The NBA players union is ready to decertify, and could begin the process as early as Friday. If the players do not accept the owners’ revised proposal, expect this negotiation (can I call it a negotiation if neither side really does much negotiating?) to get uglier than the form on Kevin Martin’s jump shot. (CBS Sports)
Another outcome likely will begin to unfold Friday before the union even decides whether to accept the proposal — and would continue to progress regardless of the outcome of next week’s player rep meeting: Agents dissatisfied with the deal the union has negotiated and the intransigence of league negotiators already have more than 200 signatures on decertification petitions which are ready to be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board requesting a vote to dissolve the union, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Such a move would threaten to torpedo whatever support there is among the union membership to approve the owners’ offer, and if it resulted in the players deciding not to vote on the proposal or voting it down, could throw the 2 1-2 year negotiations into the chaos of an anti-trust lawsuit — virtually guaranteeing that the 2011-12 season would be lost.
Regardless of whether the owners moved on many key issues (and reports say they didn’t budge much from their last offer), the players must consider accepting the proposal. Yes, the owners are predatory creatures designed to suck the players’ blood. Yes, the players have lost this “negotiation,” if you can call it that, by a landslide. Yes, free agency might be slightly restricted and the cap would remain hard-ish, or at least a lot harder than it used to. But the alternative is scary: the owners will cut back their offer, causing a long legal battle during which the players will use a tactic that, according to Ken Berger, hasn’t worked in the history of professional sports.
Right now, the players can either pass to Joel Anthony posting up, allow Rajon Rondo to launch a three pointer, or bring Bruce Bowen out of retirement to run an isolation play. In other words, the options are not good.