SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

STERN WARNS OF MAGIC-PHOBIA WHILE JOHNSON IS NEWS COVER BOY

     NBA Commissioner David Stern "fired back" at players
critical of Magic Johnson's return to the NBA.  He said the only
way to eliminate their fear would be through widespread testing
for the virus that causes AIDS -- "and that would make no sense."
Stern:  "This is not Salem.  This is the NBA.  We are not going
on a witch hunt."  Stern notes some players' objections said,
"It's an issue we've confronted, we've wrestled with and it was
determined the best solution was don't test" (PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER, 2/4).
     ON THE COVER: Johnson is featured on the cover of TIME,
NEWSWEEK, and U.S. NEWS, with a focus on his dealings with HIV
(THE DAILY).  Johnson spoke with NBC's Bob Costas and commented
on other players' fears against him playing:  "I played against
the best player in the world (Jordan) and I think he walked away
alright.  If the games are not teaching them something, what else
can?" ("NBA on NBC," 2/4).
     MAGIC, PART III:  Sean Callebs on "Moneyline" reported on
the return of Magic to the NBA and his matchup against Jordan.
Callebs: "Critics wonder if the league isn't relying too heavily
on these aging stars to take it back to the future -- to a time
before trash talk and rough play tarnished the league's image
(CNN, 2/2).  In L.A., Mark Hiesler writes the '80's, "a golden
period for the NBA and one much missed in the '90's, are back, if
only for a moment, and who isn't glad to see them?" (L.A. TIMES,
2/4).  In Dallas, David Moore asks, "Does this simply represent
an unwillingness on the part of most fans to let go of the past,
or does it show a reluctance to embrace the players of Generation
X?" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/4).  Asked by Costas if anyone had
picked up his role as the NBA's "Goodwill Ambassador," Johnson
said:  "It's still sitting there. ... The Olympics will do a good
job of exposing them to the World, and then one of them, be it
Grant, Shaq, Penny, somebody will emerge" ("NBA on NBC," 2/4).
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