Next Week to Determine NBA’s Fate?
The time for talk in the NBA is over.
David Stern made that clear Thursday, saying the league is done negotiating. The next time he hears from the players’ association, he expects an answer: Yes, players will accept the league’s latest proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement, or no they won’t.
If they do, the NBA will commence with a 72-game season on Dec. 15.
And if no? Then the next time LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and the rest of the NBA’s biggest stars are in uniform, it might be in London during next summer’s Olympics.
So the NBA’s lengthy labor fight could come to an end this week. Or, the next phase might just be beginning.
Should players reject this deal—and they certainly don’t love it—the next one comes with terms they would never accept, likely sending them into the court system to file an antitrust lawsuit against the league after disbanding the union. That’s far from an assured victory, but it practically assures there would be no 2011-12 season.
Stern knows which he prefers—and which he thinks the union should accept.