NBA lockout: Three things to note about consolidating lawsuits
1. Players consolidated lawsuits in hopes of expediting the case. After filing two antitrust lawsuits last week, in Northern California and Minnesota, NBA players amended the case Tuesday in Minnesota. This prompted NBA attorney Rick Buchanan to suggest players' attorney David Boies was simply "shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims." But Boies told reporters in New York the move would help speed up the case since the NBA now has to respond to the filing by Dec. 5. In the previous suit, the first hearing would take place in December, 2012.
2. A deal needs to be made by Friday to avoid Christmas game cancellations. The NBA has formally canceled games only through Dec. 15. But by David Stern's insistence that the league needs at least a month to prepare with a training camp and free agency period, both sides would need to reach a deal by Friday to secure games by Christmas.
3. Why isn't anyone picking up the phone? In perhaps the lowest point in the current work stoppage, neither the owners nor players have formally talked to each other since the union's disbandment last week. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on the league's insistence that it won't reach out to the players' so-called trade association until Dec. 1, in hopes that it will further break their resolve. In turn, Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridandetailed an extensive rundown with his conversation with Boies on why he remains adamant about not calling the league himself. It's possible a phone call will take place, but all this hand-wringing over such a nonissue shows how pathetic both sides are acting 144 days into the lockout.
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Photo: Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players' union, speaks during a news conference in June. Representatives for the players and owners have not met since last week. Credit: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press / June 23, 2011)