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SPREWELL RULING II: NBC EXAMINES DECISION, OWNERS UNITED?
Published March 9, 1998
On Sunday's "NBA on NBC," Hannah Storm led a round- table discussion on the Sprewell ruling. NBC's Bob Costas: "I think the way that this has been framed has been largely misleading. ... It's inaccurate to say that this shows you can strangle your coach and get away with it. How did he get away with it? ... Even though the league did not get everything it wanted, a large portion of some very severe discipline was upheld and this now establishes a benchmark to work from for David Stern." Costas added, "If the league had not gone relatively easy on the Dennis Rodmans and the Nick Van Exels ... there would have been more precedent to make this kind of judgement stand" ("NBA on NBC," 3/8). OWNERS UNITED? In Denver, Mike Monroe wrote the "irony" in the NBPA claiming victory in the Sprewell ruling is the "increased likelihood of ownership solidarity" to reopen the CBA (DENVER POST, 3/8). In Chicago, Sam Smith wrote that owners "are feeling an even greater loss of power from this decision and from the actions of several players who forced trades and then refused to report to their new teams" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/8). In Boston, Peter May reported that the NBA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet March 23 in Dallas and "expects to vote" on whether to reopen the CBA. Celtics Chair Paul Gaston is reportedly one of a "handful" of owners "opposed to reopening," but May wrote that Stern "wants the agreement reopened," and has a "key ally" in Cavs Owner Gordon Gund, "in charge of an important committee, and thus will probably get his way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/8). SPREWELL NOTES: In Chicago, Lacy Banks wrote "insiders" say that Stern "probably" will replace Feerick as the league arbitrator (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/8)....In San Jose, Jesse Barkin listed selected excerpts from testimony taken at the Sprewell hearings (MERCURY NEWS, 3/8)....Suns Chair Jerry Colangelo, asked if he'd be interested in Sprewell: "I'm not interested in taking on any situation, regardless of the talent level, where there are some real questions about whether that individual has his life under control. Life is too short for that" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/7). In Detroit, Terry Foster wrote, "Sprewell is enticing. He is tempting. But so is the devil" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/8)