SBD/Issue 56/Franchises

Franchise Notes

NBA: In Miami, Barry Jackson reported Friday's Wizards-Heat game drew a crowd of 20,118, the largest regular-season crowd since AmericanAirlines Arena opened in January '00 (MIAMI HERALD, 12/1). Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Johnny Ludden reports the Spurs have sold close to 34,000 tickets for tomorrow's game against the Wizards. However, Wizards G Michael Jordan "may not be able to play" due to a knee injury (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 12/3)....ESPN's Michael Wilbon, on Charles Barkley talking about a comeback to the Wizards: "There's not the same pressure on Charles Barkley playing that there is on Michael Jordan. They're living up to different standards. Charles is an entertainer which is different living up to being an icon." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser: "This guy says he's riding to the cavalry to help Jordan. He can't even fit on a horse" ("PTI," ESPN, 11/30). ...Before last Friday, the Grizzlies averaged 13,752 fans through seven games at The Pyramid. Through seven games last season at GM Place, the Grizzlies averaged 13,605 fans (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 12/1).

NFL: ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli reported that the five-year contract Chargers coach Mike Riley signed in '99 includes a "substantial loan made to him by the franchise." The loan, believed to be worth $500,000-750,000, "would have come due immediately had Riley departed the Chargers before the end of the season to accept" the head coaching position at San Diego State Univ. Pasquarelli noted that Riley has two seasons, worth about $1.5M, remaining on his contract. Sources said that he would have "forfeited that remaining salary and also been liable for the loan" (ESPN.com, 12/2). ...FSN's Chris Myers reported Bill Parcells "is letting it be known around the league that he is ready to coach again next season for the highest bidder." Parcells "has already put together an entire coaching staff" and is looking for "at least seven million a year" to return to the sidelines ("NFL This Morning," FSN, 12/2).

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