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Spurs’ Bonner cautions NHLers, says decertification “throws everything into chaos”

Nov 27, 2012, 1:27 PM EDT

Matt Bonner Getty Images

It only took two weeks after the National Basketball Players Association dissolved itself for the NBA’s lockout to end; however, San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner can’t say for certain if the union’s bold move pushed the owners to reach a season-saving deal with the players.

“I think only [NBA commissioner] David Stern and the owners can answer that. I’m sure they never would tell us,” Bonner told the Toronto Star recently. “Obviously it caused the deal to get done pretty soon thereafter. You could argue that helped the process.

“Or you could argue they had a timeline in mind anyway and were going to get a deal no matter what. Or you could argue they were going to push us to that point and squeeze us for every last drop and then cut a deal. I don’t know. They’ll never tell us.”

Despite what happened in basketball, Bonner has a word of warning for NHL players who may be considering decertification as a way to end the hockey lockout:

“It’s hard because it throws everything into chaos. It just adds a huge degree of uncertainty to the situation. It’s a tough decision for the players to make and it’s tough for the owners to deal with. That’s a possible strategy to get the owners to move, to budge.”

Bonner’s take is in line with what Canucks goalie Cory Schneider said on Monday.

“Decertification is not something you do half-heartedly,” Schneider said, as per The Province. “You can’t start to decertify in hopes that you’re going to get a deal done. If it doesn’t, you still have to push forward with it. Once the wheels are in motion, there’s no stopping. It’s a very serious decision and that’s why we’re a little reluctant to charge ahead without thinking.”

  1. stakex - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    The other thing for the players to consider when it comes to decertification is that if it doesn’t work, that is the players fail to win in court, they will have absolutely no leverage against the owners. Right now the only leverage they have this the threat of decertification.

    If they do it and the courts reject their anti-trust lawsuit, the players are dead in the water. At that point any offer they get from the owners will be far worse then the offer thats on the table now, and the season will have been lost.

  2. manchestermiracle - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Nothing else seems to be working. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  3. Jeff - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    In such chaos that his team is playing right now.

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