D-DAY IN DALLAS: NBA OWNERS SET TO VOTE ON RE-OPENING CBA
The NBA's Board of Governor's is "poised to take the
first step in a journey that will lead to a modified
collective bargaining agreement or an uncertain labor
future," according to David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING
NEWS. League officials "confirmed" that today in Dallas
owners will void the final three years of the NBA's
agreement and "return to the negotiating table" with the
NBPA. Moore also reports that NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter
has said that he plans to meet with the league around April
1 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/23). NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ
Granik: "Lockout isn't part of our vocabulary right now. ...
You never know, but we have a very cordial and professional
relationship with union leadership, and we'll do our best to
try and maintain that." Hunter: "[W]e've still got between
now and October and November to work out a deal." In N.Y.,
Mike Wise pointed to the "smart" participants in the
negotiations, Granik, Hunter and NBA Commissioner David
Stern, and wrote to "expect both sides to compromise before
the summer ends" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/23). In Boston, Peter May
wrote the difference between today and the last NBA labor
disruption in '95 is Hunter, "who has shown already that he
is both reasonable and dogged" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/22).
NOT OPTIMISTIC: In N.Y, Mitch Lawrence wrote that Stern
is "expected to get a pulse on whether his employers are
willing to shut down operations for what might be a year."
One ownership source: "There are some owners who want to
make a big-time stand and get to the root of the issues."
While there are questions of how "unified" ownership is "to
commit to more than a summer-time lockout," Lawrence added
that "hawks," including the Jazz's Larry Miller and the
Clippers' Don Sterling, "will push to lock the players out
for a year, if necessary" (DAILY NEWS, 3/22). In L.A., Mark
Heisler wrote Stern "reportedly is ready to lock the players
out till next Christmas or longer" (L.A. TIMES, 3/22).