NBA NO-STRIKE/NO-LOCKOUT: POST- ANNOUNCEMENT SPIN AND SLAMS
Several NBA columnists commented over the weekend on the
NBA-NBPA no-strike/no-lockout agreement for '94-95.
YEA: In New York, Harvey Araton: "The union knew that too
many of its young, immature millionaires couldn't deal with a
lockout. They need time to grow up, to understand what they're
selling and to whom" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/30). In Washington,
Johnette Howard: "The NBA, more than any other league,
recognizes that its players are its product and that you do your
league no good by running down your players as greedy or selfish
or money hungry -- even on those occasions when it is true"
(WASHINGTON POST, 10/30). In Boston, Will McDonough feels NBA
players "caved in because they saw their peers in baseball and
hockey lose big money and didn't want to go down the same road"
(BOSTON GLOBE, 10/29).
BOO: NBPA Exec VP/Knicks forward Charles Smith: "I feel
good about it from the standpoint that we, as players, felt we
didn't want to get into the same mayhem as hockey and baseball.
The downside is that we're back to square one at the end of the
season" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/29). Marc Fleisher, the son of former
NBPA Exec Dir Larry Fleisher, on current NBPA Exec Dir Charlie
Grantham: "Charlie could have gotten this a month from now. I'd
have called the bluff and put David in a p.r. nightmare of
locking out the players. You can't run scared from a lockout
even if you're not sure you can call a strike" (N.Y. TIMES,
10/29). Mike Lupica: "It's worth pointing out, though, that the
NBA is where the NHL was one year ago. I'm not sure the NBA
isn't headed for the same kind of trouble, even though Stern is
portrayed as being smarter than a MENSA meeting. ... All David
Stern bought the other day, with ample help from Grantham, is
time" ("SportsReporters," ESPN, 10/30).
ROOKIE CAP TALK: Dave D'Alessandro proposes some form of a
rookie cap coupled with a 2-year opt-out clause. "If there is no
cap, make it fair to the owners by basing these free-agent
salaries on merit" (Bergen RECORD, 10/30). 76ers coach John
Lucas on escalating rookie salaries: "We're going to have to
reach a happy median where everybody is in a win-win situation.
Or else we'll see the league drop in attendance because people
aren't going to care anymore" (Baltimore SUN, 10/31).