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Volume 24 No. 136
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          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).