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SAGE AND SPIRIT: DEAL HAS SOME NBA AGENTS THINKING
Published August 10, 1995
"Insurgent agents greeted the latest agreement between the NBA and the players' union they tried to take over as if it had arrived on their doorsteps ticking," writes Mark Heisler in today's LOS ANGELES TIMES. "They didn't endorse the deal, but after a summer of sticking pins into the union and league leaders, they simply might not have felt like it. However, there were no ringing denunciations, either, suggesting a grudging approval." Agent Fred Slaughter: "Maybe we have a good deal here, but I said that in July, and it didn't turn out that way, so we'll see." Leonard Armato, Shaquille O'Neal's agent: "I was not in support of the old deal, but the new deal I am supportive of. I think it's a fair compromise of the forces out there and I feel my guys are protected." Agent Keith Glass: "I think it puts everybody on hold, at least. Everybody has accused everybody of having different agendas. My agenda is very clear from the first day. I need a deal that isn't going to kill my players" (Mark Heisler, L.A. TIMES, 8/10). MORE AGENT REAX: Arn Tellem: "If it turns out to be a deal that the players feel positive about, my sense is decertification will go away. On the other hand, if it's a deal players are still not happy with and don't think is fair, the players will continue to fight." Marc Fleisher: "We will be asking the league and the union to provide us with as much information as possible for our clients so they can educate themselves" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 8/10). Henry Thomas: "It's a move in the right direction. Whether it's something a majority of the players will be in favor of remains to be seen" (CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 8/10). Jimmy Sexton: "Look, we're never going to win a lot of popularity contests anyway. Our job right now is to see what's in the new agreement so we can advise our players." Mark Bartelstein: "Now the players are in a difficult position where they have to be the bad guys if they turn it down" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/10). Frank Catipano: "I'm telling my players the deal still stinks. I'll tell them, 'Here's what you get. What do you think of it?'" (Phil Sheridan, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/10). Bill Strickland: "The good thing is that there's time to look at this deal and digest it. The players didn't even have 24 hours to consider the last one. They'll look at it and decide for themselves" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/10). FROM KESSLER: Antitrust lawyer Jeffrey Kessler: "If this turned out to be a great deal for the players, we would be happy. In fact we would be proud that we had gotten a better deal for the players, but that's not the case right now. This deal is nothing but re-arranging the terms of the other deal" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/10). More Kessler: "The players who supported decertification are skeptical but open minded. We want to understand all the details before making judgements" (Roger Thurow, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/10).