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Volume 24 No. 116

Leagues Governing Bodies

          Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen said that if neither the Ed
     Roski/Eli Broad group nor the Michael Ovitz expansion group
     can secure a L.A. stadium agreement soon, he will support
     putting an NFL expansion franchise in Houston and relocating
     an existing team to L.A., according to Curtis Eichelberger
     of BLOOMBERG NEWS.  Bowlen: "I don't think Los Angeles is
     the no brainer people are making it out to be.  I don't have
     any confidence that a stadium agreement is going to get done
     by either of the Los Angeles groups. ... If the stadium
     isn't ready, there's nothing wrong with giving Houston the
     expansion team, negotiating our own stadium agreement in Los
     Angeles and later re-locating a team there. ... Houston at
     some point in time will have a franchise" (BLOOMBERG, 3/11).

          Senators Chair Rod Bryden met with 10 Ottawa-area MPs
     yesterday "as part of his campaign to persuade" government
     officials that Canadian NHL teams face "unfair competition"
     from U.S. teams, according to Graham Fraser of the Toronto
     GLOBE & MAIL.  Bryden focused on int'l trade. Liberal House
     Leader Don Boudria: "He did not ask for tax relief for
     hockey players or anything like that.  He gave us a briefing
     on some of his concerns" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/12).  Bryden: "The
     next federal budget doesn't come until next year and if I'm
     going to move by the fall of 2000, I'll have to have an
     agreement done long before that" (OTTAWA SUN, 3/12).  

          The T'Wolves announced a three-team, nine-player trade
     yesterday which sent G Stephon Marbury to the Nets, and in
     Minneapolis, Steve Aschburner writes that Marbury informed
     team VP Kevin McHale and Owner Glen Taylor that "he was
     unwilling to re-sign with the Wolves," prompting the team's
     trade.  One of Marbury's "alleged motives" for leaving was
     "jealousy" over Kevin Garnett's $126M contract.  Taylor:
     "Quite frankly, it's a shame" (STAR TRIBUNE, 3/12).  Marbury
     said that "the town was not big enough for both" he and
     Garnett and called Garnett's contract "bothersome."  But in
     St. Paul, Greg Johnson reports that McHale "made it clear"
     that he "was frustrated and bitter" with how Marbury and
     agent David Falk handled the situation.  McHale: "I guess
     loyalty and some other words are long forgotten in our
     league.  I can't stand that attitude."  McHale also said the
     T'Wolves "had a better deal" on the table for Marbury, but
     it was "nixed" by Falk, who "told the team we were talking
     to that Steph would not play there" (PIONEER PRESS, 3/12). 
     McHale, on Falk: "When he said, 'I'm going to help you,'
     that's when I knew we were in trouble.  When an agent says
     those five words, cover your wallet and run like hell"
     (Patrick Reusse, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/12).  
          FALKIAN GRIP: In N.Y., Peter Vecsey reports Falk
     "threatened" McHale that if the Nets and T'Wolves didn't do
     a deal, he would have Marbury, Nets G Kerry Kittles and
     Celtics C Vitaly Potapenko -- all clients of his -- sign
     with the Bulls this offseason.  Vecsey adds that while Falk
     is touting the off-the-court income of Marbury in the N.Y.
     market, he is "selling gullible guys like Marbury an
     advertising bill of goods" because he fails to tell them
     that "you earn your endorsements by winning and projecting a
     positive image."  Marbury has "sullied both ... by suddenly
     abandoning his teammates and forcing a trade."  Vecsey, says
     that Falk, who he calls a "Parasite," is now "trying to
     sabotage one franchise at a time, either by coercing trades
     or demanding outlandish contracts for his clients."  Vecsey:
     "The new CBA may have capped the income of the players, but
     it failed miserably to cap the input of agents"  (N.Y. POST,
     3/12).  In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes that Taylor said
     that there is "no question Falk influenced" the deal. 
     Taylor: "In order for me to get this thing done, I had to
     help him move Gatling out to Milwaukee, which was part of
     his deal.  There were some other things (Falk) wanted to get
     accomplished" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/12).'s
     David Aldridge writes that Falk "destroyed the fledgling
     hopes" of the T'Wolves and "mortgaged the future" of the
     Nets to prove "he still has juice" (, 3/12).