NBA players' lawyers in Minneapolis

  • Updated: November 21, 2011 - 11:47 PM

NBA players want to play ball in Minnesota.

Well, at least their lawyers do: On Monday, they withdrew a lawsuit filed last week in Northern California and consolidated it into the class-action antitrust lawsuit they filed in Minneapolis then.

In doing so, they added the names of stars Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Steve Nash and Chauncey Billups, among others, to a lawsuit originally filed naming Timberwolves Anthony Tolliver, Derrick Williams as well as Caron Butler and Ben Gordon.

The purpose: To expedite the lawsuits and presumably force a settlement with the NBA on a new labor agreement sooner, although the two sides have not talked since last week's legal action.

The California court set a March date. The players expect the Minnesota U.S. District Court to hear the case sooner. The NBA has until Dec. 5 to respond to Monday's new filing.

The case has been assigned to Judge Patrick J. Schiltz, who recused himself from the NFL players' lawsuit last spring because he had represented the NFL as a private practice attorney.

JERRY ZGODA

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