It has been widely reported over the last few days that NBA commissioner David Stern has issued an ultimatum to the players that they must accept the owners' latest terms for the league’s collective bargaining by Wednesday, or risk facing a worse labor deal.
The New York Times has reportedly obtained a copy of Stern’s letter to the players' union in which he detailed the league’s ultimatum:
“Rather than simply proceeding, as we could have, to offer a less favorable proposal at this time, the N.B.A. is providing an additional period of time for the players association to consider our 50/50 proposal,” Stern wrote according to the Times. “We are hopeful that the prospect of a less favorable outcome for the players will prompt the players association to realize that the best deal that can be reached is the one the N.B.A. is prepared to make right now.”
If the players do not accept the league’s latest offer, it has been widely expected that a faction within the NBPA will attempt to decertify the union. The union would need 130 players to sign a petition calling for an official decertification vote. Some with knowledge of the situation have reported that the players are confident they have the support for such an action. The main dispute remaining in crafting the new collective bargaining agreement centers on the split of basketball-related income. The owners say their latest offer would give the players up to 51 percent of BRI, but the union has called the proposal "not acceptable."