Trying to head off the chance of an antitrust lawsuit from the NBA Players Association, the league went ahead and beat the union to court.
The NBA filed two claims against the NBAPA on Tuesday— an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York.
The NBA accused the players of being uncooperative in negotiations toward a new collective bargaining agreement by making “more than two dozen” threats to dissolve their union and sue the league under antitrust laws to secure more favorable terms in a new CBA.
Commissioner David Stern told The Associated Press in a phone interview that an unproductive meeting Monday with union executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher and others confirmed to the league it needed to take this action.
“There doesn’t seem to be a seriousness of purpose to the players and we keep reading about they’re considering decertification, and the agents are meeting with Billy to talk about decertification, Derek was quoted as saying it’s an option on the table,” Stern said.
Stern added: “And we think that as long as they are preparing to use the same strategy that the NFL, who uses the same lawyer, used, it doesn’t seem that we’re going to be able to get to the deal that we need to get to together.”