BOSTON — A federal judge today barred Yugoslav basketball star Dino Radja from playing for the Boston Celtics, accusing the U.S. team of "contract poaching."
U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock granted an injunction sