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Samstag, 5. September 2015, 08:02

Ellsbury is the latest in a long line of lucrative Yankees free

Not surprisingly, the NBPA rejected the NBAs ultimatum proposal this afternoon
in a meeting in New York City. Perhaps more surprisingly, as of today the NBPA
no longer exists. In an attempt to gain some semblance of leverage over the
league and its owners, the NBPA has opted to dissolve itself, morph into a trade
association (which Billy Hunter will be the executive director of) and pursue an
antitrust lawsuit against the league. NBA commissioner David Stern said this
weekend that the time for negotiations had ended, and the players then made the
only move they felt they had at their disposal once those in attendance at
Mondays meeting decided to reject the NBAs latest proposal. What happens from
here on out is a matter for the courts, but it is almost assured now that the
2011-2012 NBA season will not happen given the time it can take for the legal
system to work its particular brand of magic. Technically, the NBA still has
time to re-jig their offer in a last-ditch attempt to stave off this legal
action, but Stern made it clear more than once this weekend that the league will
not be pressured into altering their proposal and so the next logical step from
his end would be to officially cancel another spate of games and wait on the
lawyer jockeying to begin. It could be argued, of course, that the very
intransigence that was at play in Sterns insistences this weekend is at the
heart of why the union decided to disband this afternoon. While the leagues
latest proposal was hardly insulting in its content, its delivery left a lot to
be desired, especially considering the leagues brutish insistence that this
offer be accepted or a radical reset proposal will become the new basis of
negotiations. The league pushed the players against a wall with the hope that
theyd fearfully ratify this deal, but instead their ultimatum drove the players
to dissolve their union, ushering in a "nuclear winter" (Sterns words) with an
uncertain end. The league and the owners made endless demands of the players
over the last three months, after essentially refusing to meet with them over
the summer, all while making it clear that they would make no concessions
themselves in the negotiating process. Their reported losses became a matter for
the players to cover, regardless of the fairness of this action, and to a degree
the players acquiesced to this demand. The league then decided to re-write the
book on several system issues that deeply affected free agency, trades, rookie
scale contracts and cap exceptions, none of which aided in overcoming the losses
but rather addressed the hazy issue of "competitive balance". Again, the players
are told they needed to sacrifice and, again, the players made it clear that
they would accept certain sacrifices to move along the negotiations. The owners,
though, were never truly negotiating; they were bullying. They took and they
took and then they demanded more. Their own capitulations - that they routinely
patted themselves on the back for - were based off of an aggressively extreme
CBA proposal that they made months ago, not off of the recently expired CBA that
the players sacrifices came from. The owners give-backs were make believe, like
going up to a stranger and demanding a million dollars, then saying youll accept
a thousand as a sacrifice. The players were going to see the system that
governed their livelihood significantly re-written, and they may have accepted
it, too, if the league hadnt been so churlish in the way they demanded their
demands be satisfied. The players see their fight in philosophical terms now, as
a struggle of right and wrong. The league, while attempting to fracture the
union like they did in 1998, unified it with their arrogance and are now forced
to deal with the fallout of their actions. All that said, bitterness is not a
solid foundation for this kind of extreme legal action. There is no proven
strategy that would suggest that the players will be given a magic bullet to use
in their fight against ownership, and in fact the odds are all this move will
prove to do is deprive the players from a years worth of pay while also forcing
them to accept a far worse deal several months from now. Its too early to tell
if this was a move made in an attempt to get the NBA to move on certain issues
or if this new trade association is seriously anticipating a victory in court
(which could, in all likelihood, wipe out NBA participation in the London
Olympics and eat into the start of the 2012-2013 season by virtue of the pace of
the legal system). If the move was made to jolt the league into bettering their
proposal its almost certain that it wont work. The league now feels it has even
greater leverage than it did last week as a multitude of players probably have
no idea what it is theyve just been thrust into. If the new NB

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