If Tuesday's "bad day" of the NBA lockout talks wasn't chilling enough, consider this slice of the aftermath: two reports suggest that a collection of five major agents who collectively represent 30 percent of the league's players are planning a "coup" of the union, looking to push Billy Hunter aside and pursue a more aggressive drive against the owners.
Henry Abbott and Chris Broussard reported on ESPN.com late Tuesday that the agents -- Arn Tellem, Bill Duffy, Mark Bartelstein, Jeff Schwartz and Dan Fegan -- spoke via conference call Monday to discuss a plan to make a push toward decertification of the union. That's what the NFL's players' union did back in April in order to clear the path toward anti-trust litigation against the league. The National Basketball Players Association has to date avoided decertification, instead opting to wait on a decision from the National Labor Relations Board on an unfair business practices complaint against the league.
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reported similar information, but also quoted an anonymous agent who said the agents involved in the overthrow attempt have become "militant against the union." If that doesn't sound good, it's because it shouldn't. The agent also warns that the union's Thursday meeting in Las Vegas -- where several dozen players will be -- will get ugly as Hunter and NBPA president Derek Fisher try to deflect pressure.
Meanwhile, no one seems to know when the NLRB will produce a decision. It could be any day, and a win for the union there could give Hunter just the boost he needs right now.