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Volume 24 No. 156
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          During the second day of Latrell Sprewell's arbitration
     hearing in Portland, OR, Sprewell and Warriors coach P.J.
     Carlesimo "did acknowledge each other casually" and shook
     hands in the first meeting since their December 1 dispute, 
     according to Craig Sager on the "NBA on TBS."  Sager noted
     that Carlesimo "is no longer the center of the focus of the
     Sprewell camp" as the "focus is strictly on whether there
     was a premeditated second attack" on the day in question.  
     Sager: "It is no longer Sprewell against Carlesimo, it is
     Sprewell against the Warriors for terminating the contract
     and Sprewell against the league for handing down the
     suspension."  Sager added that no Trail Blazers who played
     under Carlesimo will be asked to testify (TBS, 1/28).
          ONE-ON-ONE: Three Warriors players -- Felton Spencer,
     Joe Smith and Bimbo Coles -- testified yesterday before
     arbitrator John Feerick.  Assistant coaches Paul Westhead
     and Rod Higgins then followed the players, with Higgins
     "ending the 12-hour session," according to David Steele of
     the S.F. CHRONICLE.  Carlesimo was scheduled to appear after
     Higgins, but "he stayed from early morning until the very
     end, observing the testimony of his players and coaches." 
     Steele reports that Coles' appearance before Feerick was the
     "longest yet, lasting some four hours."  While his agent,
     Sean Holley, was "concerned about repercussions from the
     team or the league," Coles agreed to appear.  Holley: "I
     don't think a lot of the guys really realized what was going
     on.  I think they thought they'd just have to give some kind
     of statement.  But this is like a trial."  After his
     testimony, Spencer said, "It was kind of odd because they
     were both there. ... It was rather intense" (S.F. CHRONICLE,
     1/29).  In N.Y., Mike Wise notes that one league official,
     who spoke to a player that testified, said that what the
     "players believed what would be an informal interview turned
     into an extremely awkward situation."  NBA lawyers "read
     interviews the players" gave to the league's security office
     the day after the incident, and asked them to "elaborate on
     their previous statements."  Some accounts differed from
     Carlesimo's and "the players were apparently surprised" to
     have them read in his presence (N.Y. TIMES, 1/29).
          MORE TO COME: The hearing continues today and "possibly
     Friday," then moves to New York next week, where Carlesimo
     will testify (Thomas Heath, WASHINGTON POST, 1/29).  But in
     Chicago, Lacy Banks reports that it is not certain even if
     Sprewell or Carlesimo will testify at all.  Banks: "That has
     become uncertain because sources confirm reports that
     neither Carlesimo nor Sprewell are the primary focus of the
     arbitration any longer.  Rather, the NBA players union is
     going after the Warriors and the NBA, claiming Sprewell's
     punishments were excessive."  One "insider" said NBA
     Commissioner David Stern may be asked to testify about "how
     and why he arrived" at his decision (SUN-TIMES, 1/29).