The NBA players have decided their best attack on the NBA Lockout is to take matters to court. They decided on that direction earlier on Monday after rejecting David Stern's offer, choosing instead to immediately disband the union and file and anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA. Needless to say, the Commish is not to pleased with the players decision and released the following statement saying as much:
"At a bargaining session in February 2010, Jeffrey Kessler, counsel for the union, threatened that the players would abandon the collective bargaining process and start an antitrust lawsuit against our teams if they did not get a bargaining resolution that was acceptable to them.
In anticipation of this day, the NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board asserting that, by virtue of its continued threats, the union was not bargaining in good faith. We also began a litigation in federal court in anticipation of this same bargaining tactic.
The NBA has negotiated in good faith throughout the collective bargaining process, but -- because our revised bargaining proposal was not to its liking - the union has decided to make good on Mr. Kessler's threat.
There will ultimately be a new collective bargaining agreement, but the 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy."
If all this sounds familiar, it should. Much of the same lingo and legal posturing was used during the NFL Lockout last spring and summer, with both sides winning legal arguments before finally getting back to the negotiating tabel and hammering out a new deal.
Jeffrey Kessler, who is representing the NBPA in the court proceedings, was also part of the NFLPA's legal team. It is said that he was advocating that the players continue their legal wrangling with the NFL and it wasn't until DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell took control of the negotiations away from the lawyers that the situation was resolved.
The question becomes now, is the leadership on both sides of the NBA equation smart enough to do what the NFL and the NFLPA did in order to save their season?