I'm not typically big on conspiracy theories. Most conspiracies require a whole lot of coordination of a whole lot of moving parts and that doesn't typically work well in real life. But today, the National Basketball Players Association announced that they're rejecting the owners' offer without a full-membership vote and they're dissolving the entire union. All of a sudden I feel like Oliver Stone himself.
With 450 players' salaries and the livelihoods of countless arena workers, team employees, and other voiceless people on the line, they couldn't even put this to a vote? Instead, they band together a group of player reps, beat their collective chest, and declare that they're cutting all the players loose and pursuing a hopeless antitrust action? And they have the nerve to use the word "unanimous." The Jazz weren't even represented at the meeting.
|You can't tell me that Celtic guard|
Rajan "Urkel" Rondo doesn't
know his way around a web form.
So, what could their reasons possibly be for not at least putting it to a vote? Are they afraid of what a fair vote would do to the hardliners' agenda?
Further feeding the conspiracy theory are questions like these: Why a disclaimer of interest now instead of a vote on decertification months ago? If, as several agents claim, there is a decertification petition out there somewhere with more than 200 signatures on it, why haven't we seen it?
There have been several reports over the last few days suggesting that if the owners' latest offer were put to a full-membership vote, teams would be opening their doors tomorrow. The actions of the NBPA executive committee and player reps lead me to believe that it's probably true and that union leadership knows it so they're navigating their way around their own members. That, my friends, is beyond bad faith -- it's criminal. The players might be right to take this to court, they just have the wrong defendants.
It could be that, in my fury and disgust, my imagination is running away from me. Maybe this incredibly stupid game of chicken really is exactly what the majority of players want. Of course, a player vote would confirm that and would give union (sorry, trade association) leadership more bargaining power and greater public support. So again, why no vote??