Powe, Billups listed as plaintiffs vs. NBA

Powe, Billups listed as plaintiffs vs. NBA
November 16, 2011, 9:51 pm
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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.