While negotiations for a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement will resume on Saturday, a group of players from the Association have been exploring another option during this week. “The New York Times” has reported that a group of 50 NBA players held two conference calls during this week with an anti-trust attorney, as they discussed possibly decertification of the NBA Players Association. Dissolving the players union would then allow the players to take the Association to court in anti-trust case; an option it is believed that NBA Team Owners would like to avoid.
According to the report the second call took place on Thursday, it is believed that the players involved in the conference call do not want the NBA Players Association to give any more ground in negotiations than they already have. The NBAPA has agreed to reduce players’ share of Association revenue from 57% last season to 52.5% in the new agreement; while Team Owners are insisting on a 50/50 split of revenue.
In order for decertification to take place; 30% of the current NBAPA ( approximately 130 players) would have to sign a petition calling for the union to be dissolved. The next step would be taking the petition to the National Labor Relations Board, which would then have a 45 day window to decide if that vote should take place. During that time NBA Commissioner David Stern and NBAPA Executive Director Billy Hunter would have their last chance to negotiate a new deal. If a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement is not in place by then the Nation Labor Relations Board would most likely rule in favor of a vote. A simple majority is all that is needed to dissolve the Players Association.