Patrick McDermott | Getty Images


Do you hear that?

It’s the deafening silence of NBA basketball, a sound that will likely be heard throughout the dying ’11-12 NBA season.

By not coming to an agreement on the details of a new CBA, both the players and the owners unintentionally came to an agreement on one thing: Launching the nuclear option, a worst-case-scenario for all parties involved, and the possible end to any hope of NBA basketball this season.

Earlier this afternoon in New York, the NBPA officially (and unanimously) rejected the NBA’s latest offer. They followed up their dismissal by serving the NBA with a “disclaimer of interest”, a legal move that essentially disbands the players union and allows the individual players to file lawsuits against the NBA. While it serves many of the same purposes a complete decertification would, this measure has three distinct differences:

  • It eliminates the 45-day waiting period that would be mandatory for a decertification vote.
  • It is less final, and would allow the players to come back together as a union rather quickly.
  • Negotiating between the two sides can (and probably will) continue while lawsuits are pending.

Following the announcement, both union executive director Billy Hunter and NBA commissioner David Stern painted a dismal picture:

“We’ve arrived at the conclusion that the collective bargaining process has completely broken down.” – Hunter

“There will ultimately be a new collective bargaining agreement, but the 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy. Obviously, Mr. Kessler got his way and we are about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA.” – Stern

NBPA president Derek Fisher –with Kobe Bryant and dozens of his fellow players behind him – remained confident in the union’s decision:

 “This is the best decision for the players. I want to reiterate that point, that a lot of individual players have a lot of things personally at stake in terms of their careers and where they stand. And right now they feel it’s important — we all feel it’s important to all our players, not just the ones in this room, but our entire group — that we not only try to get a deal done for today but for the body of NBA players that will come into this league over the next decade and beyond.”

The next steps for each side are as mysterious as the reasons why a deal wasn’t made in the last 137 days. Whatever those reasons are – be it pride, money, or just flat out foolishness (or all of the above) – barring a willingness from either side to concede their current positions, much of the next several weeks (and possibly months) will be played out in a court, rather than on a court.

Welcome to the Nuclear Winter, Laker Nation.

It’s awfully cold in here.

  • 123kid

    I have to agr

  • 123kid

    oops sorry on my last post, but i have to agree with the players for not taking the deal. as much as i wanna see them play, i think the owners pretty much trapped them to take a bad deal. and i didnt see them stopping. and i know a lot of other fans will disagree that players make too damn much money, but i mean think of it in your situation. the owners are your bosses and the players are the hard workers of the company. they put in the time and all the work to make the company rolling and they should get paid fairly and overall slightly make more money that the owners. us fans dont go to the games to see the owners, we come to see the players. so just like an employee, why would u wanna get short changed in your job or be deprived of what u think is fair. 

  • Wnj

    I’ll be honest, I haven’t been following this at all and I agree that the players should get paid fairly but I think they are letting their greed and egos keep them from negotiating a fair deal. I get what you mean about them doing all the work and all but why should they get paid more than the bosses when that doesn’t apply anywhere else in the work field? Store employees work harder than the managers or corporate management and yet they don’t get paid more than the management or corporate guys do. Maybe it’s because I’m not a diehard fan but I just think the players are being greedy. I can’t believe our society puts so much importance on a basketball game that it makes the players almost larger than life. They should be hiring more teachers for our school, putting money into education and paying the teachers better so our kids can have brighter futures instead of paying grown men millions of dollars to play a game for our entertainment. I know my opinion isn’t a popular one but it is hoe I see it.

    • 123kid

      I apologize that was probably a bad anology. But I think the players had a point to get paid a bit more than the owners, but I also think the owners had the right to lower down the BRI to a closer even playing field. But for the owners to ask for more is a bit greedy on their part. And I guess this will make more sense, but I think the owners were so greedy that they pretty much wanted to make the majority of the money in this league, when really the players are what make the NBA what it is. The players bring in the business and not the owners, so now arena employees are sitting out waiting either to go back to work or not, businesses surrounding arenas and sell nba merchandise are affected, journalist and especially nba specialist are on a pause, and the list goes on. So overall, I think the billionaire owners really became the greedy ones out of all this. 

      Also, kudos because I agree that the real people of America like teachers, firemen, and all the blue collar and real hard working people should be making the real cash that really makes a difference in the lives of people and society.

  • Sheds

    There are a lot of people on forums cursing about how the players would be greedy etc… The players ARE the NBA. It is not like a regular job, where you join into some company that has been flowing for decades and youre just the next substitute worker for the last man that went elsewhere.

    People want to see these star players and yes, they get paid alot but they also work alot harder than most other athletes in any sport if you look at the schedule of games alone. I know hockey for example have as many games but they also got rosters that are around 3 times bigger and thus they cannot pay their players as much as the NBA can.

    The owners take the business risk yes, but they are always the ones that are in control. The thing is, that the owners created alot of the current problematic situation with average players and max contracts. They messed up, not the players. And now they want a bulletproof failsafe system so that any owner, no matter how stupid his business descisions are, is almost guaranteed to make profits, but players wont hand it to them on a silver plate. Tough luck, better try to convince the players otherwise, and sweeten the deal on other areas instead of playing hardliner, eh Mister Jordan?

    The whole problem and what most people seem to forget here, the owners want something from the players, not the other way around. But they demand it in a way that is almost laughable, as if bullying the players with this would make them agree to much less money and also less options in free agency etc.

  • Wnj

    I see what you mean about how this is affecting so many more people than just the owners and the players and it is a real shame. If only both sides could leave their pridea and egos out of the equation and stop being so greedy they could work together towards resolving the issue. I agree that the players are the ones out there playing and risking injuries and well, they are the ones with the fans not some guy up in a luxury box. They deserve to get fair pay but you have to admit, some, not all hut some of the players are so full of themselves that they think they should be making millions just for breathing and I think they are fanning the flames more and making it harder to end the negotiations amicably. I do admire that they refuse to get pushed around by the owners and are fighting for what they perceive as fair pay. The owners will have to swallow their pride & negotiate a fair pay or risk losing millions and millions if the season doesn’t go ln this year. That will be a very unwise choice on their part especially in this economy and as you said, this is affecting neighboring businesses as well.

  • lakerman34

    Billy Hunter is an idiot.

    That is all.

  • lakerman34