NBA: NBA Commissioner David Stern said that the league
and the NBPA plan to conduct weekly meetings aimed at
negotiating a new CBA agreement. Stern was "optimistic" an
accord could be reached before the June 30 deadline. Deputy
Commissioner Russ Granik, who is leading the talks, was
"less upbeat." Granik: "Nobody negotiates a [CBA] agreement
in a month. We're having some meaningful discussions, but
whether we're really making any progress, I don't know yet"
(USA TODAY, 4/23)....In Charlotte, Bonnell & Laye report
that six of the 16 NBA playoff teams, "including hotbeds
Seattle and Phoenix," have yet to sell out their first round
playoff home dates (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/23).
NOTES: SI's Tim Crothers reports that some MLB owners
"are renewing efforts to expand the June free-agent draft to
include players from all over the world." Crothers writes
that Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said that the
"impetus" for MLB's movement toward a worldwide draft is the
"fear that a few wealthy franchises can outbid the rest of
the sport" for elite foreign prospects (SI, 4/27 issue)....
...Casey Martin and the PGA "have agreed on rules of the
road" for when Martin uses a cart during competition.
Martin signed the 11-point stipulation April 17, and the PGA
Tour "is expected to sign ... soon" (USA TODAY, 4/23).