Agents Deciding Whether To Proceed With NBPA Decertification
A group of powerful NBA agents will hold meetings today and tomorrow with legal experts to try to determine whether or not to proceed with an involuntary decertification of the NBPA, even though the union has disclaimed interest, sources said. An involuntary decertification of the NBPA “is still possible,” said one source close to the agents, adding that a decision may be made in the next few days. The agents are all in agreement that they want the NBPA disbanded, the question they are trying to decide is the best way to do it, said this source, as well as another close to the group of NBA player agents. These sources requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak for the group of NBA agents, who represent more than 30% of the players in the league.
Both claimed the agent group had enough votes to hold a decertification election prior to the union disclaiming interest, but neither one would provide specifics.
NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter and President Derek Fisher announced on Monday that the NBPA had disclaimed interest in representing players in collective bargaining. Yesterday, players filed two lawsuits in association with the NBPA, alleging the NBA lockout is unlawful. The disclaimer of interest disbands the union simply by giving notice to the league, whereas the involuntary decertification would require a vote of players, which could take about 45 days.
One possible advantage to holding a decertification vote is that, legal experts say, it would be more difficult for the NBA to challenge it as a sham. But there is a legal question as to whether the NBPA, by sending notice that it was disclaiming interest, had already been dissolved, which could make a decertification election moot. “What are you disbanding, if they have already disbanded?” the source close to the agents asked rhetorically.