SBD/21/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • HALL OF FAMERS LASH OUT AT "DISSIDENT GROUP"

         "Four of pro basketball's greatest all-time stars, admitting
    disgust and embarrassment over the NBA lockout, yesterday angrily
    ripped a handful of player agents as the forces behind the
    current labor impasse, calling the advisors 'outsiders' motivated
    by ego and greed," according to Fred Kerber in today's NEW YORK
    POST.  Bob Cousy, who was instrumental in establishing the NBPA
    in 1955:  "Their greedy and destructive behavior, frankly, makes
    me ashamed and I guess a bit resentful that I played a role in
    starting all of this 40 years ago.  They're threatening it, as
    far as I'm concerned, all in the name of ego and simply wanting
    more."  Dave DeBusschere:  "They're trying to allow outsiders to
    come in and to control this great game that we all helped build
    up."  Oscar Robertson:  "I don't think we can sit idly by and let
    this great game deteriorate, diminish with what's going on with
    the decertification process with players and their agents" (N.Y.
    POST, 7/21).  More DeBusschere:  "No one knows what would happen
    if the union was decertified.  There could not be a season next
    year for all we know" (NEWSDAY, 7/20).  Cousy appeared on
    "SportsCenter."  He urged the players to "go in and meet with
    Simon Gourdine, with Buck Williams, with Charles Smith, the
    officers, and go in and simply voice their objections, their
    complaints, come to some agreement as to how they want their
    offices to go back to the NBA and modify the agreement.  Do it
    within the system.  Don't leave, because the NBA has threatened
    that if there is decertification and there is not an official
    body in place to negotiate with, they're not going to have a
    season (ESPN, 7/20).
         "OUTSIDERS" RESPOND:  Agent Arn Tellem:  "I think it's
    revealing that the only players who can come forward and
    criticize have been out of basketball for 25 years."  Jeffrey
    Kessler, the antitrust lawyer representing the players seeking
    decertification:  "It is very regrettable and really ironic that
    they would mention the issue of greed, since it is widely known
    that the players association is giving a portion of its $25
    million in licensing money to the retired players.  I'm a big fan
    of some of those players.  But I have to question their motive
    here."  When asked if the retired players had coordinated their
    comments with the NBA, Dennis Coleman, Exec Dir of the National
    Basketball Retired Players Association said:  "This is none of
    Commissioner David Stern's business.  This is the business for
    the Retired Players Association and for the good of the game."
    DeBusschere:  "Our association is not involved in the collective
    bargaining process with the league or the players association.
    We're simply interested parties.  We want to protect what we've
    built" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/21).
         BE LIKE MIKE? NOT!:  In an interview with Peter May in
    yesterday's BOSTON GLOBE, former Celtic and NBPA President Tommy
    Heinsohn said he "would tell Michael Jordan that he is selfish
    and greedy, that his agent is selfish and greedy, and that he and
    his ilk aren't kidding anybody."  Heinsohn:  "Michael Jordan and
    his ilk think they are the be-all and end-all.  He's never
    bothered to find out what the union is all about.  Well, he
    should.  Because a lot of ex-players who paved the way for the
    game he is trying to rape are concerned."  Heinsohn on
    decertification:  "What these guys are doing is taking this thing
    into the Dark Ages.  If they want to go back to what it was like
    when the union wasn't recognized, well, they don't have a clue
    what they're doing.  They don't know how bad it can get.  And
    these agents are using the players as tools and foils" (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 7/20)
         FANS, MARK YOUR CALENDAR?:  "Despite a lockout that
    threatens the start of the season," the NBA released yesterday
    its '95-96 schedule "along with a press release that noted it was
    contingent upon reaching a new labor deal in 'a timely fashion'"
    (BALTIMORE SUN/AP, 7/20).
         MARKETING CHALLENGE:  Hawks President Stan Kasten:  "We
    think we have an exciting team for next season, one that with a
    few additions can be quite successful.  But try to promote it;
    try to sell tickets when you are not allowed to mention the names
    of your players.  Believe me, it isn't easy" (Jeffrey Denberg,
    ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/21).
         AND FINALLY ... Dennis Rodman was the guest on ESPN's "Up
    Close" yesterday.  On the NBA lockout:  "I think they're really
    going to ruin the game like baseball did.  This game is too rich
    and too powerful to just try and throw it out the window and just
    say forget them, we're going to let you guys suffer ... It's just
    crazy. We should just go out there and get it done, and let's
    play" ("Up Close," 7/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME: TWO SIDES ON LPGA'S MECHEM

         As the JAL Big Apple Classic takes place this weekend in New
    Rochelle, NY, the New York media has turned its attention to the
    LPGA.  Columns in today's N.Y. TIMES and N.Y. POST offer
    contrasting views on outgoing LPGA Commissioner Charles Mechem.
         N.Y. TIMES:  Mechem's view of the Ben Wright episode is
    summed up with -- "Exposure, that's what we need most." Columnist
    Robert Lipsyte calls Mechem's handling of the incident "a model
    of damage control," adding that the LPGA got "desperately needed
    ink and air time from the incident."  Lipsyte also notes Mechem's
    initial trouble with sponsors, whose assumptions made it
    impossible for him to sell a piece of the game.  Mechem: "I wish
    every male in the decision-making chain could experience the
    frustration and puzzlement I've encountered, the reality of
    discrimination that exists in women's issues" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/21)
         N.Y. POST:  Phil Mushnick's "Equal Time" column opens, "The
    1995 Reggie Jackson Award for Phoniness in the Name of Protecting
    Sports goes to Charles S. Mechem, Jr., the soon-to-retire
    commissioner of the LPGA."  Mushnick calls photo layouts of
    several players in the LPGA's "Fairway Magazine," an "absurd,
    insulting and poorly disguised attempt to promote sexuality"
    (N.Y. POST, 7/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, LPGA
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