SBD/14/Leagues Governing Bodies

NBA NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE AS OFF- SEASON LOCKOUT LOOMS

     Representatives of the NBA and its players union met for 10
hours in New York yesterday "as the first work stoppage in league
history loomed, possibly less than 24 hours away," according to
Mark Asher in this morning's WASHINGTON POST.  The sides ended
yesterday's talks without an agreement, and a source "with ties
to the players" said that if the Finals end tonight, "it's
unlikely an agreement will have been reached."  The source did
say that a lockout could be averted by extending the no-free
agent signing, no-renegotiation moratorium that went along with
the no-strike, no-lockout deal for this season.  NBPA Exec Dir
Simon Gourdine said the talks will resume today.  NBA Deputy
Commissioner Russ Granik and two attorneys will represent the
league, as Commissioner David Stern has traveled to Houston for
Game 4.  The NBA dispute mainly concerns how the league's
revenues will be divided.  As one team exec said:  "Thank God
this one's over splitting the money, not ideology" (WASHINGTON
POST, 6/14).  In Orlando, Tim Povtak reports that the two sides
"inched closer" to an agreement yesterday and that Granik and
Gourdine have scheduled meetings for this morning to report any
progress to their respective constituents.  Magic Player Rep
Donald Royal, on reports that a lockout would commence
immediately after the Finals:  "I think that really got
everyone's attention" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/14).  The N.Y. TIMES
lists three ways the negotiations will end, according to several
league officials:  1) A summer lockout; 2) An extension of the
signing moratorium -- if there is progress;  and 3) An agreement
will be reached this week -- "but that possibility seemed highly
unlikely" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/14).
          WHY US, WHY NOW?  NBC's Bob Costas, on the timing of
     letting the possible lockout "come to light" before the
     Finals are over:  "Maybe the thinking is to not let this go
     to brinksmanship -- to bring the issue to a head in the
     offseason, rather than when the clock begins ticking like
     crazy" (USA TODAY, 6/14).  On ESPN's "Up Close," Lakers Exec
     VP of Basketball Ops Jerry West would not comment on the
     labor situation, nor answer whether the league has
     threatened teams with a "gag order."  West: "The league as a
     whole is prospering beautifully, and I think that if any of
     us -- players, management -- if we would do anything to
     inhibit this almost cult following that we have in the NBA
     today, we wouldn't be very far sighted" (ESPN, 6/13).
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