Powe, Billups listed as plaintiffs vs. NBA

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Powe, Billups listed as plaintiffs vs. NBA

There are a couple of players with Boston Celtics connections named in one of the two (and possibly more) anti-trust lawsuits filed by NBA players against the NBA.

Former Celtics Chauncey Billups and Leon Powe were among the players listed as plaintiffs in the complaint filed in the Northern District of California against the NBA and all 30 of its owners. According to NBA.com, the case has been assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland, Calif.

Joining Billups and Powe among the list of plaintiffs in the California filing -- there was another filing made in Minnesota with a different cast of players -- are New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, rookie draft pick Kawhi Leonard and Powe.

If it seems like a rather eclectic group of players, well that's the point.

The plaintiffs have been chosen in part because they range from the perennial superstar (Anthony and Durant), to rookies-to-be like Leonard (with the San Antonio Spurs).

The lawsuits came just days after the NBA Players Association turned down the league's latest Collective Bargaining proposal, and immediately dissolved itself with a disclaimer of interest.

That transformed the NBAPA into a trade organization, which now allows the players to sue the NBA under anti-trust laws.

"Looking at this from a players standpoint, collective bargaining has totally failed," said Jeffrey Kessler, one of the attorneys who will be representing the players in their anti-trust lawsuits. "So rather than exercise their labor law rights to futility, they've decided to free up all players to assert their anti-trust rights to treble damages. We think that's the best -- not we, the players -- think that's the best protection for all NBA players going forward."

For a copy of the 27-page filing in Minnesota, one whose plaintiffs include a couple of former UConn Huskies (Caron Butler and Ben Gordon who played for Dallas and Detroit last season, respectively), here it is courtesy of Courthouse News.

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
 
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
 
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
 
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
 
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
 
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
 
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
 
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup