NBA lawyers urge federal judge to reject union’s request to toss lawsuit

Is the NBA lockout legal or not under antitrust laws?

That’s the question league lawyers want a federal judge to answer — before players potentially file an antitrust lawsuit as the NFL Players Association did during football’s recent lockout.

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe, however, expressed reluctance Wednesday to wade into the NBA’s labor mess.

In oral arguments in Manhattan, NBA lawyer Jeffrey Mishkin said the NBA Player’s Association is using the possibility of an antitrust fight like “a loaded gun” on the negotiating table and urged Gardephe to reject the union’s request to toss the league’s lawsuit.

Mishkin said the NBA is seeking the court’s blessing for its actions so that the union stops threatening an antitrust fight to gain an upper hand in negotiations.

Gardephe brushed aside Mishkin’s argument, saying posturing is part of negotiations.


BOYS’ SOCCER: Lexington Christian Academy scored a goal in each half to beat Berwick Academy 2-1 at Lexington, Mass. Ian McFarland scored in the 69th minute for Berwick. Taylor Scanlon stopped four shots and Erik Wisnieski two for the Bulldogs.


SEA DOGS: The Portland Sea Dogs announced that WPEI (95.5 FM and 95.9 FM) will be the team’s new flagship radio station.

The station and its four affiliates — WEZR (1240 AM), WKTQ (1450 AM), WTME (780 AM) and WMYF (1380 AM) — will broadcast all 142 regular-season and any postseason games.


SWISS INDOORS: Roger Federer advanced to the quarterfinals and Andy Murray withdrew with an injury just before his first-round match in Basel, Switzerland.

VALENCIA OPEN: Top-seeded David Ferrer beat qualifier Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals at Valencia, Spain.


HONORS: Clint Dempsey was voted the Futbol de Primera U.S. national team player of the year award for the second time.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th goal for Real Madrid as the nine-time winners secured early passage into the knockout phase with a 2-0 victory at Lyon.

Manchester United went to the top of Group C with a 2-0 victory over Otelul Galati as Benfica dropped to second with a 1-1 draw with Basel.

Manchester City won 3-0 at Villarreal to climb to second in Group A, which is topped by Bayern Munich after beating Napoli, 3-2. Group B leader Inter Milan beat Lille, 2-1.

— From staff and news services