Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski and the New York Times' Howard Beck independently reported late Thursday that as many as 50 players participated in two calls this week to discuss usurping the leadership of the players' union and filing for decertification as the NBA lockout drags on. Wojnarowski reports that Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, who has popped in to lockout talks a couple times to express support for union leaders Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter, has played a lead role in the decert push.
Paul Pierce played a prominent role on both calls, leading the charge on decertification, sources said. Participants in Thursday's call included Dwyane Wade, Jason Kidd, Blake Griffin, Al Horford, Tyson Chandler, Spencer Hawes and DeAndre Jordan, sources said.
Pierce, Wade and Kidd are the big names given their influence in the league as respected veterans. Pierce's agent is Jeff Schwartz, who was one of the seven agents pushing for decertification and warning players against quickly ratifying an agreement presented by union leadership. The agents for Wade (Henry Thomas of CAA), Kidd (Schwartz), Griffin (Sam Goldfelder of Schwartz's Excel Sports Management), Horford (Arn Tellem), Chandler (Schwartz), Hawes (Greg Lawrence of Tellem's agency) and Jordan (Lawrence) were all a part of that push. As such, it would appear -- without knowing the full list of the players on the calls -- that this new movement is closely associated with the last decertification drive.