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Volume 24 No. 117
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          On his "NBA Beat," ESPN's David Aldridge reported that
     while the NBPA is "looking into" decertification should the
     league reopen its CBA next summer, "the agents for several
     high-profile players are concerned that decertifying may
     invalidate the guaranteed contracts their players have." 
     Aldridge: "Lawyers are looking for precedence now, but if
     they don't find an answer that's satisfactory, the NBA's
     union could be without one of its most powerful arguments
     when it goes back to the bargaining table" (ESPN, 12/15).
          HOUSTON'S ROCKET: Charles Barkley appeared on ESPN's
     "Up Close" on Monday.  Barkley, on his talk of a boycott of
     the All-Star Game and/or the World Championships: "I don't
     even know if we're going to have to have a boycott, because
     I think we are going to get locked out.  I think there's no
     question we're going to get locked out" (ESPN, 12/15).
          OH SPIT! USA TODAY's Roscoe Nance writes the NBA "has
     alerted teams it is cracking down on excessive use of
     profanity by coaches and players."  Offenders will be fined
     $2,500 and could be suspended (USA TODAY, 12/16).