SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

EBERSOL SEES NO NBA WORK STOPPAGE; MUTOMBO NOT SO CONFIDENT

          NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol denied reports that
     NBA execs have told TV partners to expect a work stoppage
     during CBA negotiations, according to Howard Manly of the
     BOSTON GLOBE.  Ebersol: "It's not true. In fact, I have been
     told not to anticipate a work stoppage" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/2). 
     On ESPN SportsZone, Jeffrey Denberg reports that NBPA VP
     Dikembe Mutombo has told team reps not to attend Monday's
     scheduled meeting with league negotiators.  Mutombo: "What's
     the point?  Why should they go for nothing?  They want to do
     away with the Bird exception.  They want a hard (salary)
     cap.  They want to tax teams who spend more.  We can't live
     with that. ... They want to cut us back to 48 percent (of
     gross revenues).  We can't accept this, so there is no point
     in talking."  More Mutombo: "At first, I thought they wanted
     a new drug policy and to modify some things.  But now I
     think they want everything and it can't happen" (ESPN, 6/2).
          PLAYERS ASK, "WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT WILLIS?" In N.Y.,
     George Willis calls on the NBA to instill a hard salary cap
     in the next CBA, similar to one in the NFL.  Willis writes
     that the NFL's system "forces players into truthful analysis
     of their worth," while right now, "there is little sense of
     stability in the NBA. ... [W]hen you hear of third-year
     players ... signing $100 million contracts, you wonder how
     long the Minnesotas can survive."  Willis concludes that
     "all deals should be tied to performance, production and
     maintenance of civil behavior.  If the NBA union and owners
     can ever agree on that, maybe they can rescue a game they're
     about to screw up" (George Willis, N.Y. POST, 6/1).
          MATHIS SENTENCED: Former NBA ref Mike Mathis was
     sentenced Friday to three years probation after pleading
     guilty to tax fraud.  He was fined $2,000, sentenced to 120
     days of home confinement and asked to perform more than 200
     hours of community service.  Mathis was also "ordered" to
     continue and cooperate with the U.S. government's
     investigation of league's referees (ESPN SportsZone, 5/30). 
          RI-UNITE ON ICE: Michael Ri, a 7' 8" North Korean
     basketball player, is awaiting State Department "approval"
     for clearance to play in the NBA.  Washington, DC, lobbyist
     Eric White has asked CA's Democratic U.S. Senators Barbara
     Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to assist in getting Ri's
     exemption.  The Treasury Department has already approved
     Ri's request and Nike has also come aboard and "added its
     clout to the project" (Peter May, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/31).

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