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NBA ALL-STAR TIX LIMITED; HIGH SCHOOL STAR EYEING WNBA?
Published January 9, 1998
NBA fans "will not be able to purchase a ticket for either" the NBA All-Star Game or All-Star Saturday at MSG this February, according to Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS, who examines the "lack of ticket availability" around the event. NBA VP/Communications Brian McIntyre: "Would we like to open it up to everybody? Yeah. But there isn't a building in the world that can accommodate the (ticket) requests we have. The demand for tickets this year is outrageous." Raissman reports that "roughly" 5,500 to 6,000 of the 19,763 seats available at MSG were part of a lottery for Knicks season-ticket holders (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/9). MISSING OUT ON THE FUN: In SI, Jackie MacMullan reports that the league's move to replace the Slam Dunk competition with the 2ball shooting contest during the All-Star Weekend was "made without checking with" the NBPA. The move to 2ball, which includes an NBA and WNBA player from the same city, "didn't sit well with some of the players who do not have WNBA franchises in their cities and were therefore automatically disqualified from participating" (SI, 1/12). IT'S SOUTH PARK: ESPN's "SportsCenter" listed attendance at four Wednesday night NBA games. In L.A., the Clippers game drew 4,107 (at 26% cap.); in Oakland, the Warriors drew 11,023 (57% cap.); in Toronto, the Raptors drew 15,168 (75% cap); and in San Antonio, the Spurs drew 15,200 (74% cap.). ESPN's Gary Miller: "For the sixth time in 16 home dates, the [Clippers] crowd was less than 6,000 ... They are drawing extremely poorly" (ESPN, 1/8). ELIGIBILITY CHALLENGE? In N.Y., Garcia & Ackert report that the family of Riverdale High School women's basketball star Niesha Butler, 17, "is seriously considering challenging the criteria for eligibility" to the WNBA. WNBA rules state a player must be at least 22-years-old; or have completed college eligibility; or graduated from a four-year college; or played two seasons in another league. Butler's mother, Alice Johnson: "We are not trying to upset the WNBA. But, if it were to be challenged it would be a good case, because of the double standard between males and females. It warrants looking at." The WNBA had no comment. Butler is reportedly "less interested" in the ABL (DAILY NEWS, 1/9).