NBA TALKS BREAK OFF; WORK STOPPAGE STILL DOUBTFUL
After meeting three times in the past three weeks, the NBA
and NBPA "broke off talks" over a new CBA on Friday. NBA Deputy
Commissioner Russ Granik: "We're very far apart. It's rather
discouraging right now." But new NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine
"took a less harsh view of the situation." Gourdine: "Both
sides felt the dialogue wasn't going anywhere and it might be
good to step back and reassess the situation" (N.Y. POST, 5/20).
Despite the setback and the "minimal progress" achieved thus far,
NBPA President Buck Williams "doubts there will be a first-ever
work stoppage." Williams: "Look at baseball and what it has
done to fan support. That's the worst thing that could happen to
the sport" (Ailene Voisin, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/21).
IS THE PIE BIG ENOUGH? After the Bulls' loss, Michael
Jordan looked back on his return and pondered whether he could
have cut a better deal with the league, considering the money he
brought in. Jordan: "The fact is certain star players drive the
NBA financially. And the question is, how do you get the money
back to those marquee players. That's where the new collective
bargaining agreement comes in. Business in the NBA is good. Why
not be fair about it? Other businesses in the athletic world are
not doing as well" (Michael Wilbon, WASHINGTON POST, 5/20).