NBA Players Dissolve Union, Plan Anti-Trust Suit; Season in Jeopardy

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 14: Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association speaks at a press conference after National Basketball Players Association met to discuss the current CBA offer at Westin Times Square on November 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

With dozens of players standing behind him, Billy Hunter went nuclear on the NBA Monday afternoon, saying collective bargaining had broken down irreparably and the the union had notified all 30 teams that it is dissolving. The players will now file an anti-trust suit against the NBA, jeopardizing the 2011-12 season.

"We've negotiated in good faith for over two years. .. the players just felt that they've given enough," said Hunter in describing the rationale for the move, called a "disclaimer." The union has hired David Boies, one of the nation's top litigators and the NFL's lawyer, to pursue the anti-trust case. With no union to negotiate with, the next step is up to the owners. On Sunday, David Stern said the league is likely to void all player contracts, since they are based on collective bargaining agreements.

Derek Fisher said the decision was unanimous among the players. "This is where it stops for us as a union," he said. Later, David Stern released a statement, laying the blame on Hunter. "With this irresponsible action at this late date, Billy Hunter has decided to put the season in jeopardy and deprive his membership of an enormous payday."

Deron WIlliams, in Turkey, tweeted "This is why I said we should have done this in July bc at least the process would have been underway... even over! Now possibly #NOSEASON."  Anthony Morrow added, "We're not gonna be Strong-Armed," while MarShon Brooks tweeted, "sad, sad day."

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