NBA flopping rule may go to arbitration, per report

USA TODAY Sports

The National Labor Relations Board refused to rule on the National Basketball Player's Association's case against flopping and has asked that the union takes it to an arbitrator.

The National Basketball Player's Association filed an unfair labor practices charge against the league to combat the new anti-flopping fines, but the National Labor Relations Board refused to rule on the complaint. Now, the NBPA is seeking an arbitrator to work between itself and the NBA, according to CBS Sports' Ken Berger.

In October of 2012, the NBA announced a set of punishments for faking or exaggerating official calls:

"We are now in the process of scheduling a case with our arbitrator to determine whether the NBA is allowed to unilaterally impose discipline in an area that exceeds the commissioner's authority without the consent of the union," NBPA interim executive director Ron Klempner told CBSSports.com on Tuesday. "It's a subject they need to bargain with us, and we hope that the arbitrator will find that any type of discipline must be collectively bargained."

The complaint against the NBA was filed by the ousted director of the NBPA, Billy Hunter, who said the league should not have the power to fine its players without discussing it and then earning consent from the union.

In the regular season, players were warned once after a first-time offense before being charged $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and then $30,000 for follow-up offenses. Nineteen NBA players were given warnings during the year, and five players received the initial fines. There were stricter rules without warnings during the playoffs, and eight players earned $5,000 fines in the postseason.

The NBA and NBPA could resolve the issue between themselves to avoid the need for arbitration, and Berger reports discussions are ongoing. Outgoing NBA commissioner David Stern said he was happy with how the anti-flopping rules worked to combat a growing league-wide problem.

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