The situation has gone from bad to worse in the NBA labor impasse. After reviewing what NBA Commissioner David Stern called the League's 'best and final' offer, the players have unanimously agreed to turn the NBA's offer down and begin the legal process, saying they will file anti-trust action against the NBA in the next two days.
Players Association leader Billy Hunter stated the NBPA will be transformed into a trade association, much the same way the NFLPA had done during the NFL Lockout in the spring and summer of 2011. The difference in that work stoppage, however, was only one game - the Hall of Fame Game in Canton - was lost. The NBA has already lost two weeks of regular season games with the possibility of the entire season being lost becoming more and more likely by the day.
NBPA President Derek Fisher has asked the media to respect that the situation is now a legal matter, that players cannot comment any further.
"This is where it stops for us as a union." Fisher said.
Hunter called the NBA's offer "a system under which we felt we couldn't function" and the players chose, instead, to disband the union immediately.
Where is goes from here is anyone's guess. The legal process will likely be long and drawn out. The will of the players, specifically the mid-to-lower tier players who will certainly begin missing their pay-checks, will surely be tested, as will the loyalty of fans.