Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
While top NBA Players Association officials were trying Thursday to establish a convincing sense of unity heading into this weekend's resumption of labor negotiations with the league, another group of players was laying the groundwork for the decertification of the union, according to sources briefed on those discussions.
At least 50 frustrated players convened on a conference call Thursday with an antitrust lawyer to discuss the ins and outs of the decertification process, sources told ESPN.com. It was the second such call this week, sources said, after a similar call Tuesday.
The most vocal player on both calls, sources said, was Boston's Paul Pierce. Those same sources identified Miami's Dwyane Wade as another vocal participant Thursday, with Orlando's Dwight Howard and Boston's Ray Allen also speaking up Tuesday.
This is the last bullet in the players' gun. Are they serious? I guess we'll find out this weekend. Talks resume on Saturday, so we'll have to see what comes out of that. And as Adrian Wojnarowski points out, the fact that this meeting was held now could put pressure on the owners.
Make no mistake, decertification is a nuclear option. This sends everything to court and you can almost certainly wipe out the NBA season. This seems to be a move that everyone hopes will push the owners past 50% of the BRI for players.
Players have given up a ton. Owners have to realize that they've backed the players into a corner all the players want to do is come out a live. And yeah, the owners want to go in for the kill, but that just means that they're going to have a huge fight on their hands. The players have given up all the ground they can, and it's time for the owners to give some too, for the sake of the sport.
And the Celtics have been front-and-center in these talks, haven't they? Pierce and KG especially. I wonder what the dyanmic will be once this is all settled. Wyc Grousbeck is a noted hawk. He's pushing as hard for these changes as anyone (reportedly). Meanwhile, Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen keep popping up pushing players to hold their ground. I'm curious to see if there's any lingering discontent after this all gets resolved.
The rest of the links:
Globe (Ryan): Players out of their league