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COLANGELO TALKS OF RULES CHANGES; WELTS ADDRESSES THE SEASON
Published May 10, 1999
Suns President & CEO Jerry Colangelo said that "there will be some major rules changes put in place" for the '99- 2000 NBA season when the Board of Governors meets this fall, according to Mike Kahn of CBS SportsLine. Colangelo said Saturday that the "rules and competition committee is too unwieldy," as "too many" committee members "have been self- serving because of the way their coach wants to coach or the way the team is made up." Colangelo: "We need to do things to clean up the game" (CBS SportsLine, 5/8). Colangelo said NBA Commissioner David Stern and NBA Senior VP/Operations Rod Thorn "will put together a committee to address the scoring drought." Colangelo: "This is the time to do it. You're going to see a different game next year, and that's exciting" (AZ REPUBLIC, 5/9). In Boston, Michael Holley wrote that scoring numbers are the "most frightening stat for the basketball present and future" (BOS. GLOBE, 5/9). THE GAME'S THE THING: In Vancouver, Lowell Ullrich wrote under the header, "Still Love This Game?" Ullrich: "It's bad everywhere. Really bad. The teams that began the playoffs Saturday are the best of a bad lot" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 5/9). In St. Pete, Hubert Mizell wrote that this season, the NBA was "clobbered by a widening gallery of critics, for its questionable artistry and overcooked in- your-face mentality." Mizell: "I worked at not being jaded by the NBA lockout. ... But, over the NBA short haul, I couldn't conjure up much care" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/9). THE WELTS HAS RUN DRY: Departing NBA Exec VP & CMO Rick Welts called the '98-99 lockout-shortened season "the most difficult year" the league has ever been through, and added that "there was a lot of residual damage" from the lockout. Welts, on CBA negotiating: "We had a real resolve that if we get it right, we'll have an extended period of growth. If we got it wrong, it will take a long time to get it back." In Seattle, Art Thiel writes that the NBA "did get it right," in that it "crushed the union and the agents" by "winning a hard salary cap and rookie salary scale." Welts: "There was a lot of residual damage. It's like any other consumer-product business -- it can take years and years to come back. But we tried to learn from other sports about how to recover" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 5/10). HUNTED BECOMES HUNTER: NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter "sent an end-of-the-season mailing" to the union which "seems to dispel the notion that the union was pummelled during the contentious labor negotiations." The average salary increased from $2.3M to $2.8M, while median salary increased from $1.4M to $1.7M. Also increasing was the number of players who made between $1-2M, from 74 in '98 to 112 in '99 (N.Y. TIMES, 5/9). Charles Barkley: "We used to be overpaid and underworked. Now, this season, we're overworked and underpaid." ESPN's Mark Schwartz: "Underpaid?" Barkley: "Oh yeah. The way they worked us this season, we're underpaid" ("SportsCenter," 5/9).