SBD/6/Leagues Governing Bodies


          NBA Commissioner David Stern spent "nearly" five hours
     yesterday being questioned as the Latrell Sprewell hearing
     "crept to a conclusion," according to David Steele of the
     S.F. CHRONICLE.  Afterward, with his "tongue loosened
     somewhat" following arbitrator John Feerick's "loosening of
     the gag order," Stern "spoke as if the stand taken by the
     league and the Warriors ... had a good chance of being
     upheld."  Stern: "I'm very comfortable with our actions. ...
     I feel comfortable that I have acquitted myself the way I'm
     supposed to."  Also yesterday, NBA VP/Security Horace Balmer
     testified for "more than" three hours, completing his
     testimony from Wednesday.  Steele writes that the league and
     Warriors "closed testimony with what appears to be a solid
     one-two punch" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6).  USA TODAY's David
     DuPree reports that NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter said that his
     side was "confident of the outcome."  Post-hearing briefs
     are due by February 13, and closing arguments will be made
     February 16 in New York.  Following that, Feerick will have
     30 days to issue his decision (USA TODAY, 2/6).

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