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THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART: NBPA VOTE COMPLETED
Published September 8, 1995
"The results won't be known until next week, but both sides were ready to claim victory in the NBA labor fight Thursday," according to this morning's CHICAGO SUN TIMES. NBA Commissioner David Stern: "We feel the majority of the players will do the right thing. They will overwhelmingly approve the contract, which is a very good contract for everybody. Then we can get back to the business of basketball and opening our season on schedule." Agent Marc Fleisher: "We killed them in New York, and we killed them in Winston-Salem and Los Angeles, while Philadelphia was a dead heat. I hear that 12 voted in New York. I'd be surprised if (union supporters) had four votes. Patrick Ewing and Dino Radja announced publicly they voted for us. Eight voted in Los Angeles. And I feel we got seven and definitely not less than six. Most of our guys have refused to talk for fear of reprisals. So it's my hope that most players who say they are voting for the union will actually (reject the union)" (Lacy Banks, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, 9/8). MORE FROM THE TOP: NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine: "We think there has been a good strong turnout and we've operated from the assumption that the larger the turnout the better it was for the union. We feel very good about the results" (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 9/8). Michael Jordan: "If it doesn't carry then the players have spoken their mind, and that's all I ask. If the majority of the players choose to accept this deal then I'm with them, I'm with the majority, I'm with the players. As long as, two years down the road, they can live with the repercussions of what this deal is going to give them, then I'm happy" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/7). FIRST IN LITIGATION, LAST IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE: "Once again, the Twin Cities will become the sports litigation capital of the nation today when the NBA's contentious labor dispute moves into Minneapolis federal court," according to today's Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. U.S. District Judge David Doty will hear motions concerning the dissidents antitrust lawsuit and request for an injunction against the lockout, as well as the league's request to change venue from Minneapolis to New York. Weiner: "Doty is not expected to make any rulings today. Indeed, if the outcome of the players' decertification vote is to uphold the union and, in essence, support a new collective bargaining agreement, then this case probably will be dismissed" (Jay Weiner, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 9/8). PASS THE HAT: The "status of the NLRB itself could pose a problem for the NBA," according to the N.Y. TIMES. NLRB New York Regional Dir Daniel Silverman: "We have already received potential furlough notices. It means if there is no budget on Oct. 1, employees may be laid off, myself included. Our cases, basketball in particular, may be delayed by the absence of a budget" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/8). WITHER THE REFS? "Should the decertification movement be defeated, as appears likely, next on the league's cramped agenda is to negotiate a new contract with the referees," (Peter Vecsey, N.Y. POST, 9/8).