SBD/5/Leagues Governing Bodies

STERN TO TESTIFY IN SPREWELL HEARING; GAG ORDER LOOSENED

          Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo testified for seven hours
     yesterday at the Latrell Sprewell hearing, according to
     Athelia Knight of the WASHINGTON POST.  Also testifying on
     Wednesday was NBA Dir of Security Horace Balmer, who will
     resume his testimony this morning.  Commissioner David Stern
     "also is expected to testify" today (WASHINGTON POST, 2/5). 
     TBS' Craig Sager reported that Carlesimo "established that
     there was a second attack" by Sprewell and that he "did
     return, did swing at the coach, and did use the phrase,
     'I'll kill you.'"  Last week during his testimony, Sprewell
     "denied the second attack," saying he was held back by
     teammates before contact was made.  Sager noted that "under
     [CA] law it does not matter whether contact was made.  An
     assault is defined as an attempt."  Sager also reported,
     contrary to earlier reports, that Sprewell "didn't hang up
     the phone on Balmer and was cooperative" when Balmer called
     him to investigate the incident in December (TBS, 2/4).
          TENSIONS RISING? In San Jose, Jesse Barkin writes that
     Carlesimo had a "long day ... if cross-examination from
     [NBPA] attorney Jeffrey Kessler was anything like it has
     been for other witnesses."  Barkin quotes a witness as
     saying of Kessler, "At one point, I felt like punching the
     guy" (MERCURY NEWS, 2/5). In N.Y., Mike Wise reports that
     arbitrator John Feerick made a "slight modification" to his
     gag order, ruling that Stern, NBA Dep. Commissioner Russ
     Granik, NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter and a Warriors team rep
     "can state general beliefs or opinions about the case"
     during All-Star Weekend.  But, they can't give "any
     specifics" on the hearing or testimony (N.Y. TIMES, 2/5).

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