NBA REPLACEMENT REFS TAKING A BEATING FROM THE PLAYERS
NBA players say the officiating during the NBA preseason has
been "inconsistent at best." They are having a hard time
adjusting to the college and CBA refs filling in for locked-out
NBA officials. The primary problem cited is the number of fouls
called. Michael Jordan: "They're trying to be helpful and make
all the little calls, but I don't think they understand the game
to a point where the ticky-tack fouls don't always have to be
called" (Terry Armour, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/23). Celtic Dino
Radja: "We have to get them back. We have to start saying it."
Guard Dana Barros: "I never thought I'd be saying it, but we do
miss the (regular) guys" (BOSTON HERALD, 10/23). Nugget Dikembe
Mutombo: "Things are getting worse, and it's not in the players'
interest. I mean, it's a league problem. You can't get mad at
these guys" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/23).
FREE AGENT TAMPERING: Two teams with big-name free agents
in '96 -- Denver (Mutombo) and Charlotte (Alonzo Mourning) --
have put the league on notice for "potential tampering
violations. Their primary target? [Pat] Riley and the Heat"
(Mitch Lawrence, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/22).
NOTES FROM LONDON: In New York, Harvey Araton writes,
"While the NBA tones down its domestic act, it was pumping up the
volume over here." But Araton notes that the British are not as
excited about the NBA as the rest of Europe. "More than
professional basketball, they also prefer the World Series,
judging by Times of London coverage." The paper offered a
lengthy preview of the Series while "relegating its hometown
basketball event to six well-hidden paragraphs" (N.Y. TIMES,
10/22)....Marv Albert called NBA Commissioner David Stern "more
visible today on the world scene than Warren Christopher" (NBC,