ESPN'S ALDRIDGE REPORTS NBA "WILLING TO OPEN ITS BOOKS"
The "latest meeting" between the NBA and the NBPA was
held Tuesday between NBA Commissioner David Stern and NBPA
Exec Dir Billy Hunter, according to ESPN's David Aldridge.
Aldridge: "No breakthrough was achieved nor should have been
expected, but the league did tell the union that it would be
willing to open its books, something the NBA has been loathe
to do in years past, to prove to the union that teams'
profit margins have dropped dramatically or disappeared
altogether over the past two years" ("SportsCenter," 2/26).
NBA NOTES: THE SPORTING NEWS' cover story examines the
events around the NBA's trading deadline under the header,
"What's The Deal? Inside A Week Of Trades, Tantrums And
Turmoil." David Moore writes, "A league under siege took a
few more hits this past week." Noting players' moves to
influence where and when they are traded, Moore asks, "Have
the owners handed control of the sport over to their
employees, setting the state for labor Armageddon to unfold
in five short months? The answer is unknown. What is known
is that every time commissioner David Stern turns around, he
bumps into another problem that rips at the fabric of the
sport's success" (TSN, 3/2 issue). In Chicago, Lacy Banks
writes that while Michael Jordan is the "league's most
pervasive positive" it is "unfair for Jerry Reinsdorf and
his partners to be saddled with paying Jordan by themselves
when he is making so much money for everybody." Banks:
"Jordan is spreading the wealth around the league unlike any
other player ever has done. It would only be right if the
league would spread around the responsibility of helping the
Bulls pay his salary" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/27).