NFLPA chief to NBA players: Dissolving union no silver bullet

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who played a leading role in negotiations that produced the league's collective bargaining agreement this summer, offered some advice to NBA players embroiled in their own work stoppage on Thursday.

USA Today reported that Smith told the basketball players that solidarity was the key to getting what they wanted. In the words of Billy Hunter -- Smith's counterpart as chief of the NBA players union -- Smith also said that decertifying as a union, which several players' agents reportedly are pressuring Hunter to do, is "not the silver bullet."

"We dispelled the notion that players were not together and they were not in support of the union. If the owners were looking for some division or break in the ranks ... that's been put to bed," Hunter told the newspaper, according to "We did not talk about decertification in terms of a strategy."

The NFLPA decertified in March before the lockout, which allowed players to file an antitrust lawsuit against the league. The two sides eventually settled their differences outside of court.

The NBA lockout is in its 77th day.

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