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SBD/Issue 57/Leagues & Governing Bodies
NBPA Files Unfair Labor Charges For Ball, Behavior Policy
Published December 4, 2006
|Hunter Says New Basketball
Cutting Hands Of Players Like Kidd
BALL CAUSING CUTS: Hunter said that several players Shave told him the ball causes hand injuries.” Hunter: “They tell me when they handle the ball, it cuts their hands. Paper cuts. [Nets G] Jason Kidd told me he gets cuts every night.” Hunter added players “think zero tolerance is something to straitjacket them. ... I wonder if it’s an effort to move toward a system similar to the NFL where they brand the team rather than the player” (USA TODAY, 12/4). The AP’s Brian Mahoney reported while players are adjusting to the new ball, they are “having a much harder time with the crackdown on reactions after the whistle.” Through 225 games this season, there have been 175 unsportsmanlike technical foul calls, up from 120 through the same period last year. However, the total is “on par with the amount from two years ago” (AP, 12/1).
|Does New Conduct Policy Qualify
As Unfair Labor Practice?
COLUMNIST REAX: ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan wrote players complaining about the ball is a “good fight,” as there is “no language in the [CBA] dealing with the question of the type of ball used in NBA games.” However, Hunter “did himself a disservice here by lumping this battle in with the other battle over technical fouls. ... It’ll be a tough sell for them to make the case that the rules have been substantially changed to such a degree that it’s an unfair labor practice. The statistical evidence doesn’t back up their argument.” Sheridan: “One is a legitimate beef. The other is not” (ESPN.com, 12/1). In Houston, Jonathan Feigen wrote, “One would think the [NLRB] would have more important things to worry about than technical free throws or if the ball is slippery. ... But the NBA brought this on itself with its dismissive and belittling treatment of the players” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/3). In L.A., Mark Heisler wrote the claims amount “to a nuisance suit. The question is why [Stern], committed to showing ‘our players’ in their best light in his prized ‘NBA Cares’ campaign, keeps finding himself in long-running arguments with his players that undermine or cancel out the entire initiative” (L.A. TIMES, 12/3).