NO SURPRISE, MONTE CARLO HAS LITTLE INTEREST IN U.S. TEAM
The U.S. World Championship basketball team arrived in
Monte Carlo "virtually unnoticed Wednesday afternoon,"
according to Eddie Sefko of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE, who wrote
that "with only [CBA], college and European-refugee players
on hand, the U.S. entourage was greeted Wednesday by exactly
one French sportscaster and one writer based in Nice,
France." Sefko: "That, of course, doubled the American
media horde following the U.S. squad" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
7/16). In Houston, Dale Robertson writes that the World
Championships "should have nothing to do with the labor
unrest in the NBA." But "some bucks might have accidentally
trickled back through the international monetary system into
the owners' pockets, and the players weren't going to stand
for that" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 7/17). But NBPA VP Charles
Smith is quoted in the SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS as saying
that NBA players wanted to play in Greece. He dismissed NBA
Commissioner David Stern's comments that players "trashed"
their country: "He wanted (fans) to take the 'rah, rah'
position. ... [T]he players wanted to play. But then we
were locked out. How can your employer prevent you from
earning your pay, and then ask you to go make money for the
organization?" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 7/17).
WHERE'S THE RAGIN' CAJUN? CBS analyst Billy Packer
tells USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke that the NBA "is like the
Clinton PR team. The release said USA Basketball told NBC
and Turner they can't carry the World Championships. But
who canceled the TV coverage is basically David Stern."
Martzke also quotes ESPN VP/Programming Dick Glover as
saying that ESPN has "no intention" of televising games of
NBA players during the lockout (USA TODAY, 7/17).
SIX LOCKOUT TALES: In SI, MacMullan & Taylor write that
"there are far more than two angles from which to view the
lockout." In their piece, "Lockout Limbo," MacMullan &
Taylor examine the lockout's impact in separate profiles of
six people: a rookie (the 76ers' Nazr Mohammed), an
established player (the T-Wolves' Tom Gugliotta), a
journeyman (free agent Chuckie Brown), a GM (the Suns' Bryan
Colangelo), an agent (Arn Tellem) and a fan (Bulls season-
ticket holder Leslie Wright) (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 7/20).
HELLO?? Midway through "Business Center," CNBC's Maria
Bartiromo noted Michael Jordan's comments that he wouldn't
play for any coach but Phil Jackson and described it as
"breaking news." Bartiromo: "Breaking news now. While
basketball superstar Michael Jordan is not saying for sure
that he's retiring, he is saying today that we won't play
for any other coach than Phil Jackson" (CNBC, 7/16). Jordan
said he won't make an official announcement about his status
until after the lockout, but as far as a possible retirement
he said, "I'm pretty sure that's my decision" (Mult., 7/17).