“NBA.com” has reported that some of the most powerful agents representing NBA players are said to be in favor of decertification of the NBA Players Association, which would then allow the players to file an anti-trust suit against NBA Team Owners. If the players union is dissolved; it could put current guaranteed contracts in jeopardy estimated to be worth about $4 billion. What could help convince the players to pursue decertification is that if they were to win the lawsuit against the NBA and Team Owners the players could be awarded treble damages, which would then force the Association back to the bargaining table and conceivably speed up the process to resolve the current NBA Lockout.
Mark Bartelstein, an agent that has a vast array of clients playing in the Association told members of the media that the agents and players are looking at a variety of options including dissolving the Players Association to get negotiations back on track. He said “At the end of the day, if the NBA doesn’t want to negotiate; which they clearly don’t want to do; you have to look at the other options that you have, and that’s what we’re examining.”
The report theorizes that even if decertification does take place the contracts most likely would be re-instated once a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified. If the contracts were not re-instated it would cause every player in the NBA to become a Free Agent; a scenario that would most likely not sit well with NBA team Owners. An unidentified agent told reporters “Think of the chaos of that. All of a sudden Kobe and Chris Paul and Deron Williams are free agents? Some owners would lose their marbles. If your top 20 players in the league could, all of a sudden, do what they wanted?…can you imagine Oklahoma City? Durant and Westbrook? See ya!”
The head of the NBAPA Billy Hunter is said to be opposed to dissolving the union; however the players could still go that route by having what is labeled as an “involuntary decertification.” That would require 30% of current players to sign a petition asking for a vote of all the players in the union to vote on the issue. At that point all it would take is for the majority of players to vote to dissolve the Players Association which would then decertify the union.