Union rejects CBA without full membership presentation

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Union rejects CBA without full membership presentation

NEW YORK As the NBA Players Association gathered Monday, they considered many options on how to handle the latest proposal from the NBA.

One option at their disposal was to present it to the full membership, an option - much like the NBA's latest proposal - that was shot down.

"We did discuss it," said Derek Fisher, president of the now-dissolved NBPA after the union decided to file a disclaimer of interest against the NBA. "We went through our agenda, where we lay out all the information."

Fisher said the gap that existed between where the union was, and where the NBA was willing to go, "probably was not a gap that was going to be able to get closed by continuing to collective bargain."

He added, "and our executive committee and our player reps are elected to make decisions that on behalf of the general body, (if) it's not a deal that we feel will be passed by the general body or accepted by the general body, we have the ability to make those decisions and that was the decision that was made today."

While there were a number of player representatives who clearly did not like this deal, it by no means was a given that the NBA's latest offer would have been shot down had it been presented to the players.

C's point guard Rajon Rondo, who was at the meeting filling in for Celtics representative Paul Pierce (Rondo is his alternate), understands that there are a number of players who will suffer because of the decision made on Monday.

"It wasn't an easy decision," Rondo said. "But at the end of the day you can't look selfishly when you're making these decisions."

He's right.

Which is why, as this case now enters the vortex of the court system following the union's decision to file a disclaimer of interest, you have to wonder if it all could have been avoided if the union would have allowed the entire body to vote on the latest proposal.

But union leaders insisted the process coming into Monday's meeting was to simply present to the player representatives, what they came back with from negotiations with the NBA.

"We came back pretty empty handed," said Keyon Dooling, vice-president for the now-dissolved NBAPA. "We took the next step. Our main focus was to present the deal objectively so the guys could interpret it for themselves."

However, Dooling knows that there will be players upset at this decision, and who will feel that they were excluded from the process that now leaves them out of work for an indefinite period of time.

"Players in the room want to play and (don't want to) miss money as well," Dooling said. "Our body was represented. We got elected officials in there; you got the executive committee in there. We all represent the body of the guys. The guys trusted us and entrusted us to make those decisions."

And those decisions, coupled with some strong-armed negotiating tactics by the NBA, has left the union few options to pursue in bringing a resolution to the negotiating stalemate that exists between them and the NBA.

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

Grousbeck: C's two stars away, so giving up everything for one 'didn't make sense'

Grousbeck: C's two stars away, so giving up everything for one 'didn't make sense'

Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck joined Felger and Mazz Friday, defending Danny Ainge’s inactively at Thursday’s trade deadline. 

Grousbeck’s thinking was that the team is two major pieces away from being a  championship-caliber club, and that giving up assets without filling those spots completely might have been harmful.

“I think it takes some strength and courage not to do anything when everybody’s howling to do something,” Grousbeck said. 

The Celtics were rumored to have had talks with the Bulls about Jimmy Butler and the Pacers about Paul George. Neither player ended up being traded. 

“We’re very comfortable with what happened,” Grousbeck said. “We offered a lot for a couple of guys, and we offered all that we were going to offer and it just wasn’t going to happen. Those guys weren’t going to be traded and they weren’t. It’s not problem. 

“We figure we’re probably two guys away from being a really, really good team; probably two significant guys away, and if we put all the chips in yesterday on one guy, we’re getting rid of draft pick -- or picks -- and we’re getting rid of free agency this summer, so it’s sort of like one step forward, two steps back. It just didn’t make sense.”