But they are self-evident, Tim, if you think about it. - Tom Pennington
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one franchise to dissolve the bands which have connected them with an Association and to assume among the teams of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Sport and of Sport's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all players are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Rest Days. That to secure these rights, Leagues are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from collective bargaining agreements, - That whenever any League Office becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Players to alter or to abolish it, and to appoint a new Commissioner, laying the League's foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Health and Happiness.
When a long train of abuses and fines, shows a design to reduce the Players under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a Commissioner, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of this Franchise. The history of the present Commissioner of the NBA is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over this League. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has bent the lottery envelope of the largest city's team to secure for them the first draft pick and Patrick Ewing.
He has instituted a completely arbitrary dress code that serves no purpose other than to line the pockets of his cronies in the fashion industry.
He has locked out the Players numerous times to bleed power from the union and deny from them the compensation to which they were due.
He has overlooked the travel scandal involving his referees, responding to their egregious acts with mere slaps on the wrist.
He has exiled the best player ever, and forced him to toil for almost two full seasons for a minor league baseball team.
He has reinstated a referee that had expelled a player from an ongoing contest for nothing more than expressing his mirth.
He has overseen, and by his inaction condoned, the wagering on games of one of his referees.
He has forced a new ball up on the players without their consultation or consent.
He has allowed those owners with whom he has friendship, to move their franchises from one city to another for nothing more than capricious reasons.
He has by turns conspired to organize, and oppose, unfair collections of talent on the coasts of this great continent:
For vetoing the trade of New Orleans' point guard out of sheer belligerence.
For refusing to disclose the League's finances while engaged in meetings with the Player's Union.
For his bullying and currying favor with the professional leagues of Europe and China during the work stoppage.
He has ordered his referees to affect the outcome of playoff games in order to secure match ups suitable to his personal tastes.
He has colluded to allow rules into the collective bargaining agreement that serve to benefit large market teams to the deficit of the rest of the league.
And he has has punished and fined our honorable team for doing nothing more than providing for the continued health of our players.
We, therefore, the San Antonio Spurs, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good Teams of this Association, solemnly publish and declare that these united Franchises are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent Teams, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the League Office, and that all connection between them is and ought to be totally dissolved. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Popovich, we mutually pledge to each other the health of our Tim, our Tony and our sacred Manu.
With appreciation toward T. Jefferson and the CC.