They have the signatures. A band of agents has had the more than 130 signatures needed from players to request the decertification of the union for most of this week, but they sat on it out of respect for the ongoing negotiations.
After watching the outcome of another round of talks, those agents and players are ready to start the process to disband the union and take the entire NBA labor negotiations into the courtroom (by filing anti-trust lawsuits). It was expected, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo tweeted it (and it has been confirmed by others since).
Several agents tell Y! Sports they have 200-plus player signatures for union decertification petition and paperwork could be filed Friday.
This is fine with union director Billy Hunter and the rest of the union leadership.
Even if the group files the petition to decertify the union with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday (essentially trying to displace Hunter), it will take likely at least 45 days (meaning after Christmas) before there is a vote to actually decertify the union. And it could be a few weeks later than that. Which means there is time to negotiate. The union actually had started this process in 1995 but signed a new deal before it ever came to a vote, and that would be the likely scenario again.
The petition would give the union some leverage they could try to bring into the negotiating room — and try to force David Stern and the owners to negotiate more and not just use their “reset” proposal. Although, frankly, the threat is fairly empty. To get a legal ruling that could go against the owners (it’s a crapshoot) would mean the loss of a couple NBA seasons and at least $4 billion in players salaries, not to mention another estimated $100 million or so in attorney’s fees. You really think that is a fight the players want to push to the end?
But the uncertainty it creates is seen as leverage. And right now, as players feel they are getting the losing end of this deal, they will do just about anything for leverage.
Michael Jordan famously wore a pair of North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform.
Now, Chicago will bring baby blue to the surface.
These are a major-departure from the Bulls’ red-and-black color scheme. Even the logo is altered.
Such deviations are becoming normalized. The Magic will wear orange. Expect other teams to get more radical.
These jerseys will certainly sell. The short-term revenue boost of all these alternate uniforms is the entire idea.
But I wonder whether there’s a cost to teams diluting their identities. These don’t look like Chicago uniforms. It could become increasingly difficult to value the prestige of NBA jerseys if they’re so loosely associated with a team.
The Bucks making cream one of their colors? Great! It was distinctive and local, celebrating the cream-colored bricks throughout Milwaukee.
Not so great. Everything about the uniforms is fine except the words on the front of the jersey.
I’m sure nobody will crack immature jokes about those.
Charles Barkley has a history of sexist comments.
The crudest publicly came in 1990. Los Angeles Times:
Barkley, who said the remarks were meant as a joke, was quoted as saying after a tough Nov. 3 win over the underdog New Jersey Nets that “this is a game that if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids. Did you see my wife jumping up and down at the end of the game? That’s because she knew I wasn’t going to beat her.”
But since becoming beloved for his outspokenness as a commentator, there have been others – calling the Warriors’ style “little-girly basketball,” mocking the weight of female Spurs fans.
Now, Barkley has again run his mouth in this direction.
Alexi McCammond of Axios:
This was obviously inappropriate for Barkley to say. I’m not sure how else to characterize it. It doesn’t sound like a threat. It’s not related to domestic violence. It’s just not the way to speak to someone working professionally.
I’m glad he apologized, and I hope he learned from this. But history suggests he’ll continue to make off-color jokes. In fact, he’s rewarded for repeatedly pushing the line.
That might eventually get him into serious trouble. I don’t think these remarks should be the ones to spark mass outrage.
In 2011, Derrick Rose won MVP.
In 2012, Rose tore his ACL.
After playing big minutes early in his career, Rose was frequently sidelined the next few seasons. That took a toll on everyone involved. He felt the loneliness and despair of major injuries. The Bulls struggled to meet expectations with their best and highest-paid player repeatedly injured.
Eventually, Chicago traded Rose to the Knicks.
NBC Sports Chicago:
It was just a different time in the sports world, period. Now we have the term “load management.” I don’t think that I would’ve taken it as far as Kawhi, as far as like they’re really being cautious about his injury or whatever he has. But if load management would’ve been around, who knows? I probably would’ve still been a Chicago Bull by now. But it wasn’t around.
Load management was around. That term hadn’t become popularized. But teams – most notably Gregg Popovich’s Spurs – had already begun resting players throughout the season.
Then-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau just didn’t subscribe to that thinking. He wanted his best players on the court as often as possible. He had them practice long and hard to build good habits.
The science has evolved since then, but Thibodeau continued in his old-school with the Timberwolves. He just appeared stuck in his ways.
We’ll never know what would’ve happened if Chicago were more cautious with Rose. Maybe his on-court impact would’ve been lessened without all those reps. Maybe he would’ve gotten hurt, anyway.
But in this “what if?”, more focus should be on his coach than the era.