GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY?: FEW SHOW FOR NBPA MEETINGS
Yesterday's NBPA regional meetings in Dallas, San Antonio,
and Atlanta drew five, two, and 13 players to each meeting,
respectively. FROM DALLAS: Brad Townsend reports that "by all
indications, it was not a productive stop" for the union. Mavs'
Popeye Jones: "You've got a deal here in place, but at the same
time, it's not as good as the old deal, in my opinion. You
wonder if the owners are going to give you more -- or if you're
just going to miss the season." Jamal Mashburn: "I'm in the
middle now." (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/25). Roy Tarpley: "It
stinks a little bit. There's just something about it, like how
they agreed on it overnight. It just gives me a funny feeling.
I think we all want to play ball next season and we don't want to
strike, but I don't know if that's safe to say for sure right
now" (Richie Witt, FT. WORTH STAR TELEGRAM, 8/25).
FROM SAN ANTONIO: Former Spur Sean Higgins: "Decertifying
probably would be best for the long run, better for the young
guys coming into the league. The present plan could ruin free
agency. ... I want to look at the plan, study it, and then
decide." Former Spur Antoine Carr: "I feel more informed now.
Right now, I'm in the middle" (Glenn Rogers, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS
NEWS, 8/25). FROM ATLANTA: Former Hawks captain Tree Rollins:
"If guys want to eat, they better vote." Hawk Craig Ehlo: "Guys
have to get out and vote. You can't just assume this is going to
pass" (Jeffrey Denberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/25).
HOW'M I DOIN'? NBPA Exec Dir Simon Gourdine, in San
Antonio: "We've talked to about 67 players so far and expect to
speak to about 100 all told when we've finished the tour. ...
Reaction at the meetings has been good. We've had some players
who are in favor of decertifying come to our meetings and they've
helped spur some free-wheeling conversation. We always know when
those players arrive because they have kind of a fixed question
list. But we want to talk to all the players because we believe
that this deal, although not perfect, is a good one and it's far
superior to decertifying the union. It could be chaos if that
happens and the season could be in jeopardy" (Glenn Rogers, SAN
ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS, 8/25).
WE FEAR NOTHING: Pro-decertification agent Marc Fleisher
called Gourdine's August 21 letter to agents "an act of
desperation." Fleisher: "He infers that the agents fear
retaliation (from the union), which is a flat-out joke. I know
of no agents, with one possible exception, who aren't supportive
of decertification" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 8/25).