Jewish World Review April 11, 2003 / 9 Nisan, 5763

Evan Weiner

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Consumer Reports


A blueprint for future NBA bargaining?


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | David Stern has challenged the Women's National Basketball Association players to come up with a new collective bargaining agreement by April 18 or he will shut down the season.

WNBA players want pay raises and free agency. The NBA has lost money on the endeavor and wants to hold the salaries down and that's where the negotiations stand. But don't think Stern's challenge is just for WNBA consumption only.

The same people negotiating for the both the NBA and the WNBA players will be back at the table when the NBA players and owners contract ends either in 2004 or 2005.

Stern will want to hold down salaries, impose an age minimum for those entering the NBA and look for givebacks. Stern will have options. ESPN will not only pay NBA rights fees if the clubs lockout their players, but will also cablecast replacement games.

Cable subscribers money could be going to support a labor lockout. Those negotiations may be separate from the WNBA negotiations but are related and could be a blueprint for future NBA bargaining.

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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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© 2003, Evan Weiner