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N.Y. DAILY NEWS SAYS NBA BOARD TO VOTE ON LOCKOUT TODAY
Published October 5, 1994
In an "exclusive" report this morning, Filip Bondy of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS reports that "NBA owners are expected to take a secret vote today at their Board of Governors meeting in New York which could authorize the lockout of NBA players before their first paychecks on Nov. 15." The league "would not confirm there would be any sort of vote on collective bargaining at today's session..., but the official agenda calls for a 'discussion' of" the collective bargaining agreement. NBA Commissioner David Stern "has already slapped a gag order on owners," and will impose a $1M fine for any leaks. Bondy: "Such an action, once unthinkable in the user-friendly NBA, is an indication of how times, and attitudes, have changed" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/5). NOT FOR ATTRIBUTION: On last night's "SportsCenter," Jackie MacMullan said a number of unnamed owners that she has spoken with "believe a lockout has become a reality." MacMullan: "If a lockout is a reality, then Charles Grantham, the Executive Director of the Players Association, may be forced to consider decertifying the union and then take the NBA to court over the antitrust laws, much in the way Gene Upshaw did in the NFL" (ESPN, 10/4). LOOKING AHEAD: Publicly, both the league and union are cautiously optimistic. Grantham: "I fully expect our talks to be adversarial, because they're being pulled by the environment of pro sports today. But we've always been different in the NBA. Over the course of three contracts, there's been no work stoppage" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/5). NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said the owners are "unified": "We want to make a deal, and all of our efforts are in that direction" (David DuPree, USA TODAY, 10/5). LOOKING NORTH: Separately today, the Board of Governors is expected to decide which divisions the Raptors and Grizzlies will play in during '95-96. According to this morning's TORONTO SUN, "it has become increasingly clear" the Raptors will recommend board that they play in the Central, while the Grizzlies "will almost certainly" go to the Midwest. Raptors VP Tom Mayenknect: "Given the balanced schedule, it does not take anything away from fans to be in one or another. We were originally leaning to the Atlantic, but in recent week's we've come to see as many advantages in the (Central). Whichever way it falls, we'll be happy campers" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 10/5). GROWLS FROM THE WEST: In this morning's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, Neil Campbell, writing from Vancouver, criticizes the NBA for imposing a season-ticket mandate on the Raptors and Grizzlies. Campbell: "To ask any expansion team to sell 15,000 season-tickets virtually a year in advance of their first game -- and almost certainly four or five years before said team will be any good -- is the height of arrogance" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/5).