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“You can’t negotiate by yourself,” he said. “You can only negotiate if you’ve got somebody who’s willing to sit down and negotiate with you.”

The two suits _ one filed in conjunction with the players’ association in the Northern District of California and another filed in Minnesota _ likely were filed with favorable venues in mind.

The Minnesota district court has been favorable to the NFLPA during litigation dating to the 1980s. The federal court in San Francisco is under the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the most liberal of the 13 circuit courts.

The NBA already has filed a pre-emptive lawsuit in New York seeking to prove the lockout is legal and likely would push for cases to be moved there to gain the legal home court.

Though Stern has ridiculed the players’ “losing” strategy, Boies said he believes NBA players have a stronger case than NFL players did. Their decertification, he said, could have been argued as a sham because they walked out on the bargaining process before it was technically over and brought litigation. He said Stern’s actions left NBA players without options beyond seeking legal relief.

“Here you had an ultimatum from the owners that made absolutely clear that the collective bargaining process was over,” he said, adding that Stern’s threat is quoted in the lawsuit. “That’s not collective bargaining, and so you have a very distinct set of facts here.”

The California filing says that in 2007, Stern met with union negotiators and demanded the players reduce their revenue share from 57 percent to no more than 50 percent and “insisted on a much more restrictive salary cap, which would restrict the market for player services.”

Stern threatened at that meeting, according to the lawsuit, that the league was “prepared to lock out the players for two years to get everything” that the NBA owners sought and that “the deal would only get worse after the lockout.”

The league locked out its players on July 1. Tuesday marked the 138th day of the lockout and the players’ first missed paycheck. The season was scheduled to start Nov. 1, but already games through Dec. 15 have been canceled _ a total of 324 or 26 percent of the season.

The league’s latest proposal, which was rejected by the players on Monday, called for a reduced 72-game season to start Dec. 15.

Although the NFL was able to get its recent labor dispute resolved quickly enough to lose only one preseason game, the NHL lost the entire 2004-05 season, and the NBA’s last work stoppage led to a 50-game season in 1998-99.

Boies said players will not seek a preliminary injunction to lift the lockout. Because the lockout “arguably grew out of prior collective bargaining discussions,” Boies said he believes it would be very difficult to get a court to immediately halt the lockout and such a path would delay the case.

Anthony and Chauncey Billups of the Knicks, NBA scoring leader Durant, rookie Kawhi Leonard and Grizzlies forward Leon Powe were listed as plaintiffs in the complaint filed in conjunction with the players’ association in the Northern District of California against the NBA and the owners of its 30 teams. That case has been assigned for now to U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu in Oakland, Calif.

Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver, Pistons guard Ben Gordon, free agent forward Caron Butler and Derrick Williams _ the second overall draft pick by Minnesota in June who has yet to sign a rookie contract because of the lockout _ were listed as plaintiffs in another lawsuit filed against the league and owners in Minneapolis, where NFL players had some level of success in a similar court proceeding this summer.

Boies said there might be other, similar cases to those filed on behalf of NBA players in California and Minnesota. The ideal scenario, he said, would be to bring them all together in the Northern District of California.

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