Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NBA Tuesday - Perhaps these guys could just mediate?

Today's NBA lockout negotiations are expected to decide whether games will be lost this season and just how many. The path to sports labor peace leads to the bargaining table, not to a courthouse. Rather than a protracted court battle between owners and the players' union, nasty internal strife, not to mention no professional basketball (e.g., here in a town with the star center in his last contract year, playing in a new arena that was promised hosting an all-star game), the parties should mediate, just as the NFL did. http://bit.ly/prn2JT Last month, NBA players' union members were worried enough about the possibility of agents pushing decertification that they had DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association to speak to locked out basketballers about the pros and cons of dissolving a union, giving some background on what it was like with his players going through the lockout. http://goo.gl/ueY3p Through negotiations and judge-directed mediation sessions, footballers and owners bargained before the NFL players' union suffered any judicial setback in the Brady v. NFL antitrust case, or worse-- if they won the case. Such a loss would have crippled the union's decertification threat in the future. A union win could have prohibited teams from collaborating on contracts. http://tinyurl.com/3qn89ao Another incentive to settle the matter now is that public opinion of sports leagues has bordered on critical in recent years; though die-hard fans will endure. Avoiding the surely negative effect of these monetary disputes as early as possible (especially in this down economy) may stop harm to morale and can be achieved in a less public way though the mediation process.