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NBA NO-STRIKE/NO-LOCKOUT: POST- ANNOUNCEMENT SPIN AND SLAMS
Published October 31, 1994
Several NBA columnists commented over the weekend on the NBA-NBPA no-strike/no-lockout agreement for '94-95. YEA: In New York, Harvey Araton: "The union knew that too many of its young, immature millionaires couldn't deal with a lockout. They need time to grow up, to understand what they're selling and to whom" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/30). In Washington, Johnette Howard: "The NBA, more than any other league, recognizes that its players are its product and that you do your league no good by running down your players as greedy or selfish or money hungry -- even on those occasions when it is true" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/30). In Boston, Will McDonough feels NBA players "caved in because they saw their peers in baseball and hockey lose big money and didn't want to go down the same road" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/29). BOO: NBPA Exec VP/Knicks forward Charles Smith: "I feel good about it from the standpoint that we, as players, felt we didn't want to get into the same mayhem as hockey and baseball. The downside is that we're back to square one at the end of the season" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/29). Marc Fleisher, the son of former NBPA Exec Dir Larry Fleisher, on current NBPA Exec Dir Charlie Grantham: "Charlie could have gotten this a month from now. I'd have called the bluff and put David in a p.r. nightmare of locking out the players. You can't run scared from a lockout even if you're not sure you can call a strike" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/29). Mike Lupica: "It's worth pointing out, though, that the NBA is where the NHL was one year ago. I'm not sure the NBA isn't headed for the same kind of trouble, even though Stern is portrayed as being smarter than a MENSA meeting. ... All David Stern bought the other day, with ample help from Grantham, is time" ("SportsReporters," ESPN, 10/30). ROOKIE CAP TALK: Dave D'Alessandro proposes some form of a rookie cap coupled with a 2-year opt-out clause. "If there is no cap, make it fair to the owners by basing these free-agent salaries on merit" (Bergen RECORD, 10/30). 76ers coach John Lucas on escalating rookie salaries: "We're going to have to reach a happy median where everybody is in a win-win situation. Or else we'll see the league drop in attendance because people aren't going to care anymore" (Baltimore SUN, 10/31).