NBA Lockout Update, in an update to the ongoing NBA lockout, players Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant have filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the league on Tuesday in at least two states, moving pro basketball’s labor dispute from the negotiating table to federal court.
Attorney David Boies, who represented the NFL during that sport’s work stoppage and now has been brought aboard by basketball’s players, said the lockout violates antitrust laws by refusing to allow players to work.
Boies also said Commissioner David Stern’s ultimatum to the now-disbanded union to accept the owners’ last economic model or face a harsher proposal “turned out to be a mistake” that strengthens the players’ case because it proves that the collective bargaining process had ended.
“If you’re in a poker game, and you run a bluff, and the bluff works, you’re a hero. If someone calls your bluff, you lose. I think the owners overplayed their hand,” Boies said at the players’ association headquarters. “They did a terrific job of taking a very hard line and pushing the players to make concession after concession after concession, but greed is not only a terrible thing — it’s a dangerous thing.”
Anthony and Chauncey Billups of the Knicks, NBA scoring leader Durant, rookie Kawhi Leonard and Grizzlies forward Leon Powe were listed as plaintiffs in the complaint that was filed in the Northern District of California against the NBA and the owners of its 30 teams. That case has been assigned for now to U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland, Calif.
Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver, Pistons guard Ben Gordon, free agent forward Caron Butler and Derrick Williams, the second overall draft pick by Minnesota in June who has yet to sign a rookie contract because of the lockout, were listed as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against the league and owners in Minneapolis.
Tuesday marked the 138th day since the official lockout. The NBA already has filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in New York seeking to prove the measure is legal.