SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

IN FRIENDLY GATHERING, NBA & UNION AGREE TO PLAY THE SEASON

     Unlike MLB and the NHL, the NBA "displayed its viable
working relationship/partnership with the players yesterday by
reaching a temporary agreement to avoid a work stoppage."  Both
sides agreed to play the season under a no-lockout/no-strike
pledge while negotiating a new CBA (Roger Brown, FT. WORTH STAR-
TELEGRAM, 10/28).  NBA Commissioner David Stern: "The 1994-95
season through and including our finals will be played in their
entirety."  NBPA Exec Dir Charles Grantham: "Our players are very
concerned about the integrity of the game and a full and complete
championship season" (Mult., 10/28). "In a far cry from the
animosity that has pockmarked the hockey and baseball
negotiations, both men took turns acting like best friends, then
worthy adversaries" (Flip Bondy, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/28).
Hornets Player Rep Kenny Gatison: "It's just a truce.  The issues
aren't dead.  This is just a breather" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER,
10/28).
     THE SPIN:  Peter Vecsey writes, "Naturally, we knew all
along basketball wouldn't triplicate the mistake committed by
baseball and compounded by hockey. ... It was only a matter of
time running out before they came to their dollar and senses"
(BOSTON HERALD, 10/28).  In New York, Ian O'Connor writes, "This
was Stern's day, though, the day he went back to being the best
in the world at running a game" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/28).  ESPN's
Bob Ley: "The initiative for the truce came from the consummate
dealmaker, David Stern" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 10/27).  Acting
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: "The bottom line is the two sports
that are playing both have salary caps" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/28).
     PLAYERS WANT TO PLAY?  In L.A., Mark Heisler notes that
"reports surfaced that several young stars," including Shaquille
O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning, "had passed word they didn't want to
go on strike."  Leonard Armato, the agent for O'Neal and Hakeem
Olajuwon, "said he didn't see the need for a strike."  Pacer
center LaSalle Thompson: "Sam Mitchell and I were joking, that
[if] the owners locked us out, we'd sue them to let us come back
to work" (L.A. TIMES, 10/28).  For the players, "giving up the
right to strike was not conceding as much as the owners did by
taking the no-lockout pledge" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
10/28).
     PARTS OF THE DEAL:  Included was the inclusion of a "window
of opportunity" for players under contract.  Players now have
until November 8 to renegotiate or extend their deals.  After
that date, no action can be taken for the rest of the season.
Unsigned draft picks and free agents will have unlimited time to
come to terms.  Grantham did concede that he would have liked a
longer "window of opportunity" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
10/28).  Also, "as part of the peace accord," players Howard
Eisley and David Wood allowed their suit against the league
charging it maintains an "artificially" low cap to be postponed
until next summer.  Eisley agent Frank Catapano: "It's a good
thing we filed the suit.  I think it really bothered the NBA.  I
didn't think it would be that big a deal when we filed it, but
the league must have been afraid they'd lose it, because they
didn't want to go to court" (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON HERALD,
10/28).   BACK TO THE TABLE:  While yesterday's news assured the
NBA of a full season, "it did not signify a closing of the gap
between the two groups who are admittedly nowhere near an
agreement" (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/28). The salary
cap "may create an insurmountable barrier" (Murray Chass, N.Y.
TIMES, 10/28).  CNN's Mark Lorenz:  "The two sides are still far
apart on a new labor contract, but decided to put good faith
above any bad feelings that might exist" ("Sports Tonight," CNN,
10/27).  The union have said it wants to abolish the cap, but
several veteran players are open to a rookie cap.  The owners not
only want to keep the cap, but want to close the loopholes to
make it a "hard" cap.  The two sides are expected to re-divide
the licensing pie.  As of now, the players get $500,000 a year
out from merchandising of the $2.5B in expected '94 sales
(Mult.).
     THINKING AHEAD:  "While basketball fans are cheering the
decision by the league and its players to sidestep the labor muck
that has mired baseball and hockey, this could mean there will
still be no labor agreement in place by this time next year.  And
that raises the spectre of labor strife short-circuiting the
inaugural season of Canada's [two expansion franchises]" (Craig
Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 10/28).
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