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NBA, PART II: UNION/AGENTS PUT ON GLOVES OVER CBA
Published October 27, 1997
At a Friday press conference, NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter and 12 of "the game's most influential agents" said that if the league reopens its CBA next year, "they will face tougher negotiations than they did in 1995," according to Mike Wise of the N.Y. TIMES. Hunter: "We're not encouraging a confrontation with the N.B.A. But the union is no longer in the mind set it was two years ago. There will be unity between the players, the union and the agents." The union wants to see an end to the rookie salary cap that was put in the '95 agreement. Hunter also downplayed talk of a work stoppage: "Our intent is not to strike. At least not at this stage" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/25). Hunter: "The current deal has been a bad one for the players as a whole, and a setback. The players made numerous concessions the last time. That won't happen again" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/26). REAX: In Orlando, Tim Povtak wrote that by next July, the NBA "is expected to be engulfed in a messy labor/ management battle that could leave it with deep and lasting scars. By July 1, the NBA could be a mess" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/26). In AZ, Bob Young wrote under the header, "NBA Could Be Heading Toward Trouble Next Year." Young noted the potential for a work stoppage: "Enjoy this NBA season. ... Because it could all go away next summer" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/26). The AP wrote: "Time for a new slogan: The NBA -- Enjoy it while it lasts." The AP: "From all indications, this is the NBA's eve of destruction. The Bulls are breaking up, a lockout looms, a baseball-style labor war is possible and the whole basketball of wax could break apart like a shattered backboard" (AP/STAR TRIBUNE, 10/26).