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NBA players dissolve union, plan antitrust lawsuit

League owners bite back by filing an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB

After months of bargaining, the NBA players and the league have returned to square one, jeopardizing the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) rejected the owners’ final labor agreement proposal for a 50-50 share of income. Failing to achieve results through these meetings, both parties have turned to legal means.

NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter said the union will end collective bargaining and dissolve to become a trade association, which allows it to file antitrust action against the NBA. However, NBA Commissioner David Stern responded by taking to the courtroom as well.

“In anticipation of this day, the NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board asserting that, by virtue of its continued threats, the union was not bargaining in good faith,” Stern said in a statement.

Still, Hunter said the ongoing bargaining has lasted long enough and the players, who previously received 57 percent of league revenues and have been locked out since July 1, need a better proposal.

“We have negotiated in good faith for over two years and we’ve done everything anybody could reasonably expect of us,” Hunter said. “But the players just felt that they have given enough, that the NBA was not willing or prepared to continue to negotiate.”

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