Worried that NBA fans could potentially subject themselves to 82 more games involving the New Jersey Nets, Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter moved to decertify the NBA Players Association in an effort to ensure that the no fan will ever have to watch the team play again.
Fisher noted that this was a grand victory for the union: "we may lose one season, we may lose more, but as long as we keep the Prudential Center free of basketball -- is that what they call what they do there? Basketball? -- we'll do anything we have to." Hunter went on to say that "not only will removing the New Jersey Nets from our collective consciousness clear our minds, we also expect New Jersey's quality of life to rise dramatically in all sectors."
"Our one goal: to ensure no basketball will be played in New Jersey ever again," Hunter added to raucous applause from the media.
This comes as a stark contrast to the union's earlier position, that regardless of how terrible and frightening Nets games have been in the past two seasons, they must sacrifice for the health of the other 29 teams in the NBA in order to give them a chance at not becoming the Nets.
But that weight became too much for the union to bear.
"Why subject you to this any longer?" Fisher said with increasing force, pointing to a screened montage of the 137 shots Johan Petro attempted from outside 16 feet in 2011. "It is our duty to protect our fans from this. It's not right. It's not humane!"
Later, as a still image of the Nets starting lineup on April 10th flashed on the screen, reading "Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Stephen Graham, Dan Gadzuric, Brook Lopez," Fisher shook his head sadly, dropped the mic, and walked offstage.
This appears to be the only system issue that the NBA and union agree on completely. David Stern released a statement through deputy commissioner and Dobby the elf impersonator Adam Silver, reading: "while we originally would have preferred to subject our fans to 82 tortuous games of Travis Outlaw again, we understand the union's position that no man, woman, child, or animal should be subject to such suffering."
"Maybe I'll learn to paint," Outlaw said to reporters outside of his Starkville, Mississippi home. "I'm just glad I can take a year off from doing nothing. Do you know how hard it is going out there, pretending to practice your shot, but never actually following through every single day?"
Stephen Graham confirmed he was unsure how hard it was.
This comes as a blow to the seven New Jersey Nets fans still in existence, who hung on to that last chance that they might one day waste four hours watching the Nets lose another excruciatingly painful Nets-Bobcats matchup.
"What am I supposed to do now? Watch the Giants and Jets? College football? College basketball? Catch up on reading? Start a new television show? Focus on my future?" said a Nets fan, known only as Waffles-Kid.
Other Nets players expressed a combination of relief and indifference. Upon hearing the news via telephone, Jordan Farmar cut off the reporter with a laugh and said, "I just won an MVP over here! I'm finally the MVP no one in America recognized. I can shoot whenever I want, I get all the credit when we win, I just won an MVP, and I'm playing in front of more fans than I ever saw in Newark. You really think the Euroleague Week 3 MVP is going to sully his reputation in America? Come on!"
Farmar then refused to answer any further questions unless the reporter began his statement with "MVP Farmar..."
A short time later, a jubilated Deron Williams went to Twitter, merely tweeting "HAHAHAHAHA" over 140 characters in 17 straight tweets, following it with "I'M FREE I'M FREE" a few minutes later. He did not answer a phone call seeking comment, though Williams changed his outgoing message to: "You've reached Deron Free Man Williams. If you're Billy King, don't even try."
King was unavailable for comment, though sources in his offices noted that he was upset, mainly due to his inability to trade Brook Lopez for Samuel Dalembert and sign him to another 6-year, $65 million contract.
His sentiments aren't shared by coach Avery Johnson, though. Johnson, with a 24-58 record after one season in New Jersey, is a long-standing supporter of the lockout, happy at any opportunity he has to avoid the Nets franchise.
"I'm so proud," Johnson declared to the one guy in the country that could stand hearing his voice. "I've just been so sick of Brook Lopez's inattentiveness to defense and obsession with reacquiring Ryan Anderson, so it comes as a nice surprise that he's not allowed to text me for an additional year. The fact that the owners and players just couldn't come together to save the season... well, it's just wonderful."
"I mean, you really need complete idiots to see how bad a lost season is for the NBA right now," Johnson added. "And thank God, we've got them!"