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GOURDINE SAYS HE'S PLEASED WITH TURNOUT AT NBPA MEETINGS
Published August 29, 1995
The NBPA concluded its series of regional meetings yesterday in Baltimore, and union head Simon Gourdine says "he was more than pleased with the overall turnout of 99 players during the whirlwind 12 day tour," according to Richard Justice in today's WASHINGTON POST. Gourdine: "We accomplished what we set out to do. ... The groups were small enough that guys could follow up their questions with whatever was on their mind." Four players attended the Baltimore meeting: Dikembe Mutombo, Tom Gugliotta, Danny Ferry and Brent Price. Mutombo: "I think I'll vote for it. In life, you're not going to get everything you want." Gugliotta: "I feel a lot better after talking to Simon. I've been so out of touch this summer. We've got to accept the fact that we didn't get everything we wanted. But I can't see forfeiting the season or even a month of it over the differences." Gourdine: "The loyal opposition has put a lot of information out there. Some things were an easy rebuttal. Others I couldn't sugarcoat. When raises go from 30 percent to 20 percent, there are not too many things we gave up. We also think there are enough increases in revenues and a broadening of the deal that it makes sense. There are a lot of things the players should feel good about" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/29). SHAQ BACKS DEAL: Shaquille O'Neal, in a statement yesterday: "The new collective bargaining agreement may not be that great for the players, but I support it because we have to learn from what happened in baseball. We owe it to the fans, sponsors, and ourselves to not lose any of the season. Accepting the compromise is the only way to ensure doing that" (Tim Povtak, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/29). US, TOO!: Charles Barkley: "Ninety percent of the players cannot afford the strike. I'm blessed. I'm one of the other 10 percent. I don't have to work another day in my life. Realistically, I don't want to leave those other players out there. I think the deal will be accepted. We've got to try to do what's best for the majority of the players." Sixers' Jerry Stackhouse: "Everybody wants a check in November. Some guys are undecided and some guys are against it, but my gut feeling is that it's going to go through" (Joe Juliano, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/29). Former Spur Terry Cummings: "I see the union as a Rolls Royce with maybe a dent in it. You don't throw away the car because of the dent, you just fix it. ... If they decertify, they will have chaos" (Glenn Rogers, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, 8/29). Maverick Player Rep/NBPA VP Jim Jackson: "I'm a union man. There's some things [in the deal] I don't like. There's some questions I asked [during negotiations]. I feel like we gave up some things. But that's part of the negotiation process. It's give and take. I think we negotiated the best deal we could" (Brad Townsend, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/29). Raptor John Salley: "I think the deal works and I think we should support it. That's what I'm telling the players I talk to. Everybody's making money. This deal will make us partners" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 8/29). COUNT ME OUT: According to today's TORONTO STAR, Keith Jennings "is considering voting for decertification" -- a reported switch. Jennings: "Patrick and Michael and Rex Chapman are saying the deal is not as good as the NBA makes it out to be, and I'm starting to see that. They have the financial analysts and the lawyers and they've really done their homework" (Michael Clarkson, TORONTO STAR, 8/29). WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU: A number of agents remain skeptical about NBA Commissioner David Stern's vow not to play the season without a new CBA. Mark Fleisher said Stern "is completely bluffing." Bill Duffy: "If the union is decertified, then chaos would reign for a little while. But it would go to court, a settlement would be reached and the odds are great that there would be a season that starts on time" (Jake Curtis, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 8/29). YOUR CAR, SIR: NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said yesterday "that each team has been approved to send a car service to pick up players without transportation to the NLRB offices in their respective areas and, in some cases, a plane ticket to fetch them to vote." Granik: "We could have 75 percent of the players' support, but if only 25 percent vote, we'll lose" (Mike Wise, N.Y. TIMES, 8/29). Decertification balloting begins tomorrow at over 45 NLRB offices throughout the U.S. (THE DAILY).