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NO SURPRISE, MONTE CARLO HAS LITTLE INTEREST IN U.S. TEAM
Published July 17, 1998
The U.S. World Championship basketball team arrived in Monte Carlo "virtually unnoticed Wednesday afternoon," according to Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, who wrote that "with only [CBA], college and European-refugee players on hand, the U.S. entourage was greeted Wednesday by exactly one French sportscaster and one writer based in Nice, France." Sefko: "That, of course, doubled the American media horde following the U.S. squad" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/16). In Houston, Dale Robertson writes that the World Championships "should have nothing to do with the labor unrest in the NBA." But "some bucks might have accidentally trickled back through the international monetary system into the owners' pockets, and the players weren't going to stand for that" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/17). But NBPA VP Charles Smith is quoted in the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS as saying that NBA players wanted to play in Greece. He dismissed NBA Commissioner David Stern's comments that players "trashed" their country: "He wanted (fans) to take the 'rah, rah' position. ... [T]he players wanted to play. But then we were locked out. How can your employer prevent you from earning your pay, and then ask you to go make money for the organization?" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/17). WHERE'S THE RAGIN' CAJUN? CBS analyst Billy Packer tells USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke that the NBA "is like the Clinton PR team. The release said USA Basketball told NBC and Turner they can't carry the World Championships. But who canceled the TV coverage is basically David Stern." Martzke also quotes ESPN VP/Programming Dick Glover as saying that ESPN has "no intention" of televising games of NBA players during the lockout (USA TODAY, 7/17). SIX LOCKOUT TALES: In SI, MacMullan & Taylor write that "there are far more than two angles from which to view the lockout." In their piece, "Lockout Limbo," MacMullan & Taylor examine the lockout's impact in separate profiles of six people: a rookie (the 76ers' Nazr Mohammed), an established player (the T-Wolves' Tom Gugliotta), a journeyman (free agent Chuckie Brown), a GM (the Suns' Bryan Colangelo), an agent (Arn Tellem) and a fan (Bulls season- ticket holder Leslie Wright) (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 7/20). HELLO?? Midway through "Business Center," CNBC's Maria Bartiromo noted Michael Jordan's comments that he wouldn't play for any coach but Phil Jackson and described it as "breaking news." Bartiromo: "Breaking news now. While basketball superstar Michael Jordan is not saying for sure that he's retiring, he is saying today that we won't play for any other coach than Phil Jackson" (CNBC, 7/16). Jordan said he won't make an official announcement about his status until after the lockout, but as far as a possible retirement he said, "I'm pretty sure that's my decision" (Mult., 7/17).