FOX SPORTS NEWS REPORTS STERN IN TALKS WITH COCHRAN
NBA Commissioner David Stern "has met several times
this week" with Latrell Sprewell's attorney Johnnie Cochran,
according to John Walls of "Fox Sports News." Walls added
that Stern "hopes to find a solution to the Sprewell matter,
thus avoiding arbitration and what he fears will be an
unfavorable decision for the NBA" ("FSN," 12/17).
SNAP, CRACKLE, POP: In S.F., David Steele writes the
NBA "snapped, lost patience, acted rashly, crossed the line
without seriously considering the consequences" in its
Sprewell suspension. Steele calls for a settlement in the
matter, because in the upcoming arbitration, "everyone's
dirty laundry will be on display" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/18).
WRITE, JESSE, WRITE: Jesse Jackson writes the "Point
After" in the current SI: "There are many issues involving
race and sports worth getting excited about. ... But for all
the hype surrounding Latrell Sprewell, the incident between
him and his coach most assuredly does not belong in this
group." Jackson said that the issue won't lead him to
picket or rally or march in support of Sprewell. Jackson:
"If the Sprewell episode has a larger implication, it is
found in a sports-entertainment industry that tells athletes
at a very young age that they may play by a different set of
rules than their fellow students, that coddles them and
spoils them and that showers them with rewards out of all
proportion to their contributions to society" (SI, 12/22).
MORE GOOD NEWS: USA TODAY's David DuPree writes the NBA
"has seen its attendance take an early-season tumble," down
2.5% from last season to 16,648 a game. DuPree noted while
attendance "usually picks up after New Year's," if the
numbers hold, "it will be the second season in a row that
attendance has fallen after an increase in each of the
previous five seasons" (USA TODAY, 12/18).