SBD/7/Franchises

GRIZZLIES LOOKING FOR OPEN ACCESS TO GET HOOPS ACROSS

     In comparing the two NBA expansion franchises in Canada,
VANCOUVER SUN's Mike Beamish gives the Grizzlies GM Stu Jackson
high marks for his work ethic, "skillfully courting media favor
and building goodwill" before the team begins play.  While the
Raptors have been successful in some areas, "communication
between GM Isiah Thomas and the media has sunk to a new nadir."
With Thomas having "trouble divorcing Isiah, the celebrity, from
Isiah, the General Manager," former Raptors VP of Communications
Tom Mayenknecht "was usually the one left to take the flak."  Now
with Mayenknecht in Vancouver, "the bunker mentality in Toronto
might only worsen."  According to Mayenknecht, the Grizzlies hope
"to become the most open and accessible organization in the NBA"
(VANCOUVER SUN, 3/7)....The Ontario Basketball Association (OBA)
wants to develop a portion of Downsview Air Base into an eight-
court basketball facility that would hold OBA programs and be the
Raptors training site.  Raptors President John Bitove:  "It would
be a complete centre for basketball, and it would have grassroots
connections" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 3/7).
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