Utah Jazz guard John Stockton is urging his NBA colleagues not to dissolve their players’ association.
“It solves nothing,” he said from his home in Spokane.
NBA players will vote in late August or early September on decertifying their union, a move which would strip it of its power to represent them in collective bargaining with the league.
In June, players failed to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, and owners locked them out on July 1.
Stockton is urging players to “get educated about the deal that’s on the table.
“I would tell them that decertifying guarantees nothing except games will be missed,” he said.
The NBA has said the 1995-96 season will be jeopardized if the union dissolves.
“The big promise of decertification is the creation of a totally open market for the players,” Stockton told The Salt Lake Tribune in Saturday’s editions. “But you have to be realistic. That’s not going to happen. The owners are not going to let it happen.”
Although Stockton wouldn’t mention names, he blamed some agents for the collapse of the labor deal that had been struck by NBA commissioner David Stern and union chief Simon Gourdine.
“A lot of players have been given information that is less than accurate by people they trust,” Stockton said. “And that’s scary. At least it’s scary to me.”
Stockton endorsed the scuttled agreement.
“There was give-and-take by the players, and there was give-and-take by the owners,” said Stockton, who is expected to be named to his second Olympic Dream Team today. “Then, all of a sudden, there was another entity involved, and they kind of stirred the mix.”
Stockton also has an ethical problem regarding a lockout or strike that would affect the season.
“Nobody has the right to stop the game,” he said. “Basketball was there before this group of owners and players, and it will be there after us. We just don’t have the right to mess around with it.
“The game is the most important thing. Nobody seems to remember that,” he said.
Stockton has kept busy during the lockout. He works out individually and plays pickup games at his alma mater, Gonzaga University.