This "strategy" tells you all you need to know about the intelligence of NBA players and also the brilliance of the advice that they are getting.
The 8th Circuit ruled in Brady v. NFL in MAY (of 2011) that decertifying a union does not allow an injunction be issued against a lockout!
The 2d Circuit in 1995 in NBA v. Williams (1995) stated that NBA owners may maintain the status quo after a lockout and a bargaining impasse and that decretification means nothing.
The owners already filed a civil action in federal court asking for a declaration of rights in the event a decertification occurred -- the court was thinking about dismissing the case (because no decert had actually occurred) but NOW??? How do you dismiss on ripeness grounds now?
So, the players have said "fuck you" to a compromise deal which would have netted a 72 game season and a 50-50% split with some softness to the cap and few cap exceptions.
What exactly is their end game here?
-- they won't get an injunction
-- the law, as it sits, allows owners to submit new work rules EVEN IF YOU DO decertify
-- decertification will just piss off the owners and make them reduce their current offer
-- the season, if any, will be shortened and will net everyone less money
-- if, as the players want, the owners get abuse from the fan base, the fans won't show up and the pie (which you want 52% of) will be smaller. So, if you succeed, the $4B pie shrinks to $3B, and you go from a $2B piece to a $1.56B piece. NICE strategy!
Assume that I am a young man who is both an alocoholic and a sex addict. I am walking around a town where the only bar within 30 miles closes in an hour. So, I can either drive three towns over where I know the women are all ugly and will only sleep with one of the 65 best looking guys in the world (*not me), or I can go to the one open bar here and buy their $10 Bud Lights and (based upon past experience) KNOW someone will sleep with me who is way better looking than the girls three towns over.
What should I do if I am acting reasonably? Swallow my pride and pay the $10 per beer and find someone really good looking to sleep with me.
What have Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher done on my behalf? They have complained about the $10 price of beer, asked for a better bar stool for me, complained that the women at the bar don't really love me. They have told the bar owner that I may leave the bar. The bar owner has said, "OK, $9.25 beer, I will ask half of the women to be nice to HM, and that is my best offer." Billy and Derek reply, "No thanks...he will sue you."
Get the hell out of my bar, HM.
So, I am left with a situation of where I have no beer, no woman, and I am out on the street of a one-bar town with the right to sue the bar owner who won't sell me beer for under $9.25 or give me a nicer bar stool.
When I show up tomorrow and say, "OK, I will go with the $9.25," the bar owner will reply, "Yeah, fuck you. It is $15 now and the women will now sleep with you only 35% of the time."
So...........yeah. I showed him. Thanks Billy and Derek!
Look, at the end of the day, the players will never collect a dollar from the NBA owners. If they get a $30B verdict, the owners will just shutter the league and say, "We cannot afford to pay that." Or if the players "win" enough and get good enough work rules, there will be 10 NBA teams, 150 jobs, and 300 unemployed guys who should be making $400 million who are making next to nothing. Hey, congrats! That is what a union is for!
The best thing that can possibly happen is the players get a $2B verdict and use it to bargain back rights that will NEVER be enough to get them back to the money they had in the season they lost. That is best-case. I cannot be clearer here. The players best-case result is to end up in a worse financial situation than they are in now.
The worst-case scenario for the players is they end up paying $15 for a beer and the owners tell them that they are lucky it isn't $100.
Well, at least it should be fun seeing all of the bankruptcy filings between now and February 1.