NBA Lockout: NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith To Speak To NBA Players Association Thursday

The NBA lockout is at a rather pivotal point in the negotiations between the owners and players as each side is currently locked in an impasse that will soon alter the upcoming season. The NBA Players' Association will get a closer look at just what a continued lockout might lead to, though, as union president Derek Fisher has invited NFL Players' Association head DeMaurice Smith to speak to the players during a meeting in Vegas on Thursday morning.

Fisher told Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick that the reason Smith has been invited to the talks is to "help buoy the players' spirits after discussions with the owners broke down on Tuesday while also educating them on the complex issues involved in this process."

One of the reasons Smith has been invited is probably to help educate the players on the option of decertification of the union, a possibility that is currently being pushed for by agents after watching the union fail to be able to get anything solved since negotiations began.

"I asked Billy (Hunter, NBPA union president) one time, I said 'What are the negatives of decertification?' If two months from now, four months from now, we had no deal done, would it be a negative to decertify but you still talk to (the owners)?" Phoenix Suns player Jared Dudley told Amick. "It was kind of iffy on the answers. "That's something I'll bring up to him (on Thursday). He's very open to discuss that, and he needs to discuss that. He's our leader."

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the meeting and, ultimately, to see what might happen with the decertification process after the players are able to quiz Smith on the subject.

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