I know good and well that every warning sign surrounding the NBA lockout is a certain sign of doom. But the news of a faction of players potentially pushing to decertify the union is a sure sign of the NBA apocalypse.
To begin, the move to decertify will have come far too late in the game. With both sides set to sit down and talk this Saturday, there a rumors of playing pursuing the decertification option should another break from negotiations occur.
To be sure Billy Hunter has misplayed his hand about as badly as a poker play that flops the nuts then slow plays his way into tilting away the pot. If decertification was ever an option then it should have been used long ago. Now that we’re officially at the point where games are being missed this move only looks to further the length of the lockout.
Let’s assumes for a second that a new CBA is agreed upon this weekend. All that means is the lawyers have to get to work in order to spell out the language of the agreement. From there the process of drafting and approval begins. In short all of the paperwork must be created and agreed upon before there is an actual deal in place.
Only after that is done can the business of basketball reopen its doors. As we all know there will be personnel moves made, draft picks signed and even some coaching situations resolved before we actually get games.
Do the quick math in your head and you might agree that we’d be looking at a month until we get to see NBA hoops.
Now, toss in a union that decertifies and then proceeds to sue the NBA and tell how much longer that timeline becomes?
Initial estimates slate a two month window for the entire decertification process to play out should the players secure the 30% approval they need.
Again, this is a move that would almost certainly end the season. Thus it is a move that should have been made months ago. Clearly the NBA learned nothing from the NFL. The NFLPA didn’t hesitate to decertify. DeMaurice Smith came in with a game plan and executed it with precision. Naturally there was plenty of second guessing but in the end the NFL was able to get back on track having missed just one preseason game.
This is not the case for Billy Hunter who has looked like MacGruber just winging it out there.
Now if in fact the players are the ones willing to takeover and push the owners into a corner then this is as drastic a move as flooding the court during Game 7 to try and get another chance at winning the title.
There is no telling what the future holds. But I can say with confidence that if the union decertifies now then we won’t have NBA hoops until much later.