Lockout updates have been few and far between here at DBB (can you blame us?), but this is a big one that's worth mentioning: the players union has decided to decertify. What does this all mean? SB Nation's Andrew Sharp explains:
The reason so many observers have called this "the nuclear option" for NBA players is that it grinds any CBA progress to a screeching halt. There is no more gap to bridge; after inching closer and closer over the past few months, "disclaiming interest" and decertifying the players' union means that the players have retreated from the bargaining table completely. Now they'll regroup and attack the NBA with litigation that will take months for courts to process.
In other words, today's news means that hope for a season in 2011-2012 is suddenly far-fetched. Instead, the negotiations will move from hotel conference rooms to court rooms.
Sharp breaks down the whole situation, so I recommend you read that. (For that matter, go ahead and bookmark this StoryStream, which is updated daily with the latest on the lockout.) But the bottom line is this: basketball ain't happening soon. The players have essentially stopped talking in favor of poking David Stern with a stick, and you can sense in his statement on NBA.com that he won't bow to legal threats:
"At a bargaining session in February 2010, Jeffrey Kessler, counsel for the union, threatened that the players would abandon the collective bargaining process and start an antitrust lawsuit against our teams if they did not get a bargaining resolution that was acceptable to them.
"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. We also began a litigation in federal court in anticipation of this same bargaining tactic.
"The NBA has negotiated in good faith throughout the collective bargaining process, but -- because our revised bargaining proposal was not to its liking -- the union has decided to make good on Mr. Kessler's threat.
"There will ultimately be a new collective bargaining agreement, but the 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy."
The only saving grace? Stern has already threatened to void all player contracts if the union decertifies. Can you imagine the glorious chaos that would ensue? Sure, losing affordable assets like Greg Monroe and ... well, Greg Monroe would suck, but man, starting with a clean slate would be pretty fun, especially if Detroit's front office is truly starting to embrace Moneyball ideals. It'd be a real-life fantasy draft. I can't even wrap my head around this actually happening, but it's fun to think about, even if it cost us an entire season.