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TEAM SPREWELL LOOKS TO GET ITS ARMS AROUND LEGAL CASE
Published January 23, 1998
Latrell Sprewell's arbitration hearing, which will begin next week in Portland, OR, is examined by Mike Wise of the N.Y. TIMES. Sprewell has been in New York since Tuesday to "go over the legal brief" the NBPA has prepared and yesterday Wise spoke to him and members of his defense team. The matter will be heard by Fordham Law School Dean John Feerick, and NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter referred to Feerick and said, "To what extent is he affected by public pressure? I think the N.B.A. reaped a media bonanza on this thing, and that's one of the reasons we haven't been able to settle. It's been such a windfall for them that any step back would be interpreted as a retreat" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23). Sprewell told Peter Vecsey, "I realize what a big mistake I made." But Sprewell added, "It's as if I'm another O.J. Simpson. Yes, I was wrong, but I didn't kill anybody. I'm not a double murderer" (N.Y. POST, 1/23). REF TROUBLE: SI's Jackie MacMullan reports that the Federal Government is "poised to indict as many as seven referees next month," with 15 still under investigation for allegedly downgrading NBA airline tickets, pocketing the money and failing to declare it. MacMullan adds that a sampling of NBA coaches and GM's showed that most "agreed that the removal of seven refs would be disastrous" to the quality of officiating (SI, 1/26 issue).