NBA Considering '98 Lockout, Reopening Labor Agreement

From Staff and Wire Reports

The NBA is considering reopening the collective bargaining agreement and imposing a lockout next summer, Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said Friday at the league meetings in Orlando, Fla.

The six-year labor agreement, completed last summer by the NBA and the players' association, includes a clause that allows the league to effectively rip up the accord after the 1997-98 season.

"It's something we're going to have to consider," Granik said. "We do feel that the salary system is becoming out of whack . . . and over the last couple years things are heading in the wrong direction."

Granik said more than a third of the league's 29 teams lost money last season--up from only two or three teams two years ago.


Three members of the 1996 Olympic team and one member of the original Dream Team were among 10 players selected to represent the United States at the 1998 World Championships.

Laker Shaquille O'Neal, Grant Hill and Gary Payton, who won gold medals for the U.S. at the Atlanta Olympics, and Christian Laettner, who was the lone collegiate representative on the 1992 Barcelona team, were among those selected.

Others picked were Glen Rice, Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, Vin Baker, Terrell Brandon and Allan Houston.


The Houston Rockets' Clyde Drexler, who planned to end his playing career after next season, is having second thoughts.

"I was thinking all along about this being my last year," the 35-year-old guard said. "But I've gotten some inquiries over the summer and they have sort of renewed my interest in playing longer."


Australian Bradley Hughes, benefiting from a putting tip in a golf magazine, had an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey in a course-record-tying 64 that gave him a one-stroke lead after the second round of the La Cantera Texas Open in San Antonio.

Hughes, 11 under for 36 holes, will be paired today with Duffy Waldorf who, despite missing birdie putts of 3 1/2, 7, 6 and 10 feet on the front nine, shot a 68 to go 10 under.

Nancy Harvey, who has not won a tour event, had seven birdies on her way to a second-round 68, giving her a nine-under total of 135 and a two-shot lead in the LPGA Welch's Championship at Canton, Mass.

Liselotte Neumann, who was tied with Harvey after the first round, shot a 70 and fell into second place. Rachel Hetherington, whose 66 was the day's low round on the 6,317-yard Blue Hill Country Club course, was three strokes back.

Simon Hobday birdied three of his last five holes, shot a seven-under 65 and held a one-stroke lead after the first round of PGA Senior Tour's Comfort Classic at the Brickyard Crossing course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Ryder Cup matches will be played in Ireland, for the first time, in 2005, the PGA European Tour confirmed. No club has been named but several are known to be interested. The 32nd edition of the matches will be held in Sotogrande, Spain, next week.

Philip Price of Wales and Raymond Russell of England's were at five-under 139 and tied for the lead among finishers in the rain-delayed second round of the British Masters at Coventry, England.


Hoping to avoid serving time, Florida State defensive end Julian Pittman will plead no contest to charges of burglary and fraudulent use of a credit card, his attorney said.

Pittman's return to the team, however, is uncertain because Robin Freeman, assistant state attorney, is seeking a prison sentence, even though it is a first offense.

Byron Chamberlain, a reserve tight end for the Denver Broncos, was arrested and is facing domestic violence charges, less than a month after pleading guilty to harassing his wife.

In August, Chamberlain pleaded guilty to harassment and was put on probation for two years.

Utah State running back Demario Brown was sentenced to two days in jail and a year's probation for allegedly punching a student who was arguing with a teammate.

Nate Newton, the Dallas Cowboys' all-pro offensive guard, has been charged with a misdemeanor after swearing at a woman who asked whether his dining companion was his wife or his mistress.

After talking with Newton by phone Thursday, Fort Worth police decided to cite him for disorderly conduct language, a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.


Arantxa Sanchez Vicario fought off three set points in her 6-3, 7-5 quarterfinal victory against Chinese qualifier Li Fang in Toyota Princess Cup tennis at Tokyo.

DaVarryl Williamson got up from his first knockdown as an amateur boxer to stop fellow American Calvin Brock in the fourth round and win the heavyweight gold medal at the inaugural Ali Cup at Louisville, Ky.

Williamson, the top-ranked U.S. amateur heavyweight, was floored in the first round by a left hook and an overhand.

Mark Martin, driving a Ford, earned the pole for Sunday's MBNA 400 Winston Cup stock car race at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del, with a speed of 152.033 mph.

The Long Beach StingRays of the American Basketball League begin their exhibition schedule tonight at Seattle.

Eddie Powell, a Southeastern Oklahoma State basketball player from Oakland, was killed in a car crash near Paris, Texas. Powell, 23, was returning from Southeastern's football game with Texas A&M; Commerce.

Mark Tate drove the U-10 Close Call boat to a course record to lead qualifying for Sunday's Las Vegas Cup unlimited hydroplane races on Lake Mead. Tate ran two laps that bettered the old qualifying record of 147.805 mph set in 1990 by Chip Hanauer, clocking 148.203 and then 149.353.

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