Players, seeking relief through the National Labor Relations Board, could also decertify and file an antitrust suit as NFL players did, after which NFL owners dropped their attitude and their 18-game schedule.
On the other hand, there's Twitter, the modern challenge to union solidarity.
Shane Battier, the NBA player most likely to be elected to high office, just tweeted up a storm, begging the league to come back and talk.
Joking or not, it wasn't the united-forever image the union wants.
Of course, Battier, a free agent, wants to get past this to see if he still has a career.
Did the lockout have the impact the NBA wanted?
If media reaction meant anything, the players would have given up.
Fans were advised to "say goodbye to the short-lived new golden era" as the NBA shows "the NFL how to conduct a truly contentious labor war" that makes 1998 "look like a summer stroll."
I've thought all along Stern, the Mozart of labor relations who raised the curtain on this opera years ago, will extract what he needs from players and owners in the last act, dressed as a fat lady wearing a Viking helmet.
Maybe they miss a month.
If not, what can Stern — or I — say but ... oops!