After all, having Ewing in New York will help the NBA in its negotiations with CBS on a new contract. The league's $88-million contract will run out after next season and there was speculation that if Ewing had gone to, say, Sacramento, CBS would think twice before making another lucrative offer.
Both New York tabloids ran stories Monday bringing up the fix question. The Daily News reported that the accounting firm of Ernst and Whinney, which was hired by the NBA to seal the envelopes and ensure that the selection process was fair, also audits the accounts of Gulf & Western. Gulf & Western owns the Knicks. It was not immediately known if any of the other teams in the lottery use Ernst and Whinney.
Asked about any possible foul play, Jack Krumpe, Madison Square Garden president, smirked and said: "Hey, I told them how to fix it 60 days ago. You call up Ernst and Whinney and you say, 'If we don't get Ewing, you're fired.' "
Krumpe was joking--presumably.
Stern didn't joke about rumors of a fix. He seemed to ignore the questions, perhaps hoping they would go away.