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SBD/October 27, 2010/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Is Stern's Contraction Talk Nothing More Than Negotiating Tactic?
Published October 27, 2010
DARK CLOUD: In Houston, Jonathan Feigen notes Stern "has said this could be the best of all NBA seasons," yet "above all that hovers the dark cloud of labor negotiations and the potential of a work stoppage looming so obviously that the agreement the sides have reached is that a lockout appears certain." Stern: "We're going to have a great season. I'm watching the NFL and they're having a good year, record television ratings, good attendance, a lot of media coverage, some they like, some they'd rather not have. Then there's some background music that is of course inevitable." Rockets F Shane Battier: "This is one of the most anticipated seasons I remember in my 10 years. But with the lockout looming next year and a lot of uncertainty, it's unfortunate. It should be about the basketball, and it should be about the excitement" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/27).
HARD CAP? ESPN L.A.'s Dave McMenamin notes a hard salary cap in the NBA could "require the league to decrease salaries by a set percentage," and Stern said a hard cap is "an interesting detail." Stern: "Check out the NHL, see what they did -- (they rolled back salaries) and they cut players." Stern was asked if owners of teams like the Lakers and Celtics, "who have built championship-contending teams by committing to salaries well into the luxury tax, have disagreed with the owners of small-market teams with lower payrolls over the implementation of a hard cap." Stern said, "You know, that's why I have white hair. It's a detail that has not been worked out yet ... at all" (ESPNLA.com, 10/27).
SILENCE IS GOLDEN: Stern yesterday said that players "need to be on their best behavior this season." Stern: "The spirit of it is that our players don't do that in elementary school, in junior high, high school, college, and then they get their master's (degree) in complaining when they get to the NBA. And that's not a good thing." Lakers coach Phil Jackson: "I agree that (on) every call a player going back to the referee and asking him (questions), gesticulating and doing all that is not worthwhile. It's not an enjoyable thing to watch" (L.A. TIMES, 10/27).