NBA Lockout: As 5 P.M. Deadline Looms, Players Association Ready To Decertify

The NBA Lockout negotiations have reached a tipping point, and as Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline looms in the distance, NBA players are ready to decertify the players' union should things go bad.

As Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe reports on Twitter, "Source says agents, players ready to go on decertification in 24 hrs if things go badly today. Also will watch to see if Hunter disclaims." This isn't to say decertification is a sure thing, but it's certainly prospect that hangs over everything else that's being discussed by both sides this afternoon. Whether the players move to decertify in 24 hours is still speculation, but both the players and owners know that they might.

A move toward decertification would allow the NBA players to file a class action lawsuit against the NBA, a labrynthine legal process that would take months to entangle. In other words, if the players go that route, it will effectively mean canceling the 2011-12 regular season. And if Lowe's source is to be believed, there's a very real possibility that decertification happens if Wednesday's negotiations fail to yield a deal.

If they fail to get a deal, the fight over collective bargaining could turn chaotic quick. Or, both sides could broker a deal Wednesday, and the season will start immediately.

Those are the stakes, and all we can do is sit back and hope for the best. How U?

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