NBA, PART II: UNION/AGENTS PUT ON GLOVES OVER CBA
At a Friday press conference, NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter
and 12 of "the game's most influential agents" said that if
the league reopens its CBA next year, "they will face tougher
negotiations than they did in 1995," according to Mike Wise
of the N.Y. TIMES. Hunter: "We're not encouraging a
confrontation with the N.B.A. But the union is no longer in
the mind set it was two years ago. There will be unity
between the players, the union and the agents." The union
wants to see an end to the rookie salary cap that was put in
the '95 agreement. Hunter also downplayed talk of a work
stoppage: "Our intent is not to strike. At least not at this
stage" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/25). Hunter: "The current deal has
been a bad one for the players as a whole, and a setback.
The players made numerous concessions the last time. That
won't happen again" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/26).
REAX: In Orlando, Tim Povtak wrote that by next July,
the NBA "is expected to be engulfed in a messy labor/
management battle that could leave it with deep and lasting
scars. By July 1, the NBA could be a mess" (ORLANDO
SENTINEL, 10/26). In AZ, Bob Young wrote under the header,
"NBA Could Be Heading Toward Trouble Next Year." Young noted
the potential for a work stoppage: "Enjoy this NBA season.
... Because it could all go away next summer" (ARIZONA
REPUBLIC, 10/26). The AP wrote: "Time for a new slogan: The
NBA -- Enjoy it while it lasts." The AP: "From all
indications, this is the NBA's eve of destruction. The Bulls
are breaking up, a lockout looms, a baseball-style labor war
is possible and the whole basketball of wax could break apart
like a shattered backboard" (AP/STAR TRIBUNE, 10/26).