If players strike, season to end

After players' union warns that it will strike in protest of failure to uphold "Russian rule," BSL says work-stoppage will mark end of season.

Basketball hoop 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Basketball hoop 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The BSL announced on Monday that starting from Wednesday’s games – should the Israeli players’ union strike as planned – the 2010/11 season will end then and there.
The players’ union declared two weeks ago that it will call a work-stoppage as it has failed to come to an agreement with the BSL regarding the future of the “Russian rule.”
Under the rule, which has been implemented over the past five seasons, two Israeli players have to be on court at any given time during the game. The rule was copied from the Russian league in the hope of promoting local players and preventing teams from fielding five foreigners at one time.
However, with the agreement between the league and the players to come to an end after this season, and with negotiations not going as union chairman Nir Alon had planned, the players decided to call a strike for this week.
The BSL offered to change the “Russian rule” so it would include one Israeli player rather than two, while also allowing teams to use just five foreigners in a game rather than the six permitted under current regulations.
But the players turned down the offer and, after threatening the league with a strike, the BSL responded by proclaiming on Monday that if the players go ahead and fail to show up on Wednesday, that will mark of the end of the season, and the playoffs and the Final Four will not be played as scheduled.
“In light of the players’ announcement that they plan to strike while under contract with their teams and while taking into account that the ‘Russian rule’ will not change until the end of the season, the BSL announces that if a work-stoppage will go ahead on April 13, then the 2010/2011 season will end at that date,” a BSL statement read. “The BSL apologizes to basketball fans if it will have to announce that the season is over as a result of the players’ irresponsible strike, which has no public or moral justification and could cause irreparable damage to the league, basketball as a whole and of course the players themselves.”