The NBPA rejected the latest offer from the NBA owners and it appears these negotiations will start getting ugly.
After Commish David Stern gave a deadline of last Wednesday for the union to agree to the offer or be faced with reductions in future proposals, the players and their reps didn’t buy it. That proclamation turned out to be nothing but an idle threat.
Since that time, both sides met for marathon length sessions and the owners presented another deal to the players. According to some of the players and reps, the next proposal was weaker than the previous one; leading to the players to reject the offer without a formal vote.
According to ESPN New York’s Stephen Smith, NBPA head “Billy Hunter didn’t allow players to vote on the last proposal because it would have been approved and he feels the players can do better.”
Stern went in front of the cameras on ESPN and pleaded his case how the players were “self-destructing” and were at fault for the season being entirely lost but there are two sides in this mess and Stern is supposed to have the ability to avoid these types of scenarios.
Regardless of which side is at fault the recent chaos may cause the entire season to be written off.
Maybe Stern should have taken a course from NFL Commish Roger Goodell on negotiating etiquette. Goodell held his ego in check and did whatever was necessary to get his deal done; something it appears Stern was unable to do.
The players are preparing to take the issues to court and possibly decertify their union. They would then sue the owners in what would certainly be a bitter legal battle.
It’s getting uglier by the minute.
Used with permission of the author.
Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.
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