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NBPA AVERTS DECERTIFICATION -- FOR NOW; LOOKS FOR NEW DEAL
Published June 26, 1995
NBA players "waited Sunday to learn whether the league was willing to reopen talks on a labor deal that already had been agreed to in principle," according to the AP's Wendy Lane. NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine did not expect the two sides to meet before Wednesday's college draft. Gourdine: "If there is a reopening, it would be later in the week, but there's been no commitment (from the NBA) to do that. ... Enormous pressures are going to build up once the draft is completed" (AP/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/26). WEEKEND WRAP: On Friday, NBA players unhappy with the agreement the union had reached with owners agreed to delay decertification if the union would seek to reopen talks with the owners (Mult., 6/24). In Dallas, David Moore writes, "The one positive piece of news to emerge from this meeting for the owners was that the rift that threatened to fracture the union appears to have been reconciled" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/24). In Chicago, Sam Smith reported that the "rank and file" didn't like the deal, so "the bargaining will begin again with perhaps a threat to the games next fall" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/24). In L.A., Mark Heisler reported, "Even management sources agreed [that a luxury tax] would have created a 'hard' cap, making it harder for teams to fit in free agents and curtailing player movement" (L.A. TIMES, 6/26). Bob Costas questioned NBA Commissioner David Stern during coverage of the expansion draft. Asked if the league was willing to re-enter negotiations, Stern replied, "I would say we are waiting to hear (from the players). ... If there is some trading they would like to do ... that's something we are always willing to talk about, because we very much would like to make a deal" (NBC, 6/24). DE-FENSE: NBPA Exec VP Charles Smith said he was "disappointed" with the fact that so many players had signed on to decertification without having spoken to union leaders about the proposed deal. Smith: "Ninety-eight percent of the players who signed that decertification list didn't know what they were signing. I'm convinced" (Thomas Hill, N.Y. POST, 6/26). More Smith: "I'm disappointed that the players didn't see two sides of the situation, and realize that the agents were acting totally out of self-interest. The players were listening to them and not talking to us to get the real side" (David Steele, NEWSDAY, 6/26).