They gave, gave again and gave back some more, earning little in the way of contract concessions from NBA owners. Something had to give and this time it wasn’t going to be the players of the NBA.
The 30 NBA players’ union representatives met today in New York and voted unanimously to file a “disclaimer of interest” notice to the league and its owners, putting an end to a collective bargaining process that led nowhere and had finally broken down. They didn’t really have a choice given the intractability of the league on a number of contract items of debatable importance to parties on both sides.
In addition, it was revealed last weak that 30-40 other, “B-list” items remained unbargained, a problem that doomed the latest incomplete league proposal before it was presented. Further rumblings suggested that NBA commissioner David Stern lacked the needed support from owners on the latest proposal.
Somebody had to end this mockery to collective bargaining, and that’s what the players did today in the speediest manner available to them. The incomplete and unbargained deal is in the trash. The players union has walked out of the bargaining room for good and will take their chances in
the New York branch of* the federal courts.
It was the only self-respecting thing they could have done.
ED. NOTE: Players filed suit in Oakland, Calif., and Minnesota. The Oakland case was moved to San Francisco Friday.