They are, for now, the Lockout 13, the 13 players selected by the NBA to be listed as defendants in the class action complaint for declaratory relief filed Tuesday by the league with the United States District Court Southern District of New York.
But why those 13?
Because of union status.
And proximity to the court utilized.
Having obtained a copy of the 23-page motion, Page 6 spells out the details of why, and it has nothing to do with David Stern’s fantasy team.
Mentioned at the top of the list are Derek Fisher, Keyon Dooling, James Jones, Matt Bonner, Maurice Evans, Roger Mason, Chris Paul, Theo Ratliff and Etan Thomas. Each of the nine are officers with the National Basketball Players Association.
Listed next is Amare Stoudemire, who is noted as the union representative of the league’s only team located in New York, with it noted that Stoudemire “resides in New York, New York.”
Listed below is Mike Dunleavy, with the motion also noting that Dunleavy “resides in New York, New York.”
Listed last are a pair of 2011 draft picks, first-rounder Jimmer Fredette who “resides in Glens Falls, N.Y.” and second-round pick Charles Jenkins who “resides in Rosedale, New York.”
Lesson to future NBA players: Avoid the high taxes of New York and the chances of being mentioned in a class action complaint for declaratory relief. (Bet Donnie Walsh bypassed that factor when wooing Stoudemire last summer.)
But why not every NBA player and draft pick?
Page 8 addresses that issue:
“The class is so numerous and geographically widespread that joinder of all members is impractical. At a minimum, the class consists of over 420 players.”
The league further, on Page 9 of the document, stresses, “The representative defendants will adequately protect the interests of the class they represent.”
So 13 it is, because the complaint stresses, “separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create the risk of . . . inconsistent or varying adjudications.”
So how would it play out?
For our money, out of those 13, we’d cobble together a starting lineup of Stoudemire at center, Bonner at power forward (to spread the floor), Dunleavy at small forward and a smallish backcourt of Fredette and Paul. Stoudemire and Paul should be enough to get such a lineup into the playoffs.
If they first can make it out of the court.
And back onto the court.