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Sprewell’s Agent Takes Stand

Associated Press

The Portland phase of the Latrell Sprewell arbitration hearing concluded Friday with five hours of testimony from Sprewell’s agent, Arn Tellem.

Golden State Warrior General Manager Garry St. Jean had been in Portland for two days expecting to testify, but never got the chance and will appear next week, when the hearing shifts to New York.

Although a gag order has kept all testimony secret, it’s clear that it is taking a lot longer than expected to say whatever is being said.

What was to have been two days of hearings in New York has been expanded to four.

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Arbitrator John Feerick, dean of the Fordham law school, is to decide whether Sprewell received too severe of punishment for choking and threatening to kill Coach P.J. Carlesimo.

NBA executives, including Commissioner David Stern, are among those who probably will be called as witnesses in New York.

Tellem’s testimony probably centered around Sprewell’s dislike of Carlesimo and his desire to be traded. Initially, after the Dec. 1 attack during a Warrior practice, the team suspended Sprewell for 10 days and tried to trade him. San Antonio reportedly was a leading candidate to make the deal.

But then the NBA suspended Sprewell for a year, the longest non-drug related suspension in league history, and the Warriors terminated the final three years of his contract, worth just under $24 million.

Feerick’s ruling, which is binding under the collective bargaining agreement with the players, is expected by mid-March, at the latest.

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The Phoenix Suns put forward Cedric Ceballos on the injured list because of a strained right calf and replaced him with center Horacio Llamas. . . . Brooks Thompson was signed to a 10-day contract by the New York Knicks. At the same time, the Knicks put forward Ronnie Grandison on the injured list because of tendinitis in his left knee.


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