Last week, Caron Butler, Ben Gordon, Anthony Tolliver, and Derrick Williams filed a Class Action Complaint against the NBA and its member teams in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. At roughly the same time, another class of NBA players filed a similar lawsuit in the Northern District of California. The California lawsuit has since been dismissed without prejudice, and the Complaint filed in Minnesota has been amended to include the Plaintiffs from the California suit.
The following list displays the current class of Plaintiffs in the Minnesota lawsuit along with their respective agents.
- Carmelo Anthony – Leon Rose (CAA)
- Chauncey Billups – Andy Miller (ASM Sports)
- Caron Butler – Raymond Brothers
- Baron Davis – Bill Duffy (BDA Sports)
- Kevin Durant – Aaron Goodwin (Goodwin Sports Management)
- Ben Gordon – Raymond Brothers
- Kawhi Leonard – Brian Elfus (Impact Sports Management)
- Steve Nash – Bill Duffy (BDA Sports)
- Leon Powe – Aaron Goodwin (Goodwin Sports Management)
- Anthony Randolph – Bill Duffy (BDA Sports)
- Rajon Rondo – Bill Duffy (BDA Sports)
- Sebastian Telfair – Andy Miller (ASM Sports)
- Anthony Tolliver – Larry Fox
- Derrick Williams – Rob Pelinka (Landmark Sports Agency)
With the addition of the new Plaintiffs, there no longer appears to be a claim that all Plaintiffs are somehow tied to the state of Minnesota (other than the fact that they all travel to Minnesota in away games against the Timberwolves). My friend Marc Edelman, who I consider to be one of the leading experts on Antitrust in Sport, believes that the NBA players smartly dismissed their California Complaint in favor of joining up with the class in Minnesota. He feels that it will be easier for the class to argue market power in the Minnesota jurisdiction as opposed to the Northern District of California jurisdiction, where precedent may have worked against the players’ arguments.
NBA players will now put up a fight, in unison, in the same court that NFL players were heard within the past year. The Honorable Patrick J. Schlitz is the judge that has been randomly selected to hear the NBA case. As Michael McCann has pointed out, Judge Schlitz was a lawyer in the case concerning the Timberwolves’ attempt at relocating to New Orleans and has represented the NFL in several cases.