The Rage's Dawn Staley has switched agents "not long
before" the August 1 expiration of her ABL contract,
according to a report in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Staley
has left VA-based attorney Kenton Edelin, whose clients
include the ABL's Jennifer Rizzotti and the WNBA's Rebecca
Lobo, for CA-based Management Plus Enterprises. Management
Plus VP Bruce Binkow said the timing of Staley's move
"happens to be a coincidence" and denied it had anything to
do with the fact that the WNBA's Lisa Leslie is one of his
clients "or that, as a result, Staley might jump to the
rival league." Binkow: "Dawn just wants to do what's best
for Dawn" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/23).
DYNAMIC DUO: Lobo and Leslie appeared on ESPN's "Up
Close" last night, where Lobo called a WNBA players' union
"something we need." Lobo: "We don't need it so we can go
out like the men and demand these million dollar contracts,
we need it for a pension plan, to certify agents, to get
health insurance year-round. We have small goals we're
trying to get, but I think it would be positive for all of
us to pool our resources and get something like that going."
Leslie, on the WNBA's salaries: "I wouldn't want to make a
million dollars to play basketball. I enjoy playing the
game, and obviously I don't want to play for free anymore,
but a good six-figure salary is good enough. To play for a
million dollars -- I'd be afraid to walk down the street. I
don't want to get hurt. And you have so many expectations
of us already. For a million dollars, you'd need to make
every shot" ("Up Close," ESPN, 7/22).
MLS: In Portland, Abby Haight reported that MLS COO
Mark Abbott, "the point man for league expansion," toured
Civic Stadium, had lunch with business leaders and met with
Mayor Vera Katz "in what probably was the first of several
visits." Portland business leaders and "soccer enthusiasts"
are promoting the city for one of two expected MLS expansion
franchises in 2000 or 2001. Charlotte, Seattle and
Cincinnati are also "in the running" (OREGONIAN, 7/22).
OTHER NOTES: TX Motor Speedway GM Eddie Gossage, on the
track getting a second Winston Cup race for '99: "We'd love
to ... but I don't anticipate it. I'm just being honest"
(DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/23)....J.I. Albrecht, a former CFL
GM, says that "blacks are discriminated against" in the CFL,
and has "made a plea" for the league to provide blacks with
new, non-playing opportunities in his new book, "A
Prescription for CFL Survival." Among other things,
Albrecht suggests that blacks "be groomed for head-coaching
and on-field officiating positions" (Marty York, Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 7/23)....Former AFL Commissioner Jim Drucker,
who is looking to acquire an AFL expansion team for '99,
said that if more than 7,000 fans attend this Saturday's AFL
game at Kemper Arena, the city "will be his top choice" as
the site for a franchise. Already more than 5,000 tickets
have been sold. AFL Commissioner David Baker said that an
expansion team would cost $7M (K.C. STAR, 7/23).