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The Heat's Alonzo Mourning blames NBA Commissioner David Stern for the team's loss of Juwan Howard during the off-season, according to Amy Shipley of the MIAMI HERALD. Speaking Saturday, Mourning said, "David Stern runs this league. ... This whole thing was a matter of him flexing his muscle the whole time, letting [Heat President Pat Riley] and [Heat Owner Micky Arison] know who was the boss." Mourning went on to say the league "animosity has built up over the past couple of years against Pat Riley and Micky Arison." Mourning: "Arison is the new guy on the block, a young owner with lots of money, and Riley has won everywhere he goes. When he left the Knicks organization, the people in New York were kind of [ticked] off" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/6).
Hartford will host the All-Star Game for the ABL, the new women's pro basketball league, on December 15 at the Civic Center. The game will be televised on SportsChannel Regional Network (ABL)....The AFL has relocated to Chicago. The office and league officials are at 75 East Wacker Drive, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60601 (AFL).
MLS is set to begin its playoff semifinals on Thursday, eight days after the conclusion of the first round, which is "too much down time," according to Frank Dell'Apa of the BOSTON GLOBE. MLS is "in the midst of what should be the most suspenseful time of the season. ... But instead of drama, the MLS is producing apathy." The league had to arrange stadium availability and conflicts with World Cup matches, but MLS "added to the problem by insisting on the best-of-three format." Dell'Apa notes that formula "has been rejected as impractical and superfluous by most league. Hopefully, MLS is learning why." Under the current system, some players will be playing in their fifth game in 11 days during the MLS Cup on October 20 in Foxboro, "not a formula for optimal performance." Instead, Dell'Apa recommends changing to a two-game, home-and-home series, with total goals as the first tiebreaker (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/8). REVIEWS: MLS "surprised a lot of skeptics in its freshman season with solid attendance and cash flows that exceeded projections at most of the ten teams," according to the latest FORBES. L.A. Galaxy Chair Marc Rapaport is featured for his "big score" in the L.A. market (FORBES, 10/21)....In Boston, Revolution investor Bob Kraft, on the future of pro soccer: "We averaged better than 19,000 paid per game. That's more than the Bruins and Celtics average. ... From what I saw at Foxboro this year, the crowds were half-male, half-kids 8-15 years old, half suburban and about one-third new Americans" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/5).
CART, the IndyCar sanctioning body, released their schedule Monday and will not run a race "head-to-head" against the IRL's Indy 500, according to Shav Glick of the L.A. TIMES. The CART schedule shows a race at the yet-to-be-built Gateway International Raceway in Madison, IL on Saturday, May 24, the day before the Indy 500. Last year, CART ran the U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway on the same day as the Indy race. This year, the U.S. 500 will remain in Michigan but will be run on July 27. Roger Penske's new California Speedway will be the site of CART's season finale on September 28. CART President Andrew Craig: "Our last race gives us the strongest schedule possible on the West Coast. We have now have five races -- Vancouver, Portland, Laugna Seca, Long Beach and Fontana -- in the West" (L.A. TIMES, 10/8). In Indianapolis, Bill Koenig notes that May '97 will be much "less controversial" than this year, but "big corporate dollars ... may still bypass the city" as major sponsors of CART say "they'll spend their money where CART competes." Major sponsors reportedly told CART they preferred the group not race on the same day as the Indy 500, and "at the same time, representatives of companies that sponsor CART race teams and events said they likely won't come to Indianapolis in May -- like they did prior to the split" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/4).