The National Basketball Association is now in serious jeopardy for the entire 2011-2012 season. After several months of debate between the league and the player’s union, the athletes felt that the league was not being fair regarding monetary issues.
This past Monday, the players’ union rejected what seemed to be the best offer from the league, escalating problems between the league and the players. Ultimately, the players are trying to take legal action against the league because collective bargaining was ineffective.
The NBA commissioner, David Stern, is infuriated with the player’s decision and stated that their legal action is a “charade” that may end with the loss of the 2011-2012 season.
The players believe that their decision is the right thing to do. Stern told the players that he was done negotiating with them, which leads to the end result of legal action.
This incident is quite similar to the NFL lockout that occurred this summer. However, the difference between the NFL and NBA is the fact that the NFL had time to come to a conclusion, whereas the NBA season should have already kicked off. Now the first half of the season is almost guaranteed to be cancelled.
Led by Derek Fisher, a point guard on the Los Angeles Lakers, the players’ union knows the extent of their actions, but they feel as if it is the right thing to do. By filing an antitrust action against the NBA, Billy Hunter, the executive director of the NBA, states: “That’s the best situation where players can get their due process.”
The players will be represented in the lawsuit by attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and David Boies, who worked on opposite sides during the NFL lockout over the summer.
Stern and the players both made harsh statements following the decision. “If I were a player,” Stern said on ESPN “I would be wondering what it is that Billy Hunter just did.”
Fisher said that Stern is implying that the players “don’t understand or are not capable of understanding the details that were presented in the proposal.”
Because of this situation, every player has now missed his first paycheck. All of the players rely on the NBA as a main form of income, but with the season at a standstill, players such as Delonte West and less-familiar faces need to find temporary occupations.
West recently tweeted that he is now a furniture salesman at Regency Furniture Showrooms. Although this may be something West is light-hearted about, reality will set in when many players do not know when their next paycheck will come.