Among the arguments David Stern warned the union about when talking about decertification was this — the league would try to invalidate all existing contracts if the union decertified. That’s in the league’s pre-emptive lawsuit against the union trying to block decertification.
But can they really? Maybe the better question is, do they really want to? You think Micky Arison wants to void all the contracts of the Heat, or that Oklahoma City wants to void Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s deals? I can think of players on all 30 teams where the owners don’t want to risk voiding deals, even if they like the negotiating position.
It’s not really likely to happen anyway, according to Andrew Brandt at TrueHoop.
I would find it very unlikely that the Court would agree with the NBA’s position.
The player contracts in the NBA have guarantees that are laid out with specific language about payment even in the event of release for lack of skill, injury, etc. Unless they make explicit reference to what Stern is referring to — such as the guarantee “not applicable during a strike, lockout or other work stoppage” — I would not anticipate the Court reading that language in nor invalidating the contracts.
Good. So we can move on from this and to important things, like if the union’s “disclaimer of interest” is really a sham.