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Volume 24 No. 116

Leagues Governing Bodies

          Attorneys representing Warriors G Latrell Sprewell
     "have notified the NBA that they are considering suing the
     league, and the Warriors," for $30M in damages, according to
     David Steele of the S.F. CHRONICLE.  The suit would "charge
     violations of his civil rights and of federal antitrust and
     labor laws, and demand that Sprewell not only be returned"
     the $6.4M he lost from his 68-game suspension, but that the
     Warriors trade him "immediately."  As of yesterday, the suit
     had not been filed.  Sprewell is being represented by
     Atlanta-based labor lawyer Robert Thompson, who said that a
     suit is "something [Sprewell's] been weighing over time." 
     Thompson also said that Sprewell is "investigating" whether
     the decision of arbitrator John Feerick can be overturned in
     court "on a number of grounds."  Those include the
     "argument" that Sprewell was punished "more harshly because
     he is black," that he was punished twice for the same crime,
     and that the league and team "engaged in a 'demonization' of
     his image and 'conspiracy and restraint of trade' by
     depriving him of his livelihood" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/19). 
          NBPA NOT INVOLVED: Steele adds that it was "obvious"
     that Sprewell's "various representatives and advisers were
     not in total agreement with the proposed suit."  An NBPA
     spokesperson said, "Make this clear: We're not a part of
     this action at all."  Sprewell's agent, Arn Tellem, could
     not be reached for comment (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/19).  
          NBA RESPONSE & REAX: In a statement, NBA Exec VP/Chief
     Legal Officer Jeffrey Mishkin called Sprewell's proposed
     suit "totally absurd" (NBA).  TNT's Kenny Smith: "If I'm
     Latrell Sprewell, sometimes you gotta just know when to fold
     them.  I think I would just fold the tent on this.  Go ahead
     and play basketball.  You're reinstated" (TNT, 5/18).  P.J.
     Carlesimo was on ESPN's "Up Close" and said the team has
     "two options" with Sprewell: "Spree's going to be in Golden
     State or we're going to be able to do a deal.  I think both
     of us right now would prefer that we do a deal.  And that's
     probably the best thing for the team" (ESPN, 5/18).
 

          The NPSL will announce today that it will bring an
     expansion team to Broward County, FL, for next season.  The
     league's 14th team will play in the Broward County Arena and
     be owned by Milan Mandaric (Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL,
     5/19)....The NBA named Ed T. Rush as its Dir of Officiating,
     effective July 1.  He replaces Darell Garretson, who will
     step down at the end of the season (NBA)....USA TODAY's Hal
     Bodley reports that with one additional game caused by
     expansion, Saturday's MLB attendance of 583,436 was third-
     highest in baseball history (USA TODAY, 5/19)....In
     Indianapolis, Bill Koenig reports that CART execs, sponsors
     and teams are looking into holding a "marquee event" for the
     series: "It appears there is interest in CART in trying to
     elevate one of its events to marquee status."  Koenig writes
     that both CA races, the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach and
     the CART 500 in Fontana, are "contenders" (STAR-NEWS, 5/19).