In a little more than three weeks, NBA teams are scheduled to start their training camps. In just over seven weeks, the regular season is due to tip off. But those start dates may be subject to change depending on what's announced today in the New York offices of the National Labor Relations Board.
This afternoon is when the results of voting by locked-out NBA players will determine whether a bid to decertify the union is successful, or whether the union membership instead voted to ratify the labor deal on the table.
Regardless of today's outcome, unfair labor practice complaints filed with the NLRB still could delay the start of the season. The league has filed a complaint against the agents representing the players backing decertification, and Sacramento Kings guard Mitch Richmond had filed a complaint against the league stating the NBA used threats to persuade players to vote for the union.
Both the opposition group -- led by lawyer Jeffrey Kessler and by Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing -- and the union are both claiming victory in the voting that was carried out at NLRB offices across the nation on Aug. 30 and Sept. 7.
"I think it will be a real revelation to people," said Simon Gourdine, executive director of the players union.
If the majority of NBA players vote to retain the union -- which was considered a vote for the labor deal on the table -- player representatives from 27 teams will meet in Chicago tomorrow. The deal will be formally ratified if approved by 21 player representatives.
If that carries, owners will then vote on the deal next week. Should both sides approve the agreement, the league will move to end the lockout that has been in effect since July 1.