Monday, November 14, 2011
Players to disband union, "nuclear winter" looms
By Andy Kamenetzky
Good times in New York on Monday, as Derek Fisher took the stage among a sea of players (including Kobe Bryant) and announced the latest move. The newest proposal from the NBA has been rejected, and convinced the league isn't/hasn't ever been negotiating in good faith, a decision has been made to begin the process of disbanding the union. From there, an anti-trust lawsuit will be filed, and we move to the court system. If this sounds potentially messy, that's because it is. Still, Fisher described the decision as "best for the players."
David Stern quickly took to SportsCenter and predictably denounced this step as misguided and a loss waiting to happen. (In a nice little jab, arguably the only statement from the Commish completely devoid of spin, he rightly noted how this tactic comes months too late.) But despite oozing cockiness, Stern sadly conceded the season itself is in serious jeopardy as we head into "nuclear winter." (Which sounds like a B-Movie starring Rutger Hauer, but considerably less fun.) As far as signposts like the Christmas games, Stern said 30 days are needed between an agreement and arena doors opening. Thus, if there's not considerable progress by Nov. 25, your holiday plans likely gained considerably more flexibility.
In the meantime, I remain a blogger without a league to cover, and horribly disillusioned. Not just at the lack of common sense, pragmatism and adult behavior from both sides, but with The Mamba. Maybe it was pie in the sky, but I really thought Kobe -- on record as in favor of a 50-50 BRI split -- could end this lockout with the jut of his jaw. It's probably no coincidence that among players on the dais, Kobe's face stood out to me as the most sour.