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Unpublished Paper
Summer of 2011: Should the National Basketball Player's Association Shoot or Pass on Union Decertification?
ExpressO (2011)
  • Jorge H Salazar, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
The enclosed article examines the collective bargaining negotiations between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Player's Association (NBPA), whose current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires at the end of the present season. The article first details the NBA’s labor history, highlighting past CBA negotiations. Next, the article supplies an understanding of what is at stake in the parties’ negotiations. The article then analyzes the merits of union decertification, in order to circumvent the Nonstatutory Labor Exemption, and antitrust litigation as a NBPA bargaining tactic. Finally, the article provides a recommendation as to whether the NBPA should decertify and pursue antitrust litigation. The NBA is currently enjoying historical prosperity. Last year’s NBA Finals broke previous Finals ratings records, LeBron’s ESPN offseason special “The Decision” drew almost 10 million viewers, and record breaking new season tickets sales this season evidences the NBA’s thriving health. The NBA and NBPA have to negotiate and agree to a new CBA in the near future for the NBA to continue realizing growth in popularity and economic returns. The NBA is likely to use its strongest collective bargaining weapon, a lockout, during the current negotiations. This will require the NBPA to seriously consider union decertification and antitrust litigation as a counter tactic. The enclosed article examines and provides a recommendation on this specific issue. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you for your consideration.
  • NBA,
  • National Basketball League,
  • collective bargaining,
  • union,
  • lockout,
  • decertification,
  • negotiations,
  • sports,
  • labor,
  • antitrust
Publication Date
January 24, 2011
Citation Information
Jorge H Salazar. "Summer of 2011: Should the National Basketball Player's Association Shoot or Pass on Union Decertification?" ExpressO (2011)
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