NBA Lockout Watch, Day 42: NBPA's Billy Hunter Meets With NLRB Officials
NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter met with National Labor Relations Board officials Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the federal agency’s ongoing investigation into the union’s unfair labor practices charge it filed against the NBA. "We understand the investigation is about to end,” said Larry Katz, outside attorney for the NBPA, which filed the charge in May and is asking the NLRB to seek an injunction to end the NBA lockout that started on July 1. Katz said the purpose of Hunter’s interview with NLRB investigators was to respond to evidence the NBA presented refuting the union’s allegations that the league failed to bargain in good faith. The NBA has said the union’s charges are without merit and has filed its own charge against the NBPA, alleging the union has failed to bargain in good faith. The NBPA has said the league’s charge is without merit. Katz said the NLRB is working on a “separate track” on the NBA’s charge, which was filed earlier this month. NBA players are hopeful that the NLRB will make a decision within the next 30 days and will issue a complaint that could ultimately result in the board seeking an injunction in federal court to end the lockout, Katz said. But he acknowledged that the NLRB works on its own timetable. The NBPA has kept players and agents up to date on the ongoing NLRB investigation, according to player agent Bill Duffy. “We are in support of it and everyone is waiting to see what the ruling is,” Duffy said. He added that he had heard a decision could be made in as soon as two weeks, but Katz said that time frame was a bit ambitious.