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Volume 24 No. 157

Leagues Governing Bodies

     The NHL's Board of Governors meeting continued yesterday,
with the approval of the Nordiques' move to Denver gaining the
most coverage this morning:
          AU REVOIR, QUEBEC:  In a unanimous vote, the Board
     approved the sale of the Nordiques to Comsat and the move to
     Denver for '95-96.  In addition to the $75M paid to the
     Nordiques former owners led by Marcel Aubut, an $8M transfer
     fee will be paid to the league.  NHL Commissioner Gary
     Bettman:  "It's going to be good in Denver" (Adrian Drater,
     DENVER POST, 6/22).  Bettman said the owners didn't consider
     a last-minute request from a Quebec group for a 30-day
     delay.  The to-be-named team will play in the Pacific
     Division.  The new owners said that fans will help pick the
     team's nickname, colors and logo.  Among the options:  Black
     Bears, Cougars, Outlaws, Avalanche, Big Horns, Explorers,
     Renegades, and Wranglers (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/22).  A
     source in the Denver business community said the public's
     input on the name "will delay the process," and a final name
     and logo for the club may not be unveiled until the third or
     fourth week of July (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/21).
          DANCING WITH THE DEVILS:  Bettman said that the future
     of the Devils will be decided shortly.  He said the Devils
     told the Board of Governors that no decision had yet been
     made by on whether or not they would remain in NJ.  Devils
     Owner John McMullen said a decision would not be "until the
     finals were concluded."  Bettman: "Very shortly, this is
     going to have to be brought to a head.  I will inject myself
     when I think it will do some good in terms of getting a
     resolution one way or the other" (Jeff Legowold, Nashville
     TENNESSEAN, 6/22).  In Washington, Leonard Shapiro writes
     that "many hockey observers said the NHL's virtual silence
     shows it wants the Devils to leave the three-team New York
     area and head to another unchartered part of the South"
     (WASHINGTON POST, 6/22).  According to figures released
     during a NJ court hearing yesterday, the Devils received
     $1.2M in luxury suite revenue at Brendan Byrne in '94, 64%
     more than the Nets' $737,115.  For '95, the Devils are
     projected to receive $1.26M and the Nets $769,316.  The
     disparity, according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES,
     relfects the Devils' lease renegotiation with the NJ Sports
     & Exposition Authority in '91.  Since then, the Devils have
     received 34.2% of gross suite revenues, while the Nets have
     received 25%, after expenses (N.Y. TIMES, 6/22).
          LONG LIVE THE KINGS?  The Board also approved, in
     principle, the proposed interim financing for the Kings from
     CO billionaire Philip Anschutz and developer Edward Roski.
     The financing, according to Bettman, "will be sufficient" to
     keep the Kings stable for "the next few months."  An
     agreement by the team's three shareholders prevents the
     club's sale until January 31, 1996 -- "unless all parties
     agree."  Bettman:  "I believe there's enough positive cash
     flow to get them to the winter.  That's the expectation"
     (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 6/22).  League sources say that
     former Argonauts Owner Harry Ornest, in a group with Lakers
     (and former Kings) Owner Jerry Buss, had lobbied NHL owners
     to reject Anschutz's bid.  Kings Co-Owner Joe Cohen recently
     rejected a bid from Ornest -- $50M and an added $50M loan
     guarantee (William Houston, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/22).
          NHL NEWS & NOTES:  In Toronto, Bob McKenzie writes that
     "the expansion ball is finally beginning to roll."  Several
     Governors told him the process is "already underway" and two
     teams are expected to be added this summer for admission in
     Fall '96.  McKenzie also notes the Jets are "almost certain"
     to be in Winnipeg this season, but many believe that the
     long-term prospects for the NHL in Manitoba "remain bleak"
     (TORONTO STAR, 6/22).  Flames Co-Owner Harley Hotchkiss was
     elected Chair of the Board of Governors.  The position had
     been vacant since former Kings' Owner Bruce McNall resigned
     more than a year ago (Helene Elliott, L.A. TIMES, 6/22).

