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SBD/29/Leagues Governing Bodies
GRANTHAM RESPONDS TO NBA LOCKOUT TALK
Published September 29, 1994
NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham said the union will seek to put on its own games should the NBA lock out its players at or near the start of the '94-95 season in November. Grantham: "My reaction is that we'll just have to show basketball in a different way. We'll play our own games, and, hopefully, we'll get them on television. If they're preventing us from working, then that gives us the right to play elsewhere. If they, in fact, move to lock the players out, we would go elsewhere." A source within NBA management told the BOSTON HERALD that any lockout is not likely until Thanksgiving (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON HERALD, 9/28). Rudy Martzke reports that CBS college basketball announcer Billy Packer said he has let the NBPA know that "he'd like to be involved in arranging for telecasts of 'alternative games.'" Packer: "This is business, like a hundred things I'm doing. But whatever anybody says, I'm acting on behalf of Billy Packer, not CBS Sports." But CBS Sports Senior VP Rick Gentile "unequivocally" denies a report that CBS and ESPN have a deal to televise 10 charity games in case of a lockout. NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol, whose network carries the NBA: "I don't know where Billy gets the time for this. I thought he spent most of his time in airports, hanging around with bowlers and trying to find out who's more popular, him or the bowlers." NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "There is no lockout, so there is no reason to engage in any debate about the consequences of a lockout" (USA TODAY, 9/29).