Both Sides To Meet In NY Court Over Legality Of NBA Lockout

After negotiations late last week that gave fans yet another glimmer of hope that both sides could reach an agreement and not have more games cancelled, no more meetings have been scheduled for the time being. Nevertheless, is reporting that attorneys for both the NBA and the NBPA will meet today in a New York court, where a judge will rule on a motion filed by the NBPA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the NBA that sought, in part, to ensure their lockout was legal. All the juicy details are right below…

In August, the NBA filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking declarations that the lockout is legal and protected from antitrust attack. At the crux of the NBA’s lawsuit, was its belief that the NBPA was going to decertify as a union ans pursue antitrust remedies.

Arguably, the NBA’s lawsuit was a preventative measure. The NBA’s lawyers are greatly familiar with the NBPA’s lead outside counsel, Jeffrey Kessler. The two sides faced off earlier this year during the NFL lockout, with the NBA’s lawyers representing the NFL and Kessler representing the NFLPA. In fact, the two lawyer teams have an extensive history, as they have represented their respective clients in all of their labor disputes in recent years.

Thus, because Kessler quickly advised the NFLPA to decertify and filed an antitrust lawsuit in the name of Tom Brady, it arguably was not unreasonable for the NBA’s legal team to believe he would pursue the same course of action with the NBPA. However, the NBA’s legal team should have looked at the NBPA’s negotiation history to realize that the union has never disbanded (even under Kessler’s counsel) and hence, would be unlikely to do so (at least early on) during the current lockout.

In response to the NBA’s lawsuit, the NBPA filed a motion to dismiss, which will be ruled on today.

All of this is going on while we’re seeing more and more pressure coming from all sides and internally to get this lockout over and done with already. While both sides are plotting their next moves, today could have been a day to resolve their differences in a meeting instead of in a court. Of course, the only sight fans really wanted to see today is their favorite players duking it out on their court.