SPREE TO BE YOU & ME: NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter, asked
if he could have helped Latrell Sprewell better prepare for
his recent media appearances: "I would have probably --
hopefully -- better prepared him. I would have probably
been a little more selective in terms of what shows I
permitted him to go on." The tour was scheduled by
Sprewell's agent, Arm Tellem. Hunter, meanwhile, "distanced
himself -- and the union -- from the interviews." Hunter:
"It probably doesn't play too well with some people"
(BLOOMBERG/PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/11)....Sprewell, on
whether he feels a weight has been lifted from him since the
ruling: "I'm starting to feel that as I can get out and tell
people what really happened" ("Inside the NBA," TNT, 3/10).
NOTES: Pilot Pen CEO Mike Davies is "seeking a four- or
five-year lease with an option for another five years" from
the USTA to bring the U.S. Women's Hardcourt Championship to
New Haven, CT. In Hartford, Greg Garber reports that if a
deal is reached, Davies' organization "is prepared to
piggyback local advertising for the women's event" with the
men's Pilot Pen tournament (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/11)....Also
in Hartford, Jerry Trecker previews the upcoming MLS season,
and writes that the league "faces a continuing battle to
gain acceptance beyond the already committed fans." Trecker
reports that the '98 season will open with "some positives,"
including two new teams and a "better television package,"
which includes games on ABC, ESPN, Univision and regional
sports nets. Trecker adds that "sponsor interest remains
high, too, suggesting the business world has more confidence
in" the sport, but that "in the meantime, a low profile is
still the operative mode for MLS" (HARTFORD COURANT, 3/11).