SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies

NBA'S POWER PLAYERS PROFILED; LABOR TALK HEATS UP

          NBA Commissioner David Stern was profiled by Richard
     Wilner in the N.Y. POST under the header, "Giving It His
     Best Shot.  NBA Commish's Job Is Filled With Big Bucks And
     Big Headaches."  Wilner: "[W]hy is the 55-year-old native
     New Yorker, the man regarded as a master marketer and the
     best of the sports league commissioners, so worried?" 
     Stern: "I call it positive stress.  I come to work each day
     as if the car is parked right next to the cliff, ready to
     fall off. ... Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I'm
     always worried about what is going to go wrong.  I firmly
     believe that if it ain't broke, fix it so it will be better"
     (N.Y. POST, 11/16).  Meanwhile, NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter
     was profiled by Ian O'Connor of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. 
     O'Connor: "[A]s the league spends the coming months deciding
     whether to exercise its right to trash the current labor
     agreement in pursuit of a sweeter pot, Stern had better
     weigh the risks against the rewards.  Hunter is the first
     opponent worthy of the challenge."  Hunter: "I know how to
     brawl. ... I'm tenacious as hell. ... I'm going to be in
     there fighting for these players" (DAILY NEWS, 11/16).
          EARLY POSTURING: Hunter responded to comments made by
     Stern that the NBA had more lucrative TV rights offers on
     the table, but "all things being equal, the nod should go to
     the people that brought you here."  Hunter: "If teams are
     suffering, why turn down a deal for more money?  Why not
     entertain possible better offers?" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,
     11/16).  Agent Marc Fleisher, on a potential lockout: "I
     don't believe David Stern when he says they're going to opt
     out of the deal."  Fleisher said Hunter "is considerably
     tougher" than former Exec Dir Simon Gourdine.  Fleisher:
     "I'm guessing (Stern) is going to be a lot happier with what
     he got from Gourdine, who he had in is back pocket, than
     what he'll get from Billy Hunter" (CHAR. OBSERVER, 11/16). 


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