As expected, the NBA players' union rejected the league's latest proposal and would begin the decertification process that could spell doom for the 2011-12 NBA season. Players' association president Derek Fisher said that the decision was unanimous.
"This is the best decision for the players," Fisher said. "I want to reiterate that point, that a lot of individual players have a lot of things personally at stake in terms of their careers and where they stand. And right now they feel it's important -- we all feel it's important to all our players, not just the ones in this room, but our entire group -- that we not only try to get a deal done for today but for the body of NBA players that will come into this league over the next decade and beyond."
Its an unfortunate turn of events as both sides appeared to be much closer to a deal than they actually were. Both sides have lost millions to the NBA lockout and will lose more. I can't help but feel that the union is behind the eight ball still as they have bungled this process from the beginning and this decertification route is an attempt to recoup some of the losses they have suffered in negotiations thus far.
What does this mean for the league? It means that the union will dissolve and the players will begin filing antitrust lawsuits against the NBA. David Stern has issued threats throughout the negotiations that if the players went the decertification route that the league would terminate all player contracts. It appears that this time we will get the opportunity to see if Stern makes good on his threat.