The NBA players both rejected the owners latest offer Monday in New York and began to disband (decertify) the player's union. This both jeopardizes the entire 2011-2012 season and applies pressure back on the owners that the player's union will not be pushed into a corner with ultimatums.
To hear NBA commissioner David Stern tell it, the players have been duped by their conniving lawyer Mr. Kessler and are making a crucial mistake. Yet, from the players point-of-view it is the owners that have maintained a hardline throughout the two years of negotiations and played-dirty by sending contract offers directly to the entire player membership instead of the 30-person NBA player panel in hopes of dividing and conquering the players
The owners already foreseeing a breakdown in talks filed a pre-emptive lawsuit back in June to prove the lockout is legal, so as to void player contracts if it ever got this far. On the other-hand, the players could win billions of dollars in triple damages if they win their antitrust lawsuit
The owners started off negotiations two years ago wanting a 50/50 split of revenue, which was going to be a revision of the existing contract which gave players a 57/43 split. The proposal rejected this week from the players had the same 50/50 split the owners wanted. Many players feel the owners have maintained a hardline throughout negotiations believing they could make the players bend to their will.
Given the 8th U.S. Circuit Courts ruling in favor of NFL owners in a similar case recently, the NBA owners believe they are on strong legal ground, but in an ironic twist the lawyers for the NFL in that case are now the lawyers for the NBA players in this case. One thing all sides can agree on is negotiations having entirely broken down and the season is most definitely in jeopardy.
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