NBPA AVERTS DECERTIFICATION -- FOR NOW; LOOKS FOR NEW DEAL
NBA players "waited Sunday to learn whether the league was
willing to reopen talks on a labor deal that already had been
agreed to in principle," according to the AP's Wendy Lane. NBPA
Exec Dir Simon Gourdine did not expect the two sides to meet
before Wednesday's college draft. Gourdine: "If there is a
reopening, it would be later in the week, but there's been no
commitment (from the NBA) to do that. ... Enormous pressures are
going to build up once the draft is completed" (AP/MILWAUKEE
JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/26).
WEEKEND WRAP: On Friday, NBA players unhappy with the
agreement the union had reached with owners agreed to delay
decertification if the union would seek to reopen talks with
the owners (Mult., 6/24). In Dallas, David Moore writes,
"The one positive piece of news to emerge from this meeting
for the owners was that the rift that threatened to fracture
the union appears to have been reconciled" (DALLAS MORNING
NEWS, 6/24). In Chicago, Sam Smith reported that the "rank
and file" didn't like the deal, so "the bargaining will
begin again with perhaps a threat to the games next fall"
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/24). In L.A., Mark Heisler reported,
"Even management sources agreed [that a luxury tax] would
have created a 'hard' cap, making it harder for teams to fit
in free agents and curtailing player movement" (L.A. TIMES,
6/26). Bob Costas questioned NBA Commissioner David Stern
during coverage of the expansion draft. Asked if the league
was willing to re-enter negotiations, Stern replied, "I
would say we are waiting to hear (from the players). ... If
there is some trading they would like to do ... that's
something we are always willing to talk about, because we
very much would like to make a deal" (NBC, 6/24).
DE-FENSE: NBPA Exec VP Charles Smith said he was
"disappointed" with the fact that so many players had signed
on to decertification without having spoken to union leaders
about the proposed deal. Smith: "Ninety-eight percent of
the players who signed that decertification list didn't know
what they were signing. I'm convinced" (Thomas Hill, N.Y.
POST, 6/26). More Smith: "I'm disappointed that the
players didn't see two sides of the situation, and realize
that the agents were acting totally out of self-interest.
The players were listening to them and not talking to us to
get the real side" (David Steele, NEWSDAY, 6/26).