Bill Hunter Rumors
Ken Berger: Basically, it’s like @SportsLawGuy told me this week: It’s only November. D-Day isn’t here yet. We’ve got two more months of this. How u.
Ken Berger: Said another agent: “There has to come a point where I feel like I’m better off in front of a judge than I am in front of the mediator.”
Sources on the ownership side, however, believe that the pre-emptive federal lawsuit filed by the NBA during the summer could potentially take the sting out of any potential decertification. There is even stronger conviction among many league insiders in questioning whether a majority of players would indeed have the stomach to go through with full-on decertification, since that step would almost certainly seal the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 season and throws up as many unknowns for the players as it would for the owners.
Once signatures are collected from 30 percent of the players, that petition is filed with the National Labor Relations Board. The NLRB could then take an estimated 45 days to verify the petition and schedule an actual decertification vote. Disbanding the union requires a simple majority of players voting for decertification, but the union would continue to exist while the NLRB is arranging the vote and thus could theoretically continue negotiations with the league before the Players Association is dissolved. “I’ve been ready to sign a decertification petition since July?” Nets guard Deron Williams tweeted Saturday. “Can’t believe we are just now going this route! SMH.”
Ken Berger: One agent said petitions need not be signed before Wednesday. If Wednesday comes and goes w/o deal, “That’s decertification right there.”
Sources close to the decertification movement told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein on Sunday that the players and agents involved in that push hope to have the requisite signed petition from 30 percent of the league’s work force calling for a decertification vote — an estimated 130 players — by Tuesday. We intend to move fast,” one source said.
Jeff Zillgitt: More Cohen statement: “We continue to offer our assistance and remain in contact with the parties.”
Marc Stein: Lay term-y as possible: Decertification is two-step process w/lag time in the middle. ACTUAL decert unlikely before mid-DEC at soonest
Jeff Zillgitt: More from Cohen statement: “We regret that they were unable to reach agreement on the issues.”
Marc Stein: Also can’t discount possibility sides resume talks one more time b4 WED. Can’t say it looks likely but we’ve falsely heard THIS IS IT before
Jeff Zillgitt: Statement from federal mediator George Cohen: “We commend the parties on their willingness to examine solutions to their current dispute.”
Steve Luhm: As one ex-NBA player told me months ago, NBA/owners “know exactly what they’re doing.” Compared it to chess, thinking 3 moves ahead.