SBD/3/Leagues Governing Bodies

ANOTHER SUMMER, ANOTHER LOCKOUT? NBA'S LABOR PAINS LINGER

     NBA officials "reportedly are privately talking about a
lockout this summer," according to Sam Smith of the CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, because the CBA approved by the players last September
was never signed.  Bulls Player Rep Steve Kerr, who is resigning
over the "furor":  "The league is claiming union leadership
reneged on a lot of the negotiations [former NBPA Exec Dir Simon
Gourdine] did.  No one seems to know what Simon negotiated.  To
me, it's minor details.  But I think it could get ugly.  The
whole thing is wacko.  All of a sudden our union is being led by
the law firm that tried to get the union decertified."  Smith
notes the talk, according to some "insiders," is of an August 1
lockout, "giving teams time to make free-agent deals, but then
shutting down the league again until a final agreement can be
reached" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/2).  NBA Senior VP for Legal &
Business Affairs Jeffrey Mishkin avoided talk of a lockout:  "We
have an agreement.  [The NBPA is] trying to repudiate many of the
key points.  But we plan to operate under the terms of that
agreement as we believe it to be."  Agent Bill Strickland, a
candidate to be new NBPA Exec Dir:  "It would not surprise me if
the league locked us out again.  There have been quiet whispers
for the last few weeks.  The league is trying to convince people
that the disputed points were agreed to, but I can tell you I was
very involved and there are a lot that weren't.  Based on the
information I have, there is no agreement."  Union attorney
Jeffrey Kessler, who took over negotiations on the details of the
new CBA after the ouster of Gourdine, does not believe the league
has the "legal standing" to institute a lockout.  Kessler:  "Both
sides agree there is a document.  We disagree on the terms."  In
Boston, Peter May notes the deadline is July 1, when the
"floodgates will open" for free agents and new deals (BOSTON
GLOBE, 6/2).
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