NBA players will be on the bench a little longer after refusing to agree to the latest labor offer presented by owners.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the professional athletes decided to disband their union on Monday in an effort to gain leverage in contract negotiations for the league.
NBA Commissioner David Stern announced, “There will ultimately be a new collective bargaining agreement, but the 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy."
The players decided to dissolve their union after four hours of unsuccessful talks when owners handed them a take-it-or-leave-it offer, which the pros decided to leave on the table. David told the athletes that the league could come back with an even less desirable offer if they didn’t sign the latest deal.
“We’ve arrived at the conclusion that the collective bargaining process has completely broken down,” said the union’s executive director Billy Hunter. The group informed owners of their decision by issuing a "disclaimer of interest," stating that it would now become a trade organization.
The former union’s head negotiator Jeffery Kessley will continue to represent the players moving forward, as will antitrust lawyer David Boies. Both Jeffery and David have said that the professional athletes are currently weighing their option, avoiding comment on buzz that the trade organization may file an antitrust lawsuit against the owners.