SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: NBA DRAFT DEADLINE LOOMS

          The "frenzied recruitment" of NJ high school basketball
     player Al Harrington will end today when he holds a news
     conference to declare his intentions, according to Lenn
     Robbins of the N.Y. POST, who reported that Harrington will
     announce he is making himself eligible for the NBA Draft.  A
     source "very close to the family" said Harrington was
     "making the big jump" (N.Y. POST, 5/9).  On Saturday,
     UConn's Richard Hamilton said he would return to school for
     his junior year.  He said that a potential NBA lockout had
     "little impact on his thinking."  Hamilton: "Now I can sit
     back and relax.  I don't have to worry about growing up too
     fast, worry about all these business decisions and things
     like that" (Michael Arace, HARTFORD COURANT, 5/10).
          PLUTO SAYS LET 'EM GO: In Akron, Terry Pluto writes
     under the header, "Let Them Learn The Hard Way About The
     NBA.  Once Prep Stars Fall, Then They'll Understand Why They
     Needed College."  Pluto writes that student-athletes with
     the NBA "on their minds" don't "belong in the same classroom
     as those who really are there to learn," adding that the
     average "18-year-old has about as much interest in college
     as your average NBA player does in botany.  So let 'em go
     pro."  Pluto: "Let those who aren't the next [Kevin] Garnett
     or [Kobe] Bryant learn a real lesson in life.  Then, one
     day, some might decide it's time to go back ... [and] take
     their education seriously" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/11). 
          AND WHAT OF THE LEAGUE? In N.Y., William Rhoden wrote
     on the NBA's veteran stars who will leave the league in the
     next three years: "Soon we will see what the league has
     really become: style over substance, individual over the
     team.  Plucking young people off the vine ahead of their
     time, lavishing them with millions. ... The N.B.A. is about
     to reap what it has sown" (William Rhoden, N.Y. TIMES, 5/9).
          STILL GOT GAME: Spike Lee's "He Got Game" fell to third
     place in this weekend's box office returns, earning $3.8M. 
     Through its first ten days in release, the film has grossed
     $11.4M (THE DAILY).  In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin wrote the
     film is a "must-see movie for anyone who follows basketball
     and gives a hoot about the game, the people in the game, and
     what has become of the game" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/10).   
          ROOKIE CAP: In Cincinnati, Mike DeCourcy wrote that the
     rookie salary cap, introduced in '95 "as a cost-control
     device for the league," is "viewed by many as having cut
     loose the flood of inexperienced players who entered the
     draft in recent seasons."  The cap "does not appear to have
     been a good deal for basketball at the high school, college
     or professional levels."  NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ
     Granik admitted the cap hasn't "done as much as we would
     have liked," but said it has prevented contract holdouts and
     "avoided long-term, very expensive, contracts for guys who
     really aren't worth it" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/10). 

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