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Volume 24 No. 116
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          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).