Players' Union Gets Extension To Respond To NBA Lockout Lawsuit From League

The National Basketball Players Association has been granted a 30-day extension to file a response to the NBA's federal lawsuit seeking to block decertification of the union, reports Howard Beck of the New York Times. The new deadline for the union's response is September 23, though the response could be made at any time before that.

The NBA filed its lawsuit on August 2, some 33 days after the lockout began and just one day after the two sides' first -- and to this point only -- bargaining session of the stoppage. The lawsuit alleges that the union has frequently threatened to embark on a "sham decertification" which would essentially dissolve the union and open up the NBA to anti-trust litigation. The NBA's suit also requested that if the National Labor Relations Board -- which is investigating complaints from both sides -- fails to block decertification and the union goes through with it, that the league would have legal clearance to void all existing player contracts.

The NLRB is scheduled to rule on the NBPA's complaint that the NBA has negotiated in bad faith sometime in September. That could be the reason for the deadline extension request.

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