horford, Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan took part in the information gathering call.
In order for the “rank and file” players to force decertification of the Players Association they would need 30% of the 450 active NBA players to sign a petition to decertify, meaning 135 players would need to sign off on the move. At least 50 were on the calls on Tuesday and Thursday hearing their options.
After filing a decertification petition with the Players Association and the National Labor Relations Board, the Union would have 45 days to hold a vote to decertify, which coincidentally was done during the season to give the negotiating team the hammer of decertification. However, sources say if the union body tries to force decertification a new vote would be required and a simple majority could force decertification.
It’s an interesting wrinkle on a couple of fronts, the biggest being that the Players Association can now walk into the room on Saturday and say, “You can deal with us, or you can deal with them.” If the Players Association is decertified, and it’s really late in the game for that move, the power of the Union is gone. The balance of power will shift to attorneys and any perceived progress towards a deal likely goes out the window.
The negotiations that have taken place would be worthless, and the 2011-2012 NBA season will most assuredly be a casualty as litigation and lawsuits will dominate the process going forward.
Decertification has long been dubbed the “nuclear option” in this process and it now seems Billy Hunter and company will have to slide that weapon onto the table.
How the NBA Owners respond to this news will be telling.
There has been a lot of talk that most of the 10-12 smaller market owners do not feel the offer currently on the table is aggressive enough to solve their economic and competitive issues and are pushing for greater concessions, especially in light of the mounting losses from cancelled regular season games and lost good will from an annoyed fan base.
It’s possible, and Players Association director Billy Hunter addressed as much yesterday with reporters, that the NBA’s opening offer on Saturday could include retractions from current valuation points and positions which could derail the talks altogether.
If the NBA comes to the table with one more wave of concessions a labor deal could come together, but it’s unclear if both sides did produce an agreement if their constituents would ratify it based on how many people on both sides are unhappy with where the talks stand today.
It will be an interesting weekend because things could come together or absolutely blow apart; it’s a 50-50 proposition at best on movement or implosion.
If this sounds all too familiar, maybe because it’s just another scene in the same movie. Let’s see if this weekend’s talks break the cycle.
A 2nd Chance and Staying Home: The NBA’s D-League isn’t the most lucrative basketball job outside of the NBA by any stretch, although the situation is getting better. The dollars available to players aren’t anything close to what’s available in international circles, which is why so many players update their passports before considering a spot in the NBA-operated minor league.
The D-League held its annual player draft last night and with little surprise former Pacers’ guard Jamaal Tinsley was the first player selected by former NBA coach Eric Musselman, who is now running the L.A. D-Fenders.
“It’s not about the money,” Tinsley said to HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy. “This is about my love of the game.”
Tinsley has been working out daily in Las Vegas getting himself back into NBA game shape and hopes he can prove his value in the D-League as a window to get back into the NBA.
“I’m going to bring it day in and day out, work hard every day in practice and compete at a high level,” Tinsley said. “I want to win games and win a championship.”
“There were a few overseas offers, but being close to my family was essential,” Tinsley said. “No matter what level I’m at, I can still get better. It’s a humbling experience for me and I’m looking forward to it.”
Some of the other notable draft picks include Alando Tucker, drafted second overall by the Texas Legends, Dayton standout Chris Wright was the third pick by the Maine Red Claws, and former Celtic Gabe Pruitt went fourth to the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Other notables include Tyren Johnson going 14th to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and former PITT glue-guy Tyrell Biggs went 15th to the Canton Charge.
The NBA D-League opens its season on November 25th with a full slate of games for it’s 16 teams.
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NBA Chats: There are two NBA chats today starting with Yannis Koutroupis who will drop his weekly chat at 11am EST. Yannis serves as a Senior NBA Writer and the College Basketball Editor for HOOPSWORLD so get your questions in early as Yannis’ chats fill up fast. HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy will host his weekly NBA chat at 3pm EST. The chats do fill up fast, so getting in early always helps. If you are looking for the next NBA Chat, you can find them here: Upcoming NBA Chats