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Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011

Players reject latest offer from NBA

AP

New York — NBA players rejected the league's latest offer Monday and began disbanding their union, likely jeopardizing the season.

"We're prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA," union executive director Billy Hunter said. "That's the best situation where players can get their due process."

And that's a tragedy as far as NBA commissioner David Stern is concerned.

"It looks like the 2011-12 season is really in jeopardy," Stern said in an interview on the ESPN network. "It's just a big charade. To do it now, the union is ratcheting up I guess to see if they can scare the NBA owners or something. That's not happening."

Hunter said players were not prepared to agree to Stern's ultimatum to accept the current proposal or face a worse one, saying they thought it was "extremely unfair." And they're aware what this battle might cost them.

"We understand the consequences of potentially missing the season; we understand the consequences that players could potentially face if things don't go our way, but it's a risk worth taking," said Maurice Evans, vice president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). "It's the right move to do."

But it's risky. The league already has filed a pre-emptive lawsuit seeking to prove the lockout is legal and contends that without a union that collectively bargained them, the players' guaranteed contracts could legally be voided.



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