The players union of the National Basketball Association formally disbanded on Monday, November 14, following a breakdown in labor negotiations with the N.B.A. The players hired Boies, Schiller & Flexner for counsel on next steps; the following day, an antitrust suit was filed against the N.B.A. and its owners.
Firm Chairman David Boies released the following statement on November 14:
We have just been retained. We are assessing what legal options the players have. It is clear that the collective bargaining process has broken down and has now ended. The players have made every effort to make the collective bargaining process work. They made concession after concession, and continued for three months after the owners’ lockout to try to reach a collective bargaining agreement.
Ultimately, it became clear that the N.B.A. was not willing to negotiate its demands and in the face of the N.B.A.’s ultimatum, the players had no choice but to recognize that the collective bargaining process could not succeed.
The National Basketball Players Association has never disclaimed, and the players reached today’s decision reluctantly, but unanimously recognizing that the N.B.A. had left them with no effective choice. In light of the ending of the collective bargaining process and the Players Association disclaiming its union status, it may be that the owners will now end their boycott and negotiate team by team with individual players. If not, the players will have to assess what their legal remedies may be.
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