David Stern was offering a 72 game season starting December 15. Of course that offer came with plenty of strings attached to the tune of some $300 billion in concession and restricted player movement. The players, who the owners though would cave to their demands, did not care for any of the deals placed before them. That is a concise version of what has transpired up to this point. Today the players threw down the gauntlet and rejected the ultimatum issued by Stern and will dissolve their union.
The union issued a notice of disclaimer on Monday afternoon which officially begins the process of union dissolution. Issuing a disclaimer is a quicker process in terms of moving legal filings to the courts rather than waiting 45 days for a vote from players on decertification. From there a anti-trust lawsuits will be filed against the league by the players. The dissolution of the union voids the ability of the league to not be sued by the players. These filings will be handled by attorney David Boies, who was hired by the players. Boies was involved in the NFL’s anti-trust suit.
Some players and many agents pushed for the union to decertify in July once the owners began the lockout. Union director Billy Hunter dismissed those early calls but has now, along with the players, decided that the league has not negotiated in good faith and begun the process.
The fate of the next CBA will have to wait until what will likely be a lengthy courts process is concluded. That means that the possibility of an NBA season is very dim. Courts are notoriously slow moving and will not move more quickly just because professional athletes are involved.
So here we are. We, at the Beef, have held a rather pessimistic view of the entire lockout so the events of today are not surprising. It was foolish to think that “cooler heads will prevail” in this matter. There are no cool heads. This has not been about the money or system issues for a long time. It was always about ego and wanting to watch those who opposed you crumble to your demands. This was the position of the owners and the league.
The players conceded across the board and the owners wanted more and more. It has not been stated yet, but the owners will likely reset their offer to the players and revert back to their 53/47 percent split of basketball-related income and a hard cap. This helps no one. This is not a tactic of “good faith” negotiating. In no way does this bring either side closer to a resolution.
Understand this: there will not be an NBA season (I hope I am wrong). Stern has stated that there needs to be 30 days from an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement before the season can begin. Time is not on the side of a season, especially with the involvement of the courts, and the league will not flinch at the players’ move to decertify. If anything, the hardline owners will be given the reins in all future negotiations. This is simply a disaster. If you have followed the lockout in any amount you have to be rolling your eyes. This is just frustrating. Grown men using the media to wage a public relations war equates to playground bickering.
Stern stated on SportsCenter that the union used the threat of decerticification as a tactic. Yes, they did. Just like Stern used every tactic, especially scare tactics, in the book throughout the course of the lockout, the latest being the ultimatum.
If certain teams were losing money at alarming rates how can they hope to recoup those loses now that there will likely not be a season at all. Smart move. At this point there is nothing nice to write about what took place today. Both sides are at fault. A complete overhaul of the people involved seems to be the only way that progress can be made but that will never happen. Both sides will never admit that they are the problem.
In the meantime, we lose. We all lose.
Damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!