Billy Hunter, the director of the National Basketball Players Association, wasted little time in responding to the NBA's Tuesday announcement it had filed both an unfair labor practices complaint and federal lawsuit against the players' union for bad faith negotiations.
"The litigation tactics of the NBA today are just another example of their bad faith bargaining and we will seek the complete dismissal of the actions as they are totally without merit," said Hunter in a statement. "The NBA Players Association has not made any decision to disclaim its role as the collective bargaining representative of the players and has been engaged in good faith bargaining with the NBA for over two years. We urge the NBA to engage with us at the bargaining table and to use more productively the short time we have left before the 2011-12 season is seriously jeopardized."
The NBA's lawsuit, filed in New York on Tuesday, alleges that the union has used the threat of what the league terms a "sham" decertification in order to file anti-trust litigation against the NBA. Because the NBPA collectively bargains with the NBA, players cannot file an anti-trust lawsuit against the league without breaking up the union. The NFL's players' union decertified at the start of that league's lockout.