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Hunter Says New Basketball
Cutting Hands Of Players Like Kidd
BALL CAUSING CUTS: Hunter said that several players Shave told him the ball causes hand injuries.” Hunter: “They tell me when they handle the ball, it cuts their hands. Paper cuts. [Nets G] Jason Kidd told me he gets cuts every night.” Hunter added players “think zero tolerance is something to straitjacket them. ... I wonder if it’s an effort to move toward a system similar to the NFL where they brand the team rather than the player” (USA TODAY, 12/4). The AP’s Brian Mahoney reported while players are adjusting to the new ball, they are “having a much harder time with the crackdown on reactions after the whistle.” Through 225 games this season, there have been 175 unsportsmanlike technical foul calls, up from 120 through the same period last year. However, the total is “on par with the amount from two years ago” (AP, 12/1).
Does New Conduct Policy Qualify
As Unfair Labor Practice?
COLUMNIST REAX: ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan wrote players complaining about the ball is a “good fight,” as there is “no language in the [CBA] dealing with the question of the type of ball used in NBA games.” However, Hunter “did himself a disservice here by lumping this battle in with the other battle over technical fouls. ... It’ll be a tough sell for them to make the case that the rules have been substantially changed to such a degree that it’s an unfair labor practice. The statistical evidence doesn’t back up their argument.” Sheridan: “One is a legitimate beef. The other is not” (ESPN.com, 12/1). In Houston, Jonathan Feigen wrote, “One would think the [NLRB] would have more important things to worry about than technical free throws or if the ball is slippery. ... But the NBA brought this on itself with its dismissive and belittling treatment of the players” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/3). In L.A., Mark Heisler wrote the claims amount “to a nuisance suit. The question is why [Stern], committed to showing ‘our players’ in their best light in his prized ‘NBA Cares’ campaign, keeps finding himself in long-running arguments with his players that undermine or cancel out the entire initiative” (L.A. TIMES, 12/3).
George Mitchell (l) Says Lack Of Power To
Order Testimony Slowing Steroid Probe
WHERE DOES IT GO FROM HERE? In N.Y., Selena Roberts notes Mitchell has not asked MLB Commissioner Bud Selig “for help in cracking the union’s secret society, yet.” Selig: “If we could get definitive answers, it would help. ... What happened during X period of years.” Roberts writes Mitchell “needs subpoena power he’ll never have. ... For players to ignore Mitchell is to dismiss what is truly in their best interest: closure” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/3).
The NFLPA “has offered to reduce the league’s salary cap by $800[M] over the first 15 years” of a new Giants-Jets stadium “in a move that could finally lead to the go-ahead” for the facility, according to Kaplan & Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The union “is willing to make the move because the new stadium is projected to generate so much revenue that the cap would increase on average $2[M] annually, or $960[M] total across the league over 15 years even after the reduction.” NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw: “We have to build a stadium in New York, there is no doubt about it. We are willing to do our part” (SBJ, 12/4 issue).
Jimmie Johnson Takes Home Over $15M
For Winning NASCAR Nextel Cup
WTA: The USTA “still isn’t pleased with the direction” of the WTA’s Roadmap 2010. A USTA official: “This still doesn’t work for us. The U.S. Open Series needs a consistent TV schedule, with back-to-back, consecutive-weeks coverage of top tournaments and the roadmap takes away from that.” USTA officials in a letter to WTA CEO Larry Scott wrote, “Your plans put the TV package and the race for the U.S. Open bonus prize money in jeopardy. ... How can the U.S. stand by and allow this to take place” (TENNISREPORTERS.net, 11/21).
FILING DEADLINE: Thoroughbred owners and trainers sued NYRA in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, “claiming it diverted [$15-20M] to operational costs that should have gone to winnings.” NYRA filed for Chapter 11 protection in the same court in November (DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 12/2).
EQUAL FOOTING: A FINANCIAL TIMES editorial addressed competitive balance issues in European soccer under the subhead, “Salary caps are worth considering if agreed by all.” The editorial: “When a few big clubs ... use their billions to buy every decent player going, much of the sport’s drama is lost. Salary caps are a way of trying to level the playing field and ensure the sport retains its interest. Even in free-market America salary caps in sport are common” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/2).