SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

NBA'S STERN KICKS OFF SEASON WITH PRESS CONFERENCE

     NBA Commissioner David Stern hosted the first of this year's
weekly NBA telephone press conferences yesterday.
     LEAGUE MARKETING:  Stern was asked about the success the
league has had marketing its individual stars: "There was an
enormous amount [of money] put behind our athletes by beverage
companies and athletic shoe companies. ... And number two, we
sort of moved in at a time when video and music opportunities
were extraordinary and our players, [put] to music, are really
quite something."
     LABOR UPDATE:  On the decision to play the season without a
CBA: "What we decided was that for whatever reason, there had not
been a full opportunity to explore what we think is the
possibility of a long term agreement. ... It was a better idea
for us if we could make the right kind of deal with the players
to extend the agreement for one more year, rather than draw the
line at this time."      D.C. ARENA:  On BET President Robert
Johnson's plan to privately fund the a downtown arena in
Washington, DC, Stern was asked if the NBA would approve an
expansion team for DC if Bullets owner Abe Pollin decides not to
move from suburban Maryland.  Stern called that scanrio a "long
shot, at best."  He noted that a DC expansion franchise would
have competition from many cities -- in particular, St. Louis,
Anaheim, Mexico City, Memphis (THE DAILY).
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