Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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NBA Players Reject Deal, Renew Fears Of Lost Season

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The National Basketball Association's season is looking more and more doubtful, as basketball players rejected on Monday the league's latest collective bargaining agreement.

NBA players are beginning to disband their union and say they are prepared to bring an anti-trust lawsuit in the next few days.

The union's executive director characterized the latest ultimatum from Commissioner David Stern as extremely unfair.

"We have negotiated in good faith for over two years, and we've done everything anybody could reasonably expect of us, particularly when you look at the number of givebacks and concessions," said National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter.

"This is not a strike. We've continued to want to go to work, want to get back to work, want to negotiate a fair deal, but that process has broken down," said National Basketball Players Association President Derek Fisher.

Stern, meanwhile, says union decertification is not a winning strategy and urged players to take the league's latest offer of a 50/50 income split and an abbreviated 72-game season starting in December.

That's down from the 57 percent of revenue players earned under the last collective bargaining agreement.

Meanwhile, with both sides fighting over money, businesses near Madison Square Garden that cater to Knicks fans are taking a hit.

"I know there's a lot of excitement now because the Knicks are expected to be much better that they have in the past, but any time you have 16,000 people missing from across the street, you're going to notice it a little bit," said Sean Ryan of Lucy's Cantina Royale.

"We're seeing less business, we're seeing the people, the customers less often. We're seeing the commuters less often," said Marty McMahon of The Irish Times. "But hopefully cool heads will prevail and everybody will get back to work."

Owners say they have lost hundreds of millions of dollars since the last agreement was ratified in 2005.

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