In a move that was widely expected, the NBA Players Association voted down commissioner David Stern’s most recent collective bargaining agreement proposal on Monday.
The players also decided to move to disband the union, which paves the way for antitrust lawsuits against the league and puts the entire 2011-12 season in jeopardy.
"Going forward, collective bargaining will not be how this process continues for us," union president Derek Fisher said following Monday’s meeting in New York. "We'll let our legal team really lead the charge."
The next move is on Stern and the NBA owners. Stern has said the offers to the players will get worse from here. Stern proposed a 50-50 revenue split of the basketball-related income and a 72-game game schedule late last week, but there were lots of loopholes in the proposal to protect the owners throughout the 10-year life of the agreement.
The players were not willing to concede as much, especially with no concessions from the owners’ side on the salary cap system that is moving toward a hard cap.
Both sides appear to be digging in for a long fight. It will be interesting to see whether the players or owners blink first. Negotiations do seem to favor the owners, because with no season the players lose an entire year of salary and a year of their careers, which they will never get back.
"I want to answer this diplomatically. The next time we meet to discuss anything, we'll be discussing the 47 percent proposal," he told the Associated Press on Saturday. "This is it. We've been negotiating this for 2 1/2 years. The owners authorized a revised proposal, and they said if it's not acceptable and they want to keep negotiating, we present them with a 47 percent, flex cap proposal. They know it."
NBA fans are understandably upset about the latest developments and took to their Twitter accounts to express their outrage.
"No NBA this season?!?? Sh*t just got real! SMH," tweeted Travis Porter.
Terry Crews, star of The Family Crews, wrote: "Ball so hard/ Dat ish CRAY No NBA?/ Ball so hard/ Owner's order Season delayed..."
What do you think? Should the season be canceled?
(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESSAP)