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NBA PLAYER REPS RATIFY NEW CBA; OWNERS STEP TO THE LINE NEXT
Published September 14, 1995
At a brief meeting in Chicago yesterday, NBPA player reps voted 25-2 to approve the proposed CBA. Sacramento and Boston were the only teams voting against. NBA owners are expected to ratify the agreement by Friday (THE DAILY). CNN's Mark Morgan said the victory was "expected," but the margin "was somewhat surprising" ("Sport Tonight," 9/13). STRAIGHT FROM CHICAGO: NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine called the votes for the union and the deal "an affirmation of the union." NBPA President Buck Williams: "Lately I've been accustomed to a lot of monkey wrenches being thrown, so I wouldn't want to go on record saying there are no monkey wrenches. But I don't forsee anything." NBPA VP Charles Smith: "It's a good feeling. It's been a long time waiting. We're all pleased and happy. We know the season is going to start on time." Bulls Player Rep Steve Kerr: "Most of these meetings last two meals. We have lunch; we meet again; we have dinner. This meeting was a snack meeting." 76ers Player Rep Shawn Bradley: "Let's go to camp. I'm ready" (John Jackson, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 9/14). TO THE OWNERS FOR THE SLAM: David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that after the players voted yesterday, the NBA league office "sent the complete terms of the agreement to the owners and have asked for a telex response by 1pm Friday." 22 of the 29 owners must approve the deal for ratification by telex. If the vote is held in person on Monday, only a simple majority of 15 votes is needed to ratify. The league's lockout is expected to be lifted on Monday (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/14). NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "We could possibly get it done a bit earlier, but I think we need to take the weekend to get everyone on the same page with the new rules" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/14). DISSIN' THE DISSIDENTS: Moore also reports that the decertification and ratification votes "have been so decisive that it appears to leave the dissident group with few real options." Moore: "Those options were discussed in a conference call before Wednesday's vote. An agent who took part in the call said the tone of the group had shifted from one of confrontation to one of wanting to be recognized for helping to improve the final deal. The agent said the dissident group now wants to be included as the wording of the agreement is drawn up. He also indicated the group would like to play a role in restructuring and strengthening the union" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/14). However, the dissidents do have until Tuesday to file objections to the NLRB decertification election. Agent Bill Strickland: "What further action, if any, is yet to be determined. We're discussing our options. The players will make the decision" (Roscoe Nance, USA TODAY, 9/14). THE BATTLE OF RICHMOND: Richard Justice of the WASHINGTON POST reports Kings guard Mitch Richmond "indicated that he will pursue his unfair labor practices charge against the NBA, while also collecting signatures in an attempt to have the current union thrown out of office" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/14). Richmond: "I'm definitely disappointed there weren't more guys here to speak their case and speak their minds. We'll have more discussions and see where we go from here" (CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 9/14). CNN's Mark Morgan said Richmond's pending legal action "could throw a wrench into the process." Richmond's adviser, David Odom: "It's very simple. He wants the players to have an opportunity to vote on ratification without having to make a decision on decertification. The two issues have been tied in an attempt to push the deal through." NBPA President Buck Williams: "Mitch has to do what's in his best interest. He's a dues-paying member and he has a right to come to the meetings and voice his concerns and that's what we encourage our membership to do. If he proceeds legally, you never know what may happen, maybe another election, but in this situation, we just have to sit and wait and sort of see what happens" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/13).