Blog Entry

NBA files suit against NBPA

Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 5:42 pm

By Matt Moore
 and Ben Golliver.

The NBA today announced it is filing suit against the NBPA for "unfair labor practices" with the National Labor Relations Board, countering the same move from the NBPA last month, and a federal suit to pre-emptively cut off any potential civil actions pertaining to antitrust law violations. 

From the NBA's release:

NEW YORK, August 2, 2011 – The NBA filed two claims today against the National Basketball Players Association: an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board, and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York. The unfair labor practice charge asserts that the Players Association has failed to bargain in good faith by virtue of its unlawful threats to commence a sham “decertification” and an antitrust lawsuit challenging the NBA’s lockout. The federal lawsuit seeks to establish, among other things, that the NBA's lockout does not violate federal antitrust laws and that if the Players Association's “decertification” were found to be lawful, all existing player contracts would become void and unenforceable.

“These claims were filed in an effort to eliminate the use of impermissible pressure tactics by the union which are impeding the parties’ ability to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Adam Silver. “For the parties to reach agreement on a new CBA, the union must commit to the collective bargaining process fully and in good faith.”
The Associated Press reports that news of the legal moves elicited reactions from both sides on Tuesday.
Players' attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who also represented the NFL players, was named in the NBA's lawsuit for his use of what the league called an "impermissible pressure tactic" that has had a "direct, immediate and harmful" effect on CBA talks.

"For the parties to reach agreement on a new CBA, the union must commit to the collective bargaining process fully and in good faith," Adam Silver, the NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, said in a statement released by the league.

Kessler, said the players are frustrated because they believe it's the owners whose negotiating efforts have been in bad faith. "The NBA Players Association has made no decision to decertify. They talk about the fact that this is something the players have considered for 30 years, and that's true. And they haven't done it for 30 years," Kessler said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "So there's no decision made. There may be no decision made. We view this as an example of their bad-faith bargaining. They don't want to be at the table."

NBAPA Executive Director Billy Hunter, in a statement released by the union, said the players will seek to dismiss the lawsuit, which he called "totally without merit." Said Hunter: "We urge the NBA to engage with us at the bargaining table and to use more productively the short time we have left before the 2011-12 season is seriously jeopardized."
Click here to read Hunter's full statement.

You may remember these moves from "NFL Lockout 2011" and "What The League Said It Didn't Want To Do." This is essentially a pre-emptive strike to cut off the union's legal maneuverability at the knees. Whether this indicates that the NBPA threatened decertification in Monday's meeting after reports of an agent mutiny pushing for legal moves last week is unclear. What is clear is that the NBA is not kidding around about winning this lockout using any and all available means. For months, the league and the union have both said they wanted to avoid taking this dispute into the courts because of how bitter and drawn out it can become. Then in a month and a day, we now have three different legal charges from the two sides including a federal lawsuit. 

Don't say Ken Berger of didn't warn you when he predicted this precise scenario last week. The NFL used the exact same description of the decertification approach in their legal battles, calling the NFLPA's decertification a "sham." Stern's comments after Monday's bargaining session seem like premonition at this point. Ken Berger notes that this is as much about setting the venue as the federal court as it is about anything else. It's a move by the NBA to get the ball in the court they want it, so to speak. 

We've hit a new level and all-out legal warfare is now in play.  

Oh, fun.
Category: NBA

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 8:21 am

NBA files suit against NBPA

I have a very shallow and selfish opinion on whether the NBA plays this season.  I hope they cancel the next 10 years so that piece of chit Lebron can't win a championship.  I know it's shallow and overly angry, but there are no words for how much I despise that pathetic excuse for a man.  If you guys don't like that, tough crap.  Any responses you make will not change my opinion.

Since: Nov 5, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:16 pm

NBA files suit against NBPA

Here is an easy answer.......I am a sports fan. As a sports fan, I am interested in all sports. Even the NBA. I pay attention to soccer scores, but I wouldn't watch the games and don't care if they decide not to play for any reason. I think the NBA is a joke and I really don't care if they ever play basketball again. But it doesn't mean I am not interested in the sport. The NBA does not play basketball. Guys walk all the time and palm the ball like crazy. Where in the rule book does it say you get two steps from a dead stop anywhere on the court? It doesn't, so don't waste the time to look it up. The shot clock is too short, they get too many fouls, and very few teams play defense. I comment about it because I wish all of these things were not the case. It might then be fun to watch. At the end of the day, I don't care who makes money and who doesn't. I don't care about audited financials and profit and loss statements. It is a league that can't figure out how to distribute a ton of generated revenue, and I have no sympathy for that on either side. The NFL was able to figure it out. The NBA will go the route of the NHL and set the entire game back years. I actually hope that they do. If they didn't play for a year, I wouldn't miss it. would you?

