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NBA PLAYERS PONDER ROLE IN UPCOMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Published June 8, 1998
In an effort to "head off a potential boycott" of this summer's World Championships in Athens, USA Basketball has sent letters to team members "threatening legal action if the players fail to honor their signed contracts with the organization," according to Mike Wise of the N.Y. TIMES. Two agents representing players on the team said that the letter requests they make their intentions known and "ends with the threat of legal action." Wise: "Whether USA Basketball will file separate suits charging breach of contract against the players is unclear. But the action is the latest indication that players and owners have a long summer ahead, and that a lockout is almost certain" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/7). In L.A., Mark Heisler reported that if NBA players boycott the Championships, USA Basketball "is expected" to send its Goodwill Games team of collegians (L.A. TIMES, 6/7). But in Houston, Eddie Sefko called on NBA players to participate in the Championships, win a gold medal, and then "revel" from the "wave of positive public sentiment that would be working in their favor" in CBA negotiations. One NBA "insider" involved in USA Basketball says this "scenario" has been discussed by the players and "met with general approval" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/6).