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HBO'S "REAL SPORTS" COMES OUT WITH SOPHOMORE EDITION
Published July 27, 1995
In a piece as current as today's news, the second installment of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" features a report on the influence of agents over their athletes. While none of the athletes profiled in James Brown's story are NBA stars, the controversy over the role of several high-profile agents in the push for decertification of the NBPA is noted in interviews of NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine and Reggie Miller by Gumbel. Gourdine tells Gumbel of the provisions in the proposed CBA which would have an "adverse financial impact" on agents, and tabs that as a key reason for their activism. Miller, on the other hand, puts the number of NBA players signing decertification notices at "more than 250," adding that it is the players, not the agents, who have stood up. Asked if the show takes a position on the role of agents in sports, HBO Sports Exec Producer Ross Greenburg said, "If we're saying anything, or advocating anything, it's that people [should] get their heads out of the sand and understand that in this world of sports agents are getting an ever-increasing amount of power." Asked about the NBA situation, James Brown expressed "amazement" at the number of veterans "leading the charge" for decertification. Brown: "So, there really must be something to it. ... I would tend to sway on the side of the players if only because of the number of veteran players who are leading this effort." ALSO: "Real Sports," which airs July 31, also examines medical practices in the NFL, profiles Phillies star Lenny Dykstra, and offers a retrospective on the career of Howard Cosell. Greenburg said that HBO is sticking to their original plan of airing four editions of "Real Sports" this year, with the hope that it will become monthly. Greenburg: "We just have to see internally whether that will work for HBO. Our vision is to really expand this franchise we are building." The next "Real Sports" will air October 31, with the fourth in December (THE DAILY).