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Volume 24 No. 159
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     While NBA officials were in Philadelphia yesterday to hear
that city's presentation for the chance to host the '98 All-Star
Game, officials from the Knicks made their pitch in San Antonio
last week.  MSG/Knicks President Dave Checketts' presentation to
a committee that included Commissioner David Stern included a Top
Ten list from David Letterman on reasons the game should be in
New York, as well as testimonials from Woody Allen, Tom Brokaw
and Bill Murray.  Checketts argues that the recent trend of
granting the game to cities with new arenas is unfair, especially
since MSG just spent $200M to upgrade the Garden.  Checketts:
"We have presented some very creative things that could give a
nice twist to this event."  NBA sources say, while New York is
"intriguing" to Stern, he has not ruled out the third city in
contention, Portland.  Although SI's Jackie MacMullan notes the
league has concerns that Portland may not have enough hotel space
to accommodate the growing event (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 2/19
issue).  NBA spokesperson Chris Brienza said the league could
reach a decision "in a few weeks or a few months" (N.Y. POST,
     ACTING UNION HEAD:  NBPA official Alex English is serving as
interim Exec Dir of the union until a permanent replacement is
found (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/16).