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LOCKOUT APPEARS MORE LIKELY AS NBA DISCUSSES GLOOMY SCENARIO
Published June 5, 1998
While the NBA and NBPA "continue to talk," discussions in recent weeks "indicate a lockout by the owners is on the horizon," according to David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik: "I have to acknowledge that we're getting closer (to a lockout) since time is going by. I'd feel better if we were meeting a little more often and making more progress. But we're not totally discouraged yet" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/5). MEET THE PRESS: Granik and NBA Commissioner David Stern met the media in Salt Lake City to discuss the state of the league. Stern, on the possibility of a work stoppage: "We've been through work stoppages before, and while it's true we haven't lost regular-season games, we know the magic words of strike and lockout" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/5). Stern: "We're not trying to run away from the payments, but we need to slow the growth. The notion that you simply decide to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year is not a principle that I'm familiar with, in terms of any business around the world." Stern, on the previous CBA: "Have we made mistakes at the bargaining table in the past? The answer is yes. But the system is not working now." At the press conference, Stern pulled out a 1982 clip from Sports Illustrated -- "not because it is the most reliable publication but because it takes itself the most seriously" -- that questioned who would take the mantle in the post- Magic Johnson and Larry Bird era (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/5). Stern: "Guess what? Somebody did replace them, and a whole group of players did" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/5). FROM THE PLAYERS: Jazz F Antoine Carr, on a work stoppage: "It's the stupidest thing we could ever do on either side. ... We could end up with 3,000 or 4,000 people in the stands like the old time" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5). Jazz F Chris Morris: "There's going to be one ... (and) it's going to hurt a lot of people" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/5). REAX: In Chicago, Sam Smith: "It's clear the two sides are growing close to a serious dispute. Top team officials say the league has been notifying them in recent days to prepare for a long dispute that possibly interrupts next season" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5). In Orange County, Mark Whicker writes that Stern "seems almost resigned to a lockout" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/5). In S.F., David Steele reports that the situation Stern painted yesterday "could not have been more bleak. Nor could he have presented the chances of avoiding an owners' lockout as being more remote" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/5). In Philadelphia, Mike Bruton writes the "foreboding storm clouds of labor unrest are gathering." He says that both sides "should cut the posturing and find some imagination to deal with this complex situation" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/5). In Milwaukee, D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that the "league has never lost a game to a strike and it knows now is not the time to set any ugly precedents" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/5).