A lot of people have no clue what “collusion” means and why Chris Paul would have a decent case if he tried to go to court, so first let me give you the definition.
Collusion is an agreement between two or more persons, sometimes illegal and therefore secretive, to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair advantage. It is an agreement among firms to divide the market, set prices, or limit production. It can involve “wage fixing, kickbacks, or misrepresenting the independence of the relationship between the colluding parties”. In legal terms, all acts affected by collusion are considered void.
The NBA owns the Hornets. They told the GM Dell Demps he had complete autonomy in a trade of Chris Paul. When Demps got the trade he wanted David Stern nixed the deal for “Basketball Reasons”. At that point everything is fine, but when the Dan Gilbert email surfaces showing multiple “non basketball reasons” why the trade shouldn’t happen that is when a possible collusion case can be made.
Here is what Paul’s options are currently.
A source told the Daily News Tuesday that Paul could file a lawsuit “in the next couple of days” charging the NBA, which owns and runs the Hornets, with collusion and violating the league’s collective bargaining agreement. The NBA’s labor deal has an anti-collusion clause that prohibits teams from conspiring with the league to influence contracts, signings or transactions.
If he proceeds, Paul would likely seek doubled monetary damages, along with injunctive relief, meaning he would ask the court to stop the collusion immediately and allow a trade to go through to the Lakers or Clippers.
Both those teams have seen their trade efforts in recent days blocked by the NBA, which is enduring a PR nightmare involving one of its marquee players. While Paul has been practicing with a skeletal team, consisting mainly of D-League caliber players, his representatives, lawyers and officials of the NBA Players Association met for several hours Monday to discuss taking the league to court in an effort to get him out of New Orleans.
Legal experts say Paul likely wouldn’t win a collusion case since the teams agreed to allow the NBA to take over when it bought the financially troubled Hornets last winter. But he could have a case of the league interfering with him getting to the Lakers or Clippers, and hampering his ability to earn a living.
In any event, Paul could be looking to go to court to force the trade.
“If Paul filed his lawsuit, he’d do this for the leverage, because the league will not litigate this,” said Jay Krupin, an attorney for the Washington, D.C., firm of Epstein Becker Green. “The league won’t want to go to court because they’re already getting enough bad press from it. On top of the way the lockout ended, I would think they wouldn’t want to deal with it. He doesn’t have much of a case on the collusion, but he could have a case on the tortious interference claim. But there’s clearly a conflict of interest going on here.”
That final point was the one I have made several times. It isn’t about winning the case for Paul, it is about making the NBA look bad and paving his way out of New Orleans. The NBA schedule is out and I don’t think you want a disgruntled Chris Paul out on the floor. Wouldn’t it be better for the league as a whole if Paul was with Lakers or Clippers. When Celtics vs. Knicks tickets would it be great if Paul was leading one of those teams?
I think he should do it because it is clear to everyone that David Stern is drunk with power and sees himself as some sort of dictator who can’t be stop.
He needs to be stop and honestly the NBA would be better with another commissioner.