Despite denials from union leaders, reports continue to emerge indicating a rift on the players side of the NBA lockout negotiations. The latest report, from Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, indicates a faction of players meeting without knowledge of NBPA leaders this week to discuss some of the negotiations that have taken place thus far. And the nuclear option reportedly remains on the table.
There were two conference calls held this week -- Tuesday and Thursday -- without knowledge of NBPA officials, sources tell Y! Calls included several All-Stars. One source on calls told Y!: "We're beyond frustrated with concessions that have already been made." Here was theme: If NBPA drops below 52% on BRI, and/or remaining system issues go league's way, then this will become movement to decertify. Here was theme: If NBPA drops below 52% on BRI, and/or remaining system issues go league's way, then this will become movement to decertify.
We're so far into the game now that decertification, if carried out, would set the process back into the stone age. As we saw with the NFL, decertification is a somewhat messy process, done as a precursor to an anti-trust lawsuit.
But there's another option at play here, as well: the players need any leverage they can get and, perhaps, bluffing with the lawsuit card is an effort to gain some kind of foothold. However, the news that the meetings were conducting with the knowledge of NBPA leaders has to be a bit concerning for the players' side, and leads one to wonder what, exactly, is going on with the union at this point in the process.