Blog Entry

To vote or not to vote?

Posted on: November 7, 2011 9:44 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 9:53 pm
NEW YORK -- As the players' union prepared to host representatives from all 30 teams Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the plans told that executives from the National Basketball Players Association will be open-minded about whether the league's latest proposal should be put to a vote by the full membership.

The primary purpose of the meeting will be to educate player reps about the details and ramifications of the NBA's 50-50 proposal, which commissioner David Stern has told executive director Billy Hunter in writing that he has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to accept or be faced with a far worse offer. Player reps also will be informed of the other options at their disposal if the union rejects the deal and the league forwards what it is calling its "reset" proposal -- which includes a 47 percent share of revenues for the players, a hard salary cap and rollbacks of existing contracts, among other system restraints that are far worse than those in the standing proposal.

But union officials also expect that player reps will have polled their teammates and will present their views as to whether players, as a whole, want to vote on the deal, reject it, or seek a vote to dissolve the union through decertification and take their fight to the federal courts.

"I'm expecting a diversity of opinions, quite frankly," said the person with knowledge of the format for Tuesday's meeting.

This was the case Monday, as players were active in expressing their opinions to their agents and via social media, with the only consensus being that players are divided on what the next steps should be. Some, like Kevin Martin of the Rockets and Steve Blake of the Lakers, are pushing for a vote. Others, like Cavaliers player rep Anthony Parker, say they're opposed to the deal and would vote against it.

Nothing will be known for sure until the player reps meet with union leaders Tuesday. And to some extent, further conversations will be required between the NBPA and NBA negotiators to clear up certain technical aspects of the proposal -- such as a provision the league has asked for to account for a scenario in which player salaries exceed their 50 percent guarantee by more than the 10 percent escrow withholding in the proposal, up from the previous level of eight percent, sources said.

Indeed, while no meetings between the two sides were scheduled as of Monday night, a person with knowledge of the situation told that NBPA executives were hopeful that further conversations could be scheduled with the league before the Wednesday deadline.

While union president Derek Fisher and outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler excoriated the league's latest proposal after talks broke down early Sunday and executive committee members are not in favor of presenting it to the rank-and-file for a vote, union negotiators believe that some minor tweaks to unresolved system issues could make the deal more palatable. Among the issues, for example, would be permitting teams above the luxury-tax line to execute sign-and-trade transactions -- a detail the two sides are at odds on despite it only occurring five times during the previous six-year agreement.

Union executives will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday at a Manhattan hotel with player reps, with all 30 teams expected to be represented either by their reps or alternates.


Since: Nov 7, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:16 am

To vote or not to vote?

"What harm is there in voting?"

When you know the outcome and don't like it.

Since: Jul 15, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:24 pm

To vote or not to vote?

What harm is there in voting? If the players vote it down then it shows they don't want it and are willing to take a chance on the decertification and a long lockout. If they vote to pass it then majority of them want to get this done and start the season. I don't want to read they didn't even vote on it and the union rejected it. This is the owners best offer at this time and the players should decide to take it or deal with a lost season.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:10 pm

To vote or not to vote?

The players have a tought decision here.  You can call for a vote for a deal you do not like or choose not to vote and hope the owners are not serious in the Wednesday deadline.  Either way, this decision is make it or break it.  Fans are mad, owners are upset, and the players are unhappy.  This is a no win situation for all of us.  Remember hockey?  No, but we once had a sport called hockey that was the 4th major sport in the USA.  One strike/lockout later and no one cares.  NBA, this is your future and you look like that is what you are going to have in the near future.  Bummer

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