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Volume 24 No. 156
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          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).