Two separate groups representing NBA players filed antitrust lawsuits against the NBA yesterday—one, filed by the trade association's carefully selected legal team in California, has five plaintiffs including Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant; the other names players Ben Gordon, Anthony Tolliver, Derrick Williams and Caron Butler and was filed in Minnesota.
The document filed by the Minnesota group has been made public. The basic argument made in the pages you'll find below is that, with the union dissolved, there is no formal collective bargaining relationship between the players and the league. Accordingly, the league's rules will no longer be protected by antitrust laws.
SI's Zach Lowe predicts the players will soon seek a big payout for their losses in the hopes of reaching a settlement before they go to court:
The players will soon file a motion for summary judgment—basically a motion to win the case immediately—and ask for triple damages, or three times the amount of salary players lose during the allegedly illegal lockout. As Ken Berger of CBS Sports points out, such damages would reach beyond $2 billion in two months, the shortest time period in which the union could realistically expect to file and win such a motion over the league's opposition. In two months, we will reach the drop-dead date for the cancellation of the season.
In California, the trade association's legal team filed its own suit; we don't have the PDF yet. Both David Boies, the attorney leading the players' side, and NBPA executive director Billy Hunter were reportedly "surprised" by the players' Minnesota case, but as Lowe points out, "two potential locations" for the suit "is better than one."
With suits filed, will settlement talks follow? [The Point Forward]
You can view and download the Minnesota antitrust suit below: