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Volume 24 No. 157
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          NBA LABOR: On "SportsCenter," ESPN's David Aldridge
     reported that NBA owners "are really hammering the union on
     trying to get limitations on the Larry Bird exemption, and
     the union is adamant about not having any exceptions and in
     fact they want more exceptions to the cap.  So what I think
     we have to start with is the league's not giving up the
     salary cap, the players aren't giving up the Larry Bird
     exception.  If both sides could agree on that as a starting
     point and work their way in, I think that there would be a
     much better chance of getting an agreement" (ESPN, 6/23).
          THIS BUD'S FOR YOU: In Raleigh, a NEWS & OBSERVER
     editorial titled "Say It Ain't So" comments on Bud Selig
     being named full-time MLB Commissioner: "The game needs one
     strong, independent leader who will serve the game and the
     fans first.  More of the same -- particularly if another
     labor crisis is bungled -- will breed cynicism in all those
     bleachers and boxes, and ultimately will diminish the
     importance and popularity of baseball" (NEWS & OBSERVER,
     6/24).  In S.F., Glenn Dickey writes that Selig's "apparent
     promotion bothers me," including the "way he campaigned for
     the job.  I'd have respected him if he said he wanted the
     job, but instead, he's played the reluctant suitor while
     actively lining up support" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/24).  
          NOTES: On "Page Six" of the N.Y. POST, Richard Johnson
     writes that as the WNBA opens its second season, "basketball
     fever appears to be the biggest thing to hit New York's
     lesbian community since the craze over TV's popular 'Xena:
     Warrior Princess.'"  Out magazine writer Deb Schwartz: "The
     WNBA won't comment, but it's pretty obvious that there's a
     huge lesbian following.  The games have become a place to
     meet and greet."  WNBA Dir of Corporate Communications Alice
     McGillion said that the league "had no way of measuring the
     degree of lesbian support."  McGillion: "We don't ask people
     that question (about their sexual orientation)" (N.Y. POST,
     6/24)....USA TODAY continues to chart '97 NFL player
     salaries with a list of all NFC salaries (USA TODAY, 6/24).