SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

NBA CELEBRATES THE FOURTH WITH ITS FIRST-EVER WORK STOPPAGE

     Attorneys for the NBA, the NBPA and a group of players
unhappy with the terms of a proposed six-year CBA were to meet
"informally" with an NLRB hearing officer today in New York,
according to this morning's WASHINGTON POST.  Mark Asher reports,
"The three sides will attempt to agree to the ground rules for an
anticipated union vote on whether to remove, or legally
decertify, the [NBPA] as the players' collective bargaining
representative."  If the lawyers concur on ground rules, a
subsequent NLRB hearing would be unnecessary.  There are two key
issues:  1) Whether enough "disgruntled players" have shown
interest for the NLRB to schedule a vote, which is likely; and,
2) Who is eligible to vote -- with the league and dissenting
players "as many as 200 players apart," according to sources.
Another issue is method of voting -- with the league favoring an
in-person secret ballot and the players seeking a mail-in vote.
Daniel Silverman, NLRB regional director in New York, will issue
a ruling in seven to 14 days, with a vote not expected until "at
least early August" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/5).
     LOCKOUT!  The NBA locked out its players, effective at
12:01am EDT on Saturday morning.  REAX FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE --
In Atlanta, Jeffrey Denberg writes, "All winter, NBA management
and players took pride in the fact that their games went on as
scheduled while Major League Baseball and hockey lost significant
parts of their seasons because of labor disputes" (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 7/1).  In Boston, Peter May writes that the NBA,
"long regarded as the league that works, is now no different than
its other labor-scarred sports brethren" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/1).  In
Charlotte, Hornets Player Rep Kenny Gattison blamed David Falk.
Gattison:  "(Falk) gets his big guns, his clients, and uses them
as a springboard.  Whether they want to believe it or not, David
Falk used them" (Ron Green, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 7/1).  In Dallas,
David Moore writes, "A splintered union and mounting legal
attacks have led NBA owners to lock their doors for the first
time in the sport's history."  NBPA President Buck Williams:
"This seems to be the atmosphere of professional sports in the
'90s.  We just rejected a $5 billion agreement, and I think the
fans will have a difficult time sympathizing or understanding how
players reject that kind of money" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/1).
In Houston, Jody Goldstein writes that the lockout "could help
unite the players" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/1).  In L.A., Mark
Heisler notes, while a union official referred to the lockout as
the NBA's "internal business," Heisler reported the "insurgents"
reacted "angrily, suggesting counterattacks:  players who are
owed money over the summer suing to become free agents; players
cutting a separate deal with corporations now sponsoring the
NBA."  As for a new proposal, Heisler notes, "Nothing can be done
until the divided players are reunited, but early returns aren't
promising" (L.A. TIMES, 7/1).  In New York, Murray Chass referred
to the NBA as "previously untarnished by the labor conflicts that
have damaged all of the other professional sports" (N.Y. TIMES,
7/1).  Thomas Hill wrote, "The NBA lost its virginity last night"
(N.Y. POST, 7/1).  In Philadelphia, Phil Jasner asks, "Is this
any way for the league to be looking ahead to its 50th
anniversary season?" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 7/1).  In Phoenix, Lee
Shappell writes, "This now could become a lengthy process and
affect the start of the 195-96 season.  The result could be no
union and no collective bargaining"  (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 7/1).  In
Toronto, Neil Campbell noted that while the NBA will not lose
games unless the stoppage drags past November 3, the lockout is
still a "bitter blow, not only to the league's image but also to
the preparations of the Canadian expansion teams" (GLOBE & MAIL,
7/1).
     THE "DEAL" IS ON LIFE SUPPORT:  NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine
said that owners "were receptive" to player complaints on the
luxury tax, adding:  "I think it's safe to say the NBA's response
was they were prepared to [eliminate the tax], but something else
would have to change" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 7/1).  In Washington, Mark
Asher reported on what Gourdine told NBA Commissioner David Stern
"what would constitute an acceptable deal":  "Mainly, the union
wants elimination of the luxury tax and to continue virtually all
of the current salary cap system, which allows free agents to re-
sign with their with their teams without any pay raise counted
against the team's salary cap."  Gourdine was hopeful that
negotiators would reach a new deal before the August
decertification vote (WASHINGTON POST, 7/1).
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