Many observers believed the NBA players’ union would splinter after their announced decision Monday to reject the owners' latest collective bargaining agreement offer.
With the entire season quite possibly lost, the players have begun the process of decertifying the union, which will allow individual players to file antitrust lawsuits against the league. It’s a process that can be lengthy and drawn out and could mean players lose an entire year of paychecks.
But a sampling of views reported by Yahoo! Sports indicates that the players are holding firm and are even taking on a foxhole mentality.
• “All players just have to be together through this process and stand strong for what we believe in as a whole. If the majority feels like this is the best route then we as a group will now support the decision and move on and hope for the best. We just want everything fair.” – Houston Rockets guard Kevin Martin.
• “I’m an older guy, and I can’t get a year back. But this is bigger than playing basketball. ... We’re fighting for what we believe in, for what we believe is right.” — Milwaukee Bucks guard and Players Association vice president Keyon Dooling.
• “I stand behind the union,” — Golden State Warriors guard and union representative Charlie Bell.
Of course there are some who are concerned about the full ramifications of what this could mean to the players if this ordeal drags out in court and takes away the entire 2011-12 season.
• “I hope they realize that by throwing their chests out at each other, they’re not going to get this deal done. I know when I want to get something, it never works when my chest is sticking out. ... It seemed like we just had a couple of issues, and now we have to go to court. You don’t want to waste that amount of money going to court. But you stick your chest out, and now we are. If you want to negotiate with us, then don’t make it a pissing contest.” — Free-agent forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
• “This is why I said we should have done this in July bc at least the process would have been underway ... even over! Now possibly #NOSEASON — New Jersey Nets guard Deron Wiliams, who is currently playing overseas.
Contact Terrance Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.
(Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)