Union rejects NBA offer, files disclaimer

Derek Fisher (above) and the NBA players' union are not willing to compromise on major issues. (John Minchillo/AP)

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The NBA Player's Association has rejected the NBA's most recent proposal. The union has elected to file a disclaimer and take the NBA to court.

The 2011-12 NBA season is now in serious jeopardy. The union has elected to dissolve and file a lawsuit against the NBA for unfair labor practices. Union president Derek Fisher and chief Billy Hunter said the disclaimer would be filed within a day or two.

Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Jason Kapono, Spencer Hawes, and Evan Turner represented the Sixers.

The union and all 30 player representatives from around the league met this morning in New York to review the NBA's latest proposal, which NBA commissioner David Stern said would be the owners' final offer before resetting the proposal back to 47 percent of basketball related income (as opposed to 50-50) and even stricter system regulations. Essentially, Stern and the NBA have said they are done negotiating: this latest proposal was the last, best proposal.

But it wasn't good enough.

The union gathered its members to take them in detail through the proposal. Today's meeting lasted approximately six hours. When the union was finished, the union leadership, surrounded by the attending players, officially announced they'd rejected the proposal and were dissolving the union and fiing a lawsuit for "unfair labor practices." The union has hired anti-trust attorney David Boies, who handled the NFL's case.

To read, in full, the proposal that the players just rejected, USA TODAY has secured a copy. If you click on this link, you can find the link to the 7-page proposal: Latest Proposal. If you'd like an easier to digest version, the NBA uploaded to YouTube this power point presentation: Snapshot of Proposal.

"It was a system under which we felt we couldn't function," explained Fisher.

Fisher also said, "We can't continue today ... this is where it stops for us as a union."

There is an outside chance Stern will come back at the union with an improved offer before the union files the disclaimer, but it's considered unlikely.

Instead of continuing to go back and forth with the NBA owners, the union has hit the nuclear button.

And put the 2011-12 season in jeopardy.

At 2:40 this afternoon, Stern went on ESPN's SportsCenter to react to the union's announcement of disclaiming and filing a lawsuit. Stern did not pull punches in his reaction to what he called a "negotiating tactic."

He called the move "irresponsible" and a "charade." Stern says disclaiming is "unwise" and is "not going to work" and that the union seems "hell bent on self-destruction."

"We're about to go into the nuclear winter of the NBA," Stern said.


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