Thursday, November 3, 2011
The NBA negotiations have certainly been interesting. Now the latest news suggests that a group of 50 players could seek a decertification election if the union doesn't reach a deal soon with the NBA, or reaches a deal that gives away too much. And we're not talking about an NFL-style decert that is arguably more of a means to add antitrust pressure than anything else. Given that the NBA players have talked to an antitrust attorney, that strategy is obviously appealing to them; however, there also seems to be a genuine unhappiness with the union's negotiations. In other words, if successful (and that's still a really big if), this decertification doesn't look to be the type that will quickly be erased once a deal is reached.
In the short term, it remains to be seen what effect this news will have on negotiations. It would seem to limit the union's flexibility in negotiations if they take the decertification risk seriously. On the other hand, the NBA could be hurt by decertification, so this handcuffing could actually strengthen the union's position (think about how the debt ceiling debates and how the Tea Party Republicans hard line gave the Republican leadership leverage).