     NBA Commissioner David Stern, in a statement:  "A
disgruntled lawyer [Jeffrey Kessler], whose firm was terminated
by the players association, filed the NLRB petition, and Marc
Fleisher, the self-proclaimed spokesman for the group, represents
very few NBA players and seems interested only in ousting the
union leadership that replaced his father [Larry Fleisher]"
(AP/Mult., 6/22).  Fleisher:  "David has been a family friend for
a long time, and I'm surprised he's taking the low road here.
That goes to show the players' message is getting across and has
the NBA seriously concerned."  Fleisher, on Gourdine FedExing the
proposal to each NBA player overnight:  "Great. ... Which means
if they aren't home, they might not see it until tomorrow, or
maybe after their player reps vote.  Who the hell runs a union
like that?"   Fleisher noted that Pooh Richardson, a player rep
who had signed a decertification notice, was not included in
yesterday's conference calls (Jackie MacMullan, BOSTON GLOBE,
6/22).
          OTHER QUOTES OF NOTE:  Jim Paxson, a former NBPA
     officer and now a Blazers special assistant:  "One hundred
     guys aren't doing this on their own" (OREGONIAN, 6/22).
     Hakeem Olajuwon called for a truce:  "Now is not the time to
     get greedy.  We players just have to sacrifice and do what
     is right for the players and also the owners" (CNBC, 6/21).
     NBPA Exec Cmte member Tyrone Corbin:  "There will be some
     opposition, but I think once all the player reps get
     together and evaluate it a final time, I think it will pass"
     (Ailene Voisin, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/22).  Magic Player
     Rep Donald Royal:  "I like what I heard today.  I think it
     will pass.  It's different from anything we've had in the
     past, but I think it's a real good deal for the players"
     (Tim Povtak, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/22).  The Heat's John
     Salley:  "It trips me out that MJ [Michael Jordan] would
     sign that [decertification petition] and not think what is
     better for the league. ... That's not cool" (NEWSPORT,
     6/21).  Suns Player Rep Joe Kleine:  "I think some of the
     criticism of Simon is unfair.  If all these big-name players
     had showed this kind of interest earlier, we would have had
     a much stronger union" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/22).  Agent Arn
     Tellem said there was more to decertification than blocking
     the new CBA:  "We have to repudiate this man [Gourdine] and
     stop him and let the league know he has no authority in
     representing the players" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 6/22).
     Leonard Armato, agent for Shaquille O'Neal:  "I have been
     told that much of the strategy of the NBA is to prevent
     someone like Shaquille from maximizing his market potential"
     (L.A. TIMES, 6/22).  Jeffrey Kessler, the attorney
     representing the dissenters:  "From what we know about the
     deal that's been leaked out, it will be the worst deal in
     the history of professional team sports from the players'
     stadnpoint" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/22).  More Kessler:  "This
     is a rollback for the players.  The happiest man in America
     today is David Stern.  The only reason he's not happier is
     he sees that the rest of the players aren't going to let
     that happen" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/22).
          ONE AGENT-PLAYER RELATIONSHIP SOURS:  Buck Williams
     said he was "very disappointed" in his agentm, David Falk, a
     leader of the decertification effort.  Williams:  "David has
     represented me for 14 years.  He didn't call to tell me that
     he was getting involved in this.  I thought it was very poor
     taste" (Mark Heisler, L.A. TIMES, 6/22).

     "The negotiating teams for the NBA and its Players
Association announced Wednesday that they have agreed on a new
labor contract," according to David Moore in this morning's
DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Moore continues, "Meanwhile the legal
maneuvers designed to prevent the quick approval of this
collective bargaining agreement intensified" (DALLAS MORNING
NEWS, 6/22).  Hawks President Stan Kasten, a member of the NBA's
Labor Committee:  "I understand we're very close.  We still have
to meet, discuss and vote" (Ailene Voisin, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
6/22).  The NBA Board of Governors and the 27 player reps meet
for votes tomorrow, the owners in New York and the players in
Chicago.
          DON'T RATIFY, DECERTIFY!  The announcement of a deal
     came hours after 17 players petitioned the NLRB to legally
     decertify the union as their collective bargaining agent
     with the NBA.  Those players now need to provide the NLRB
     with signatures of 30% of the union's 324 members before the
     NBPA ratifies the new agreement.  If those signatures are
     filed by Friday -- and, according to Mark Asher of the
     WASHINGTON POST, "the attorney representing the unhappy
     players said they will be" -- the NLRB will hold a hearing
     on whether a vote should be held of the entire union
     membership.  If a vote is held, a majority would be
     necessary to decertify the union.  Decertification would
     kill the present agreement and end the league's labor
     exemption from antitrust laws (WASHINGTON POST, 6/22).  A
     decertification vote would be held 30-45 days after the NLRB
     hearing (Ronald Blum, AP/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/22).
          LET THE SELLING BEGIN:  In L.A., Mark Heisler described
     the NBPA as "under an eleventh-hour siege," but reports that
     in conference calls among 20 of the 27 player reps,
     "sentiment reportedly was running in favor of ratification"
     (L.A. TIMES, 6/22).  CNN's Fred Hickman reported, after
     talking with NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine, President Buck
     Williams and VP Charles Smith, that "they feel as though
     they can sell this agreement to the players.  That once they
     see it they're going to see it's a good deal and there's
     going to be no problem ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 6/21).  In
     Boston, Jackie MacMullan also notes an "informal poll" of
     player reps indicated the deal would pass.  Also, Bucks
     Player Rep Ed Pinckney, who had signed a decertification
     notice, "has changed his position" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/22).