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SAGE AND SPIRIT: DEAL HAS SOME NBA AGENTS THINKING

     "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).
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