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The labor agreement between the NBA and its players, which is now before the union membership for ratification, would bring the players $80M in "additional money" over the term of the five- year deal, according to the WASHINGTON POST. The players would receive an extra $50M in pension money, $28M the sale of the union logo, and 50% of profit-sharing revenue above $36M in the league's TV contracts with NBC and TNT. In addition, the players gained revised salary cap rules allowing for more player movement, "financial independence" for the NBPA, and placement of the union logo on merchandise and at events such as All-Star Weekend. In exchange, the NBA's annual draft will remain at two rounds. Also, the league can "recoup" as much as $21M of the $28M in logo fees, "if the players' share of licensing revenues reaches certain levels." NBA Commissioner David Stern declined to discuss specific terms, but he did call the give-back of the second round "part of the trading." Unchanged from last summer: Unrestricted free agency; 50-50 split of other revenues; increase of players' group licensing to $25M; rookie wage scale; increased minimum salaries (Mark Asher, WASHINGTON POST, 7/2). HOOPS NOTES: The Supreme Court has refused to revive former ABA player Joe Caldwell's antitrust suit against the now-defunct league. Caldwell had alleged the ABA conspired to keep him out of the league because of his role as head of the players association (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 7/2)....Shaquille O'Neal denied statements by his agent, Leonard Armato, that he might not have played in Atlanta if not properly insured. O'Neal: "Leonard said that; I'm not Leonard. I call the shots" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/2)...."NBC Nightly News" noted a survey shows basketball is the most dangerous sport in America, producing 694,000 injuries last year, followed by cycling, football, skiing, skating and baseball (NBC, 7/1).
MLS was the focus of positive profiles over the weekend. Average attendance was 20,883 as of last Saturday. Despite the higher than expected revenues and a salary cap, MLS Commissioner Doug Logan said they will lose a "substantial" amount of money this year and next. Logan also termed K.C., Tampa and Denver "soft cities" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/30). L.A. Galaxy GM Danny Villanueva: "I like where we're at" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/30)....Arena Football has added Fox 40 Int'l -- one of the world's largest manufacturers of whistles -- as a league sponsor. The company will be title sponsor of the AFL's "Official of the Year Award" (AFL)....The IRL and Indianapolis' National City Bank Indiana have established a special finance program to help IRL teams purchase new cars and engines in '97. The bank will loan up to 75% of the cost, with teams paying back interest only for six months (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 6/29). ....FIFA will stick with a 32-team field for the 2002 World Cup Finals, despite Japanese officials' requests to increase that number (KYODO NEWS, 6/30)....The N.Y. TIMES profiles NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, "the fastest growing race series in the country" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/2).
MLB's owners "plan to intensify their negotiations" with the MLBPA starting today in an attempt to complete a labor deal "within a week," according to Mark Maske in this morning's WASHINGTON POST. Sources close to the situation say the owners are ready for "around-the-clock bargaining sessions," but that the players are "wary" of the motives and concerned that management negotiator Randy Levin will not be able to get ownership approval for a deal. Sources said the two sides are "inching closer" on details of a taxation system (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST, 7/2). IS MURPHY LAW? If new MLB marketing chief Greg Murphy is to succeed, there are a few key areas that need to be addressed immediately, according to Terry Lefton in the latest BRANDWEEK, including the need for centralized marketing and a greater investment on marketing in terms of a higher percentage of revenues spent (BRANDWEEK, 7/1).
Today, THE DAILY presents an exclusive look at the agents representing the NBA's first round draft picks. Tomorrow: The second round (THE DAILY). NO. PLAYER AGENT/FIRM 1. Allen Iverson David Falk/FAME 2. Marcus Camby James Bryant, Tony Dutt/ProServ 3. Shareef Abdur-Rahim UNSIGNED 4. Stephon Marbury Eric Fleisher 5. Ray Allen Lee Fentress/Advantage Int'l 6. Antoine Walker David Falk, Michael Higgins/FAME 7. Lorenzen Wright UNSIGNED 8. Kerry Kittles David Falk, Michael Higgins/FAME 9. Samaki Walker Eric Rudolph 10. Erick Dampier UNSIGNED 11. Todd Fuller Richard Howell 12. Vitaly Potapenko David Bauman, Curtis Polk/FAME 13. Kobe Bryant Arn Tellem/Tellem Associates Rick Bradley/William Morris 14. Predrag Stojakovic UNSIGNED 15. Steve Nash Bill Duffy/Sports West Management 16. Tony Delk Steve Kauffman/Kauffman Sports Mgmt 17. Jermaine O'Neal Arn Tellem/Tellem Associates 18. John Wallace Eric Fleisher 19. Walter McCarty David Falk, Michael Higgins/FAME 20. Zydrunas Ilgauskas Herb Rudoy 21. Dontae' Jones Tim Jumper 22. Roy Rogers UNSIGNED 23. Efthimis Retzias Keith Glass 24. Derek Fisher Elbert Crawford 25. Martin Muursepp Bill Sweek/ProServ 26. Jerome Williams Lon Babby/Williams & Connolly 27. Brian Evans Richard Bell/Blue Chip Sports 28. Priest Lauderdale Eric Fleisher 29. Travis Knight Arn Tellem/Tellem Associates