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IS VECSEY VENOMOUS OR VERY INFORMED? PAYTON THINKS FORMER
Published March 3, 1998
Sonics G Gary Payton led a "boycott" of NBC after studio analyst Peter Vecsey made "detrimental comments" about Payton's practice habits and inferred that Payton was a bad influence on teammate Vin Baker, according to Glenn Nelson of the SEATTLE TIMES. Payton has since "relented" and did prep work with NBC personnel during the All-Star Game, but "with the stipulation that Vecsey not be present." Nelson: "Vecsey and his chronic misinformation are as big a menace to the NBA as Isaiah Rider, Psycho-ly or any of them. His erroneous, rip-job reports regarding Shawn Kemp severely damaged a player's reputation as well as created a rift between player and city that ultimately could not be mended. Payton should be applauded for, as far as we know, being the only NBA player with enough you-know-what to stand up to sports' No.1 rumor-monger" (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/1). MICROPHONE MOVES: Mike Patrick has "turned down a larger offer" from CBS and will remain at ESPN. Patrick, who had been earning $400,000 a year, passed on CBS's five- year, $4M offer, to stay at ESPN for "slightly more than" $3.5M. He will continue to lead ESPN's Sunday night NFL telecasts and work college basketball games and the College World Series (USA TODAY, 3/3)....CBS has signed Verne Lundquist to its NFL play-by-play team (Bob Raissman, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/3)....In N.Y., David Hinckley calls speculation that Marv Albert will rejoin MSG "intriguing" and notes that when WFAN President Joel Hollander toyed with the idea of hiring Albert last October "he was carpet-bombed for a week." Hinckley: "Now, four months later, MSG's idea raises barely a peep. Amazing turnaround" (DAILY NEWS, 3/3).