Blog Entry

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

Posted on: November 16, 2011 3:50 pm
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NEW YORK -- Lawyers for the NBA and players now suing the league for antitrust claims exchanged updated arguments in their pending federal case in New York in the hours after the National Basketball Players Association dissolved as a union Monday.

Under order from U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe, the NBA furnished a letter Monday offering further proof that its request for declaratory judgment that the lockout was legal was based on adequate facts. The letter was due Monday, and thus included up-to-the-minute arguments in the aftermath of the players' union disclaiming interest to pave the way for antitrust lawsuits, two of which were filed Tuesday.

The players' response was ordered by Nov. 23, but players' attorney Jeffrey Kessler responded Tuesday.

Unsurprisingly, the league argued that the NBPA's decision to disclaim and take up its case with the NBA in federal court under antitrust law further supported the NBA's contention when it filed the lawsuit Aug. 2 that the players were going to do that all along.

"On more than two dozen occasions ... the union has threatened to abandon collective bargaining and commence antitrust litigation to challenge the lockout," league attorneys wrote. "And the  complaint alleges that the union's threats of antitrust litigation are having a direct, immediate and harmful effect on the parties' ability to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement."

League attorneys sought declaratory judgment from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that the lockout could not be challenged under antitrust law, asserting that the NBPA's harboring of that threat was hindering negotiations and that a new CBA would be more easily reached if the court pre-emptively removed the threat. In a motion to dismiss, attorneys for the NBPA argued that the court lacked jurisdiction because there was no "ripe controversy" -- since at the time the NBA sued, the union had yet to decertify or seriously consider it. Kessler reiterated those arguments Tuesday.

 "It was only at that moment that the NBPA decided to disclaim its interest in being the collective bargaining representative of the players -- a decision that was uncertain until it was made," Kessler wrote.

Whether or not the NBA's lockout can be legally challenged under antitrust law is only half the story, but it's a very important half. Lawsuits filed in California and Minnesota Tuesday also seek damages -- a step that seemingly would be affected by the New York court's ruling on whether the lockout was legal in the first place. It's all complicated -- far more complicated, costly and risky to both sides than it would've been for the parties to sit in a room and finish a collective bargaining agreement that was, by any measure, 95 percent done when the talks broke down.

"I still can't believe that any of the lawyers on either of the sides is confident enough ... that they're willing to blow up the season, spend hundreds of thousands -- if not more -- on legal fees, and risk either treble damages or billions in player salaries," said Gabe Feldman, director of the Sports Law Center at Tulane University.

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Comments

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:02 pm
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

I can't stand the NBA because of all this Bull Shit all the time anyway.Remove one Person and this deal gets Done.Dave Deal Stoper Stern.He THE WORSEST COMMISONER IN ALL OF PRO SPORTS.I hope the Players form there own league,show these Greedy NBA owners what its all about.One agent was right about a month ago.The owners are like Plantation owners,and the players are like slaves.




Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:10 pm
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

Hopefully the end result of all of this is David Stern and his crooked referees are booted out of the NBA.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 8:13 am
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

I guess you don't hang around many players do you?



Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 6:19 am
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

If the current players don't want to play, why don't the owners void all contracts and bring in replacement players?



Since: Nov 7, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:48 pm
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

I don't think it will be difficult to convince any judge the disclaimer of interest was for the purpose of gaining bargaining leverage through anttitrust lawsuits, i.e., it was employed as a "sham."
 


j298719302
Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:23 pm
This comment has been removed.

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j298719302
Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:21 pm
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Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 8:57 pm
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

So let me see if I have this right: the taxpayers build multi million dollar stadiums for these guys, the taxpayers provides millions of dollars in court costs over the next few years while the two sides bicker back and forth, employees are without work due to the actions of owners and players.

So who is suing who?



Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:49 pm
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

This person is living in the past.  The current NBA lifestyle, thanks to David Stern, is not thug-like generally.  Those people associated with the NBA, while a small portion of the population, are real people trying to make a living--like many of us whether as a vendor, parking attendent, janitor, etc. I must confess, I have no idea what a "blood sucking hebe lawyer" is but while the athletes may be uneducated (from a college perspective), most of them after a while in the NBA have figured out how to deal with society, the press and their situation.  My guess is the general population has many more thugs, percentage wise, than the NBA.



Since: Mar 6, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:34 pm
 

NBA responds to players' disclaimer

how can stern say this before they broke up the union. A couple weeks ago the union was about to break up any way cause they were all fighting. Reports came out that fisher and hunter was at odds. It was about to blow up then.


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