Ray Allen: Calls Not Just About Decertifying

"On the eve of a critical labor meeting between the union and NBA owners, Ray Allen downplayed the significance of two players-only conference calls this week.

The conversations, held outside the control of Players Association leadership, led to reports that those on the calls are unhappy with the way negotiations have been handled and are pushing for union decertification. With executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher getting almost nowhere in talks with the league — even after offering to shift nearly 5 percent back to the owners in the revenue split — word is strong that those not in the room, many of the stars among them, want to get tougher with the league and are threatening to take it to court.

Allen refuted this in his characterization of the calls. The Celtics guard said teammate Paul Pierce organized the discussions, but that they were informational in nature.

"I don't think it was a case where we were trying to make a move or anything," Allen told the Herald yesterday. "This was strictly about us. I just think we all wanted to know where we stood."

Some involved in the conference calls came away with the impression that, with the lockout entering Day 128, players want to bypass seemingly stalled negotiations and fight the league in court. But Allen said that was just one of the topics broached.

"This wasn't a call to discuss a plan to decertify," he said. "We just wanted to talk about what was out there for us and what our next move could be."

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