Before crucial NBA lockout talks kicked off on Tuesday afternoon in New York City, Sam Amick of SI.com reports that officials from both the league and players' union met with the federal judge taking up the NBA's lawsuit seeking to remove decertification from the table.
The NBA sued the union in early August as negotiations remained stalled. The thrust of the league's lawsuit was to get the courts to rule that decertification by the union -- long seen as a last resort for players -- would be considered a sham. The lawsuit also requested that if the courts and National Labor Relations Board ruled that an NBPA decertification was legal, the NBA had the legal right to void all existing player contracts.
It's unclear why the judge summoned NBA and players' union officials on Tuesday. The NLRB still has not ruled on either the union's or the league's unfair labor practice complaints. The union alleged that the NBA never negotiated in good faith and planned to drag the lockout into the season to gain leverage as players began to miss paychecks. The NBA's own complaint, filed in August, had the same intention of the federal suit.