SBD/22/Franchises

WHO'S GOING TO PAY WHEN MICHAEL JORDAN'S CONTRACT EXPIRES?

     Pacers GM Donnie Walsh said speculation that Michael
Jordan's next contract with the Bulls could be subsidized by Nike
is something that could be an area of "real concern" because it
would give the Bulls a "distinct advantage" over other teams,
according to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ
Granik said Nike could pull off such a maneuver.  Granik: "If
Nike would say to Michael Jordan, 'Listen, we don't want you to
retire.  It's better for our business if you play basketball,'
I'm not sure that's a cap issue.  It depends on where the money
is really coming from.  If it really is from the sponsor's
pocket, then it's not our business" (Melissa Isaacson, CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 1/21).
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