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SBD/Issue 31/Leagues & Governing Bodies
Published October 25, 2010
In Orlando, Brian Schmitz wrote the NBA "blew a chance to really clean up the slippery mess" at St. Pete Times Forum after the league "canceled Friday night's preseason game between the Magic and Heat." All the NBA had to do was "send out players to sign autographs and pose for pictures for unhappy fans who were still in the building." The league had their "four biggest stars on the premises" -- Heat G Dwyane Wade and Fs LeBron James and Chris Bosh and Magic C Dwight Howard. They "missed a great P.R. opportunity" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/23).
ALL OR NOTHING: In N.Y., Larry Brooks reported the message that presumptive NHLPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr "has been presenting to the players during the autumn tour preceding union balloting" is, "Hire me to lead or don't hire me at all." Sources said that this is the "ultimate condition of employment for Fehr, who has been selling nothing more than himself and his collective bargaining accomplishments as leader of the MLBPA throughout this low-key campaign." The NHLPA "will not operate as a democracy in collective bargaining." Brooks: "It can't. It must give its leader the same authority as the NHL has given Gary Bettman. If not, the league simply will wait for the players' house to divide and fall, as it did the last time." Bettman "has invited the last two union leaders, Ted Saskin and Paul Kelly, to address their partners" at the NHL BOG. Brooks: "Surely, the commissioner would grant the same courtesy to Fehr, who, when the time is right, would then have the opportunity to present his vision for the league to the owners without interference or accompanying propaganda" (N.Y. POST, 10/24).
KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET: ESPN.com's LZ Granderson wrote the "feeling that the tennis season never ends is just one of the reasons the tour should stop shortly after the U.S. Open." Granderson: "Keep the year-end tournament in which the top players face off as a tennis all-star game (in September), but eliminate this ongoing jostling for ranking, which is too exhausting for anyone other than a die-hard to keep up with." Granderson added, "I applaud the ATP Board of Directors for considering shortening the season by two to three weeks in 2012." Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick "have all lobbied for such a move for years because of the mental and physical strain caused by an extended season, and corporate sponsors have also expressed concerns about the duration" (ESPN.com, 10/22).