Dallas Mavericks player representative Jason Terry is in New York where NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and union president Derek Fisher announced that the players have rejected the owners' latest proposal.
The labor fight will now head to the court system as the union disbands. NBA commissioner David Stern said the league is headed into a nuclear winter as the 2011-12 season is in peril.
Terry took a few minutes after the press conference to discuss the situation as much as he could.
"I hate where it's gone right now. It sucks for us because of what we accomplished this last season," Terry said, meaning his 2010-11 NBA champion Mavs teammates. "It sucks for our fans and everyone that works at the arena. And it sucks for me because I want to be playing."
Terry, who stands to lose $11.7 million on the final year of his contract in Dallas, is no longer at liberty to comment on the proceedings now that the standoff is headed for the courts. Terry has been firm in his stance that the players would be ready to walk away from the deal if they did not find it acceptable. And, despite his comment that he hates where this has gone, he firmly stands behind the players' decision.
"Stand strong, stand together," Terry said.
A large contingent of NBA players attended the NBPA meeting Monday morning to deliberate the deal the owners delivered to the union late Thursday night and to show a measure of strength. Those players, including Terry, gathered around Hunter and Fisher as the union's leadership duo dropped the bomb at a press conference around 1 p.m. Central time.
Terry, who has been consistent in his desire to see a deal get done so the Mavs could get on with their title defense, has also been consistent in standing behind union leaders as one of 30 player reps.
"We hear a lot about the players are greedy. It's not that," Terry said Saturday night while taking part in Josh Howard's charity basketball game in Dallas. "The players just want to go out and play the game they love under fair terms."
Now, the process heads into uncharted waters. As Stern said, the season is in serious jeopardy. Stern knows it. The players know it.
Terry, whose children attend the same private school as Mavs owner Mark Cuban's and coach Rick Carlisle's, returns home to Dallas in the morning without a deal and still unable to speak to the Mavs' brass when he picks up the kids or attends their soccer games.
Most of all, he's completely uncertain of where this chaos goes next.
"We'll see what happens," Terry said.