SBD/30/Leagues Governing Bodies

SPREWELL FINALLY GETS HIS CHANCE TO TELL HIS SIDE OF STORY

          Latrell Sprewell testified for the first time at his
     grievance hearing yesterday, answering questions before
     arbitrator John Feerick for "about 6 hours and 15 minutes,"
     according to David Steele of the S.F. CHRONICLE.  Sprewell
     started at 9:00am PT, broke for lunch at 12:30pm, and then
     returned at 2:30pm.  In between, Feerick heard testimony
     from Warriors team doctor Robert Albo.  The final witness of
     the day was Warriors VP Al Attles (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/30). 
     In N.Y., Mike Wise reports sources who said that "in the
     morning session Sprewell answered questions clearly, that he
     never grew upset or became emotional and that his demeanor
     ran between calm and attentive" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/30). In San
     Jose, Jesse Barkin writes the case "ultimately" might be
     decided on whether Feerick "believed Sprewell" during his
     testimony (S.J. MERCURY NEWS, 1/30).  NEWSDAY's Greg Logan
     reports that "no other witnesses were in the same room when
     Sprewell testified.  So, the atmosphere was not as
     emotionally charged as on Wednesday when [Warriors coach
     P.J.] Carlesimo and Sprewell sat across a table from each
     other."  The hearing will continue today in OR and resume
     next week in New York through Thursday (NEWSDAY, 1/30).  
          BEHIND THE SCENES: A gag order imposed by Feerick has
     prevented hearing participants from speaking to the media. 
     But while the NBPA is arguing the league's claim that
     Sprewell returned to the team's practice a second time on
     December 1 in a premeditated attack on Carlesimo, sources
     told Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST that "at least one
     player who testified" has said that "he did not see Sprewell
     strike Carlesimo a second time" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/30).  
          BULLISH BEHAVIOR: The Bulls were in Portland last night
     and Michael Jordan commented on the Sprewell case: "There's
     a morality clause in each and every contract. ... Anything
     detrimental to the league or to the team can terminate you. 
     That's not hidden in the contract."  But Jordan questioned
     the league's disciplinary process: "[T]hey gave three
     different penalties, and it raised a lot of questions and, I
     guess, created an argument for Sprewell" (NEWSDAY, 1/30). 
     Bulls coach Phil Jackson, on the one-year suspension: "I
     think there's some reason to say that might be a little bit
     long" (Terry Armour, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/30).

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