NBA Players' Union Prepared To Decertify If League Orders Lockout

Monday's ruling in favor of NFL players who had decertified their union in response to a league-ordered lockout and who can now file antitrust complaints against the NFL was a boon to NBA players, who are likewise locked in a labor battle with their league. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the NBA union has already received permission from its members to decertify if the NBA orders a lockout on July 1 or thereafter.

The NBA has the benefit of watching the NFL's saga play out before engaging in its own war. In fact, the decertification ruling released Monday sets a federal precedent that NBA players will lean on if their own negotiations break the way the NFL's have. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals could reverse the ruling and essentially rule that despite decertification players still function as a union with regards to NFL rules. But the onus is on the NFL owners to prove that should be the case.

The NBA battle is expected to be more bitter because, unlike the NFL, some NBA teams are actually losing money under the current system. The NFL, however, has much wider revenue sharing and profit parity than the NBA does.

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