SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

THE HUNTER OR THE HUNTED? USA TODAY EYES NBA LABOR PAINS

          NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter is profiled by USA TODAY's
     Roscoe Nance as part of the "In Focus" section on the NBA's
     labor negotiations.  Hunter: "I know how to brawl.  I don't
     relish a fight.  I don't want to fight if I don't have to. 
     If we can reach some agreement that we think is fair and we
     don't have to take a step back on, a fight can be avoided. 
     But we're prepared to fight" (USA TODAY, 4/2).  Nance also
     details the looming issues in the labor talks and calls the
     Larry Bird exception (where teams can re-sign their own
     players by going over the salary cap) the "key issue." 
     Altering the Bird exception is the "most likely method for
     owners to gain the fiscal relief they're seeking (USA TODAY,
     4/2).  Bird said the exception has "sort of ruined the
     league, hasn't it?"  But he adds, "That's one thing that if
     I was a player, I wouldn't give up" (USA TODAY, 4/2). 

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