If NBA lockout talks this week ultimately prove fruitless, players' union director Billy Hunter is prepared to disclaim interest, opening the door for an anti-trust lawsuit by players against the league, reports NBA.com's David Aldridge.
A disclaimer of interest is different than decertification in that no player petition or vote is required. (The union did poll players on whether it would support a disclaimer during the season; players consented to the move, but union leadership has yet to use it.) To disclaim interest, Hunter would simply inform the NBA by letter that the players' union is dissolved and will operate only as a trade association. A group of players would then file an anti-trust lawsuit, accusing the league of collusion and abuse of monopoly powers.
The two sides could continue to negotiate, but whether they would is a legitimate question: the league pushed back forcefully against any union attempt to sue on anti-trust grounds in a pre-emptive August lawsuit of its own.