No one wants to pick up the phone

It's likely I could have come up with a more newsy headline for this blog, something like "Lawyers for NBA players consolidate lawsuits," but it really seemed like the biggest piece of news coming from today's 45-minute news conference was that the lawyers for NBA players just do not feel like picking up the phone to call the NBA.

Despite anti-trust lawyer David Boies clearly stating that most suits "ought to be settled" rather than litigated, he said he wouldn't be the one reaching out first to NBA commissioner David Stern. And why not? Because he doesn't see the point in it. Boies said that since the union dissolved last week, and filed two anti-trust suits (now consolidated into one), neither side has reached out to the other. Another week of the NBA season gone.

Here are the nuts and bolts of what came out of today's conference with Boies and former union chief Billy Hunter: the players have pulled their lawsuit from California and consolidated with one of the original lawsuits filed in Minnesota. Now the players have one lawsuit on the docket. Boies said he feels this will expedite the process. He said he believed the case would receive a hearing next week because this week, with the Thanksgiving holiday, would be pushing it.

Before the news conference had even ended, the NBA responded to the news.

“We assume that Mr. Boies was not happy with either the reassignment of the case from Oakland to San Francisco or the fact that the new judge scheduled the first conference for March 2012,” said Rick Buchanan, NBA Executive Vice President and General Counsel, in a released statement.  “This is consistent with Mr. Boies’ inappropriate shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims.”

During the news conference, a reporter read this response to Boies, who basically said, "Why would I pick up the phone and call the NBA when they clearly haven't changed their position."


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