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NBA ACTION IN THE COURTROOM, AS WELL AS ON-THE-COURT
Published May 31, 1995
The NBA and LA-based Top Rank have settled lawsuits against each other as a result of Top Rank's failed bid to buy the T- Wolves and move them to New Orleans. In a statement, NBA Commissioner David Stern said New Orleans is "an attractive, viable potential home for an NBA franchise," and that Top Rank "may pursue opportunities to attempt to purchase an NBA franchise or relocate an NBA team to New Orleans" (AP/Tacoma MORNING NEWS TRIBUNE, 5/31). Today's Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE reports that yesterday's decision by the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals was a "victory" for Top Rank, since it will allow the company to pursue its LA state case against former Wolves suitor Glenn Sexton and former Wolves owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner. The ruling has no affect on Glen Taylor's ownership of the Wolves. As for Top Rank's continuing legal action, Elliot Kaplan, the NBA's Minneapolis attorney, said, "The NBA is out of it" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/31). BAD DREAM? St. Louis-based Dream Team Collectibles, Inc., has sued NBA Properties over the use of the term "Dream Team." The suit alleges the NBA "infringed on the company's trademark, which it says it began to use in 1986." The company, which makes commemorative sports items, said they applied for federal registration of the trademark in May '90, over a year before the NBA filed. The suit claims that since August '91, the NBA was "aware of the Dream Team's claim to the trademark. But in conjunction with the 1992 Olympics, the NBA began to use the trademark for its own purposes" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/26). THE WORLD ACCORDING TO M.L. Celtics Dir of Basketball Operations M.L. Carr denied "speculation around Celtics offices" that he will head a group to purchase the club. But Carr was "bullish on the NBA's earning potential." Carr: "I think pay- per-view is eventually going to come, and that's is going to open up a whole new world (of revenue). You take pay-per-view and put it with the globalization of the game and you can see how much room there is for growth. You look at the All-Star Game ... we had over 200 million people watching it around the world. Now, if you were doing that on pay-per-view at whatever number (cost), think of the money you would bring it for just that one event" (Steve Bulpett, BOSTON HERALD, 5/30).