NBA Players Reject Latest Contract Offer, Plan To Decertify Union; Season In Doubt

The NBA’s locked-out players rejected the league’s latest offer for a new collective bargaining agreement today, with union executive director Billy Hunter calling the proposed deal “extremely unfair.” He said the players’ association is beginning the process of disbanding the union — the first step in filing an antitrust action against the league and sending the whole mess to the courts. It’s the same tactic the NFL’s players used during their lockout over the summer, but this time the move could jeopardize the entire NBA season; already, the league had cut 10 games from the normal season in a revised schedule as the two sides remain far apart in contract talks. It would mean a big hit on ad revenue for ABC/ESPN, TNT/Turner and regional sports networks that hold lucrative TV rights to games. Commissioner David Stern had called the latest labor offer the league’s best, proposing a 50-50 split in revenue between players and owners. He said the next offer on the table will be much less favorable: a 53-47 split in favor of the league.

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