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DALLAS REPORT SAYS NBA IS CONSIDERING POST-PLAYOFF LOCKOUT
Published June 12, 1995
"The NBA owners will impose a lockout once the Finals are over if they are unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement with their players," according to officials involved in the negotiations cited in this morning's DALLAS MORNING NEWS. David Moore reports that sources around the league confirm that a "formal directive" has been issued to each club stating that a lockout will go into effect the day after the Finals. That directive also states that, while the league will conduct the draft on June 28, "all other business -- summer training camps, contract extensions and free-agent signings -- will halt." NBA Commissioner David Stern, at The Summit for Game 3, "did not deny that the league is headed for its first work stoppage." Stern: "Our teams have been fully briefed on the options available to the Labor Relations Committee if no agreement is reached by the end of the Finals. We still hope that such an agreement is obtainable and won't be commenting on the other options at this time." Neither NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine nor NBPA President Buck Williams were available for comment. Publicly, league officials remain optimistic, but privately they are "worried." Moore reports that NBA officials say the players would not agree to the owners' hard cap proposal and that the players want a larger revenue cut than the owners. One official said the players' latest proposal would increase the salary cap from $15.9M level to around $22M for '95-96 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/12). ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE: CNN's "Inside the NBA" featured the NBA's growing popularity. Magic GM Pat Williams: "It's up with the baseballs and footballs, and knocking on the doors with the big boys." CNN's Bob Lorenz noted the NBA's 3% increase in attendance, while MLB's numbers have dropped 26.2 percent. L.A. TIMES' Mark Heisler: "The bottom line is that baseball is very tough for a TV set to encompass ... Basketball is perfect." Magic Forward Horace Grant: "Baseball, what's baseball?" Kelly Carter of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: "You look at the MTV generation, they don't have the attention span to watch baseball, everybody wants everything fast paced now." Bill Walton: "The players, because of the salary cap, feel a responsibility for the overall bottom line of the product" (CNN, 6/11). INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: In it pre-Finals special last night, NBC profiled the progress of the Raptors and Grizzlies. Toronto VP/Basketball Ops Isiah Thomas: "This isn't a job for me, this isn't a career for me, this is a commitment for us to build a winning organization. ... It's the most challenging thing I've done in my life." Grizzlies VP & GM Stu Jackson: "My vision is that one day, basketball will be woven into the country of Canada" (NBC, 6/11). Greg Boeck, of USA TODAY, noting that Canada is country "Number Two": "I think David Stern really wants to go into Mexico City. If not by the 2000, shortly thereafter" (CNN, 6/11).