SBD/28/Leagues Governing Bodies

STERN CONTINUES TO BANG THE DRUM; FALK, JORDAN PROFILED

     NBA Commissioner David Stern continued to take to the
airwaves over the weekend, predicting that the union will not
decertify, but promising that the season will not be played if it
does.  Stern, on NBC's halftime report during the Vikings-Chiefs
game:  "Somehow the lawyers for the players have misrepresented
to them that a court is going to come in and intrude into our
league and somehow set some playing rules that will get the
season going.  Courts don't do that" ("NFL on NBC," 8/26).  Stern
to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE:  "The vast majority [of NBPA
membership] is going to vote yes for the union and the 1995
season.  Jeffrey Kessler and Gene Upshaw are going to be rejected
for what they are -- outsiders who do not have the best interest
of basketball in mind. ... Our belief is that, if we get the
players out to vote, the deal will be approved because the vast
bulk of our players realize the league has made a conscious
effort to bridge the gulf in labor negotiations" (Eddie Sefko,
HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/27).  Stern, on GEORGE MICHAEL'S SPORTS
MACHINE:  "The theory of the agents and their attorney is that if
they threaten the NBA enough, the NBA will somehow cave and do
whatever is necessary to start the season.  We actually are
worried about not starting the season and that's why we made the
second deal. ... What we really do have here is agents and
lawyers using our players and their $700 million in promised
benefits and salaries as guinea pigs for very dubious legal
theories.  Our response is 'Hey, let's get back to work, vote yes
for your union, vote yes for this deal, vote yes to start the
'95-96 season on time, and vote yes for our fans.  They've
supported us and they shouldn't have any patience with us if we
don't start the '95-96 season on time'" ("Sports Machine," 8/27).
     EQUAL TIME:  Dissident attorney Jeffrey Kessler:  "These
players have decided, and this has been a player's decision, that
they are going to vote for decertification, they are going to
press this fight forward, and they believe that at the election
that is going to be held on August 30th, and September 7th, that
the union will be decertified and the player's will get their day
in court" ("NFL on NBC," NBC, 8/26).  Agent Mark Termini:  "The
deal clearly is a step backward for the players from where we
were and from what was on the table a year or two ago.  Does that
mean there isn't a lot of money out there?  No.  But this deal
has more constraints for the player. ... If players ratify this
agreement, they are making a sacrifice to avoid the unknowns that
would come with litigation."  Agent Ron Grinker:  "If what I'm
hearing is accurate, this deal is in the best interest of
basketball (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/27).
     THE "LIGHTNING ROD":  Craig Daniels profiles David Falk in
today's TORONTO SUN.  Daniels:  "If there could be such a thing
as a single man, a lightning rod, at the molten core of the NBA's
labor dispute, David Falk has become that man.  And equally true
is a corollary:  no matter the outcome of the vote on Wednesday
and Sept. 7 -- the one that will ratify the new collective
agreement or scuttle the union all together -- the NBA labor
dispute has finally shown Falk to be the most powerful man in
professional basketball after NBA commissioner David Stern.  If
the union is decertified and the coming NBA season is brought to
its knees, there are those around the league who suggest even
that qualification may not be necessary."  Falk:  "If I wanted to
win a popularity contest, I could have taken a very neutral role
in this thing.  I think a lot of people would think I was a great
guy if I took a less active role in this process.  (But) I think
you have to make a personal decision:  do you want to do the job
your clients are hiring you and paying you substantial dollars to
perform, in which case you may engender some animosity, or do you
want to win a popularity contest?" (TORONTO SUN, 8/28).
     JORDAN, LABOR LEADER:  In yesterday's PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,
Michael Sokolove profiled Michael Jordan's role as a "militant
labor activist."  Dissident media consultant Mark Moskovitz:
"Michael understands the issues.  He understands them as well as
any agent, any of the lawyers --as well as David Stern."
Sokolove:  "Arguably, the other man most responsible for the
league's growth, besides Jordan, is not a player, but the NBA
commissioner, David Stern -- whose vision led to sports' first
salary cap in 1984 and to the global marketing of the NBA.  The
current battle pits Jordan and Stern against each other, and not
for the first time."  Agent Keith Glass:  "Something clearly
p---ed Michael off.  But I don't think it's part of any beef with
Stern, nor do I think it's a question of just choosing one David
(Falk or Stern) over the other."  Sokolove:  "The vote will break
down on whom players choose to believe -- Stern or Kessler -- and
which of their peers they want to follow.  For both camps, the
challenge is to use the pull of players such as Jordan without
creating a backlash by leaving the impression that the stars are
looking after their own interests" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/27).
     SENTINEL SAYS "EMBRACE THE AGREEMENT":  From an editorial in
today's ORLANDO SENTINEL:  "Basketball players should not make
the same mistake as their baseball colleagues and sour the
support of fans.  No matter how lucrative a contract players
negotiate, there is no way for them to buy the fans' enthusiasm.
... The agreement before the players is far from shabby.  It
would almost double the average salary of $1.7 million from last
season -- far from a hardship wage.  The best thing players can
do is to embrace the agreement" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/28).
     MAYBE THEY WENT TO DISNEY WORLD?:  According to Tim Povtak,
only three NBA players -- Greg Kite, Roy Hinson, and Geert
Hammink -- turned-out for Saturday's NBPA regional meeting in
Central FL (Tim Povtak, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/27).
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