NBA Lockout: Decertification Looms In Background As League, Union Prep For Huge Meeting

Just in case you thought that the NBA lockout would get easy as the league and players' union dig in to attempt to negotiate a deal before commissioner David Stern cancels regular season games, agents have thrown some wrenches into the ordeal. After six agencies signed a letter to players warning them to carefully consider any deal that comes out of this week's talks, Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted some fear-inducing quotes from an anonymous prominent agent.

"We're not just walking off the cliff with (Billy Hunter). We're ready to take the next step and decertify. We're not going to let the league set up [Tuesday]'s meeting as a way to trap us into a bad deal."

A brief reminder since it's been a while since decertification was a hot topic: those in favor of the move need 30 percent of the union's membership to sign a petition requesting a union vote on whether to decertify, then it comes up for a majority vote. If passed, the union would dissolve, and a group of players would file anti-trust litigation against the NBA. The league has threatened -- in a federal lawsuit, mind you -- to void all existing player contracts if the union successfully decertifies.

The agents who support decertification are the very same agents who wrote the letter to players warning of a potential deal this week. Sam Amick of SI.com clarified ESPN's report on the letter, saying that the language indicates that players should not accept a deal that provides less revenue than the 52 percent that the union has already negotiated down to.

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