SBD/15/Franchises

FALLOUT ON TRADE HAS GARNETT/MARBURY IN A WAR OF WORDS

          New Nets G Stephon Marbury was interviewed by Bob Costas
     during halftime of Sunday's Nets-Heat game on NBC and said
     his trade from the T-Wolves last week was a "business" move. 
     Marbury: "I wanted to be happy.  You can't knock a person for
     wanting to be happy and wanting to go home."  But NBC's Peter
     Vecsey said afterward, "It's not about coming home.  If he
     said that -- if he told us that it was about endorsements and
     recognition -- we would understand that, but he's trying to
     tell us its about coming home and that's not it" ("NBA on
     NBC," 3/14).  In his Sunday column, Vecsey quoted Suns F Tom
     Gugliotta saying that Marbury "couldn't take being
     overshadowed" by teammate Kevin Garnett in Minnesota. 
     Gugliotta: "All Stephon talked about was going home to New
     York and playing in a major market so he could get the
     publicity and promotions he feels he's being cheated out of." 
     Vecsey, who called David Falk "David Fungus," wrote that,
     "Somebody in the Marbury clan ought to ask [Falk] how many
     lucrative national endorsements he brain stormed (trickle,
     trickle) for Patrick Ewing" (N.Y. POST, 3/14).  Garnett
     acknowledged that Marbury may have been jealous of his $126
     contract.  Garnett: "I know Stephon.  I know we're always in
     competition with each other, whether it's basketball, girls,
     jewelry.  I thought that was just having fun" (Steve
     Aschburner, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/13). 
          MONEY FALKS: In NJ, John Rowe wrote that Nets co-Owner
     Lewis Katz, who was "the front man" in the Marbury trade,
     "has long been friendly with Falk, often sitting next to him"
     at 76ers home games (Bergen RECORD, 3/13).  In Chicago, Sam
     Smith wrote that Falk "had been telling associates he
     intended to overturn the new [CBA's] emphasis on helping
     protect the small markets by directing his clients" to L.A.,
     N.Y., and Chicago.  Smith: "Falk has been trying to
     consolidate his clients in certain cities so he'll have
     leverage" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/14).  In Dallas, Bart Hubbuch
     wrote that "greed, immaturity and agent David Falk -- and not
     necessarily in that order -- combined to give the NBA a huge
     black eye," as Falk continues to tell teams that his clients,
     "regardless of the new salary limits, won't re-sign with them
     and that they had better trade those players."  Hubbuch:
     "Forget loyalty, the fans or the future of small-market teams
     around the league" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/14).  ESPN's Mike
     Lupica, on Falk's influence in the deal: "He brokered this
     whole thing.  For this week, the New Jersey Nets let an agent
     be their general manager" ("The Sports Reporters," 3/14). 
     Magic Senior VP Pat Williams: "Let's face it.  David Falk
     swings a big, big stick in this league.  I don't know whether
     he's got too much [power] but he's a very influential force
     in the game.  There's no question" ("Fox on Sports," 3/14).  
          YOU SCRATCH MY BACK: In St. Paul, Charley Walters wrote
     that according to "insiders," Falk, who was "appreciative" of
     the T'Wolves for "not balking" at the Marbury deal, told team
     Owner Glen Taylor that "he wouldn't forget the assistance and
     someday would reciprocate" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/14).
          CAL CANNED: The Nets fired Nets VP/coach John Calipari
     this morning.  In N.Y., Fred Kerber writes that Calipari was
     "been given the option of resigning with compensation" by
     team owners, but if he does that he would "forfeit some of
     the money owed to him contractually" (N.Y. POST, 3/15).

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