SBD/1/Leagues Governing Bodies

DOES NBA HAVE REASON FOR OPTIMISM AFTER DAY ONE OF VOTING?

     "Barring an astonishing turn in voting next week, it will be
business as usual for the NBA this season," writes Jeffrey
Denberg in today's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  Players yesterday voted
"strongly in favor of retaining the NBA Players Association as
their labor representative."  Denberg reports that estimates are
that "as many as 200 players" -- half the membership -- voted at
47 NLRB offices across the country.  In Atlanta, 17 of 30 players
registered to vote did so.  Jon Koncak:  "It was a very good
turnout and I believe it was strongly pro-agreement.  Things
apparently went well, and it looks like we're in business."  Joe
Kleine:  "I think it'll pass, but I don't think it's going to be
a slam dunk, either" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/1).  "If hearing is
believing, then it doesn't look good for the move to decertify
the NBA players' union," writes Lacy Banks in today's CHICAGO
SUN-TIMES.  Banks adds, "Just about all who revealed how they
voted said they voted for the contract, suggesting the pro-union
and pro-contract players are on their way to a landslide win.
The dissidents, however, believe otherwise."  Pro-decert agent
Marc Fleisher:  "From what I hear, it's an exceedingly close
election and we think we are slightly up.  You must realize,
also, that our most fervent supporters like Michael Jordan and
Patrick Ewing - they haven't even voted yet because they were
traveling.  We believe they'll step forward next Thursday"
(CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/1).  "The proponents and opponents of the
proposed six-year NBA labor contract agreed on one -- and only
one --point yesterday":  the turnout in was "heavy," according to
Mark Asher in today's WASHINGTON POST.  Gourdine and NBA Deputy
Commissioner Russ Granik "said the brisk turnout favored
ratification of the contract and the end to a league-imposed
lockout that entered its third month today." Granik:  "Our
reading going in was that a vast majority favored the deal.  If
you look at the press reports, a third to half of the players
didn't want to reveal how they voted.  Of those who did reveal
it, about three-quarters said they voted for the deal"
(WASHINGTON POST, 9/1).
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