NBA players reject owners deal

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NBA players reject owners deal

NEW YORK The NBA Players Union has notified the NBA that they will be filing a disclaimer of interest, the kind of legal move that throws yet another monkey-wrench into the hopes of having an NBA season.

"The Collective Bargaining process has completely broken down," said Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBAPA which will become defunct as soon as the court filings for the disclaimer of interest are completed, possibly as early as today.

"As a result, we served a notice of disclaimer on Commissioner (David) Stern and the NBA. "We plan to disseminate that to the 30 team owners, so they will know the action that was taken today."

Dozens of players were in attendance, including Celtics forward Jeff Green and C's guard Rajon Rondo who is the alternate player representative for the C's.

"This was not something we rushed into," Rondo said. "And guys felt strong about our opinion and the decision we made."

He added, "it's a lot at stake, it's a lot of risks. But at the end of the day, we have to try and make the right decision for us as a whole."

The move to file a disclaimer of interest as opposed to decertifying the union was done to expedite the court process, which the players believe could potentially salvage a significant portion of the 2011-2012 NBA season.

It allows the players to immediately file anti-trust lawsuits against the NBA, and not have to wait for the 45-60 window that would be in place if they were to decertify.

The players will be represented by union counsel Jeffrey Kessler, as well as David Boies who was part of the NFL's legal team in the anti-trust suit filed against them by the players, one that included Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the list of plaintiffs. Kessler and Boies declined to comment on which players would be named as plaintiffs in the anti-trust suit. Typically the plaintiffs in such suits are among the more high-profile players, so the most likely Celtics to be named are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

While there's still a chance that the NBA and the attorneys now representing the players can work out a deal, there isn't expected to be much talk in the coming weeks about a new deal. Instead, the focus will be on the court proceedings.

NBA commissioner David Stern held no punches back in discussing his disappointment with the NBAPA's decision.

"We were very close, and the players decided to blow it up," Stern told ESPN.

Stern added, "Billy Hunter has decided to put the season in jeopardy and deprive his union members of an enormous payday."

Thomas on not getting All-Star start: 'It hurts but I’ll be all right’

Thomas on not getting All-Star start: 'It hurts but I’ll be all right’

WALTHAM, Mass. –  Isaiah Thomas stood before the media throng on Friday afternoon at the Celtics’ practice facility and answered all the questions with the usual truthful tone sprinkled with a bit of humor.
 
But you could sense that he was still bitter about the results announced by the NBA on Thursday as to who will be the starters in next month’s All-Star Game.
 
Cleveland’s LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee and Chicago’s Jimmy Butler were the frontcourt starters announced by the league. In the backcourt you will find Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who finished in a tie with Thomas in this first season in which fans, media and players all have a say in who will be the game’s starting five, as opposed to past seasons in which the starters were chosen strictly by fans.
 
DeRozan and Thomas finished in a tie under the voting system, but DeRozan moved ahead of Thomas due to a tie-breaker (fan vote), in which DeRozan had about 41,000 more votes than Thomas.
 
“It’s not the end of the world; it’s all good,” said Thomas. “I was disappointed, but those guys deserve it as well. I did everything I could in my control to put myself in position to be a starter. It’s not the end of the world.”
 
Especially knowing that the coaches will vote him on to the team for the second year in a row.
 
But for Thomas to be even in the conversation speaks to how the league’s new system of choosing All-Star starters, makes the whole choosing of starters about more than just a popularity contest, which is the irony of Thomas being left off the starting five – it ultimately came down to DeRozan receiving more votes from fans than Thomas.
 
“I didn’t really look at it. I didn’t look at what the reason was, but it is what it is,” Thomas said. “I’ll use it as motivation. I have to get better. That’s all I took out of that. I’m not where I want to be.”
 
Thomas finished fourth in fan voting for the starting nod, but was second among players and first among Eastern Conference guards among the media.
 
“I appreciate everybody who voted for me, especially you [media] guys,” Thomas said. “The media showed me some love and then my peers showed me love too.”
 
But as far as coming so close to being an All-Star starter and not making it, Thomas said, “It hurts but I’ll be alright. I’ll use it as motivation and keep going.”
 
Thomas is having a banner season that has elevated his name and game into the conversation for the league’s MVP award that so far is being led by Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
 
He averages 28.7 points per game, which is tops among Eastern Conference players and fourth overall. 

Among his more notable accomplishments this season, he scored a franchise-record 29 points in the fourth quarter of a win over Miami, and in the same game, wound up scoring a career-high 52 points.
 
Thomas isn’t the only NBA player who has had a season that most would believe would result in him being an All-Star starter.
 
“You look in the west, [Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook] averages a triple-double and he didn’t get in [to start],” Thomas said. “I guess…I’ll let everybody debate for me and argue for me. Those guys that made it who start, they deserved it.”
 

NBA reaches seven-year labor agreement with players' union

NBA reaches seven-year labor agreement with players' union

When was the last time you saw any labor contract — not just the NBA, not just pro sports, but in any business — get done before either side could opt-out, let alone the actual deadline?

That’s what happened with the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The teams had until Dec. 15 of last year to opt out, with the real deadline for a new deal being July 1 of this year. Yet the two sides reached a deal before either side even opted out.

Thursday the NBA and National Basketball Players’ Association announced that the new CBA had been signed. It’s a seven-year deal that kicks in July 1.

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