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:38 am

NBA files suit against NBPA

Many who comment here seem to hate the NBA. So I ask, why do you read? Why do you comment about a league that you despise? Perhaps some of that angst arises from the constant one-sided media spin. "Owners don't lose money." "Owners are playing dirty." "Owners are not believable." It comes from nearly every media outlet and is a constant barrage. The idea that the media might lose opportunity to go to games on expense accounts may fuel some of this. The idea that siding with owners will get a reporter or columnist blackballed by players might fuel others,

But the plain truth is the media is wrong. The spin is wrong. The owners have presented the union with 31 audited financial statements proving their losses. Audited financial statements are independently certified by CPAs to present fairly the financial position and the results from operations for the period presented. These are the gold standard. These reveal the truth. And the truth is that the league lost $1.8 billion dollars over the six years of the expired contract. This is not sustainable. Owners are not idiots. They lived with a very bad contract all six of those years. They are not going to increase the average player salary from $5 million to $7 million per year. That is right, they are talking about the average player. With 15 players per team that works out to be 10 players on the bench who make an average of $4-6 million each. For playing 10 minutes, or not playing at all. Nice gig if you can get it.

Each owner has an investment worth an average of $356 million. The traditional businesses these owners earned their wealth from likely provided a return of investment of 15-25% each year. Yet in their NBA investment the return is a negative (loss) of $10-12 million. No wonder they are bargaining hard. That the owners offered to maintain the present $2 billion is player salaries each year is a risky offer. Should the economy not recover strongly they would continue to lose money over most of the life of the contract. But that is ignored by the players who have not really offered anything to ease the losses. That is what the lawsuits are about. That is what the lockout is about. The only question is how long the players make us wait until they acknowledge the truth.

Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2011 2:29 am

NBA files suit against NBPA

You have owners trying to get the NBPA on their heels.  You have NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter attacking the owners' threats.  Until Hunter and NBA Commissioner David Stern can get together at the bargaining table and negotiate like civilized adults instead of bawling like a couple two-year-old bastards, there's no reason to have a 2011-2012 NBA season.  In other words, Hunter and Stern had better SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!!!!!  And I mean right now!!!!!  Let's cut out this whining and crying and get back to the bargaining table, or not only lose the season, but the NBA altogether.

Since: Sep 29, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:54 am

NBA files suit against NBPA

If the NBA went away would I miss it? HE**NO! The NBA was fun in the 80's-90s. That's when guys had to prove their worth, not come in from HS and be named "king or greatest." This product they roll out there is no better than a Sunday afternoon in any major city park. It's just the NBA players wear better uniforms and wear more gold, than their Sunday playground counterparts. It's ghetto ball at it's finest. Let's see Kobe soft as wet toilet paper jump in the face of a two-timed paroled killer. He might get 6 fouls in street-ball, but he has 2 strikes against him in real life. Also, somebody to tell Kobe to please blow his nose prior to an interview, stop chewing on your tongue when being interviewed. You are not Jordan. The media hates you, as do most non-LA fans do. YOU ARE A RAPIST!!

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:23 am


Seriously. We don't care if we never see them again.  Fill the TV time between the SuperBowl and pre-season with college hoops (which is a less crooked/compromised form of Dr. Naismith's idea of sport) and, oh, I don't know, Rugby? Cricket? LaCrosse?  Anything but the the crap the NBA has become....  Shoot. I'll watch European hoops with American players just to see them seize up when they can't take 4 steps and move their pivot foot after establishment.  A game without rules is no sport at all. It's an insult to the people who pay their hard earned wages hoping to attend a fairly contested event.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:50 pm

Stern should know...

He is the consummate expert on bad faith bargaining...

Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: August 2, 2011 8:39 pm

NBA files suit against NBPA

well i agree some players r gettin overpaid some of the owners had done this to themselves signin players to long contracts worth 100mills heck if i played id probably soak them for what its worth on the other hand have the players buy the teams and u wont c those long con tracts and high salaries as long as the nfl is on till jan and nhl till june have the stars playin in china and turkey wont miss u love my lakers its time for a change tickets r priced out of this league

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: August 2, 2011 7:38 pm

NBA files suit against NBPA

It's years since I've gone to an NBA game anyhow; ticket prices are absurd.  I've been going to Valparaiso games.  We get to see some very good college ball--Butler, Cleveland State, Wright State, Detroit, Loyola, UWM, UWGB, etc..

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: August 2, 2011 6:48 pm

NBA files suit against NBPA

Oh please let this be the final act of the NBA.  Fold please, just this one time, do the right thing and end it!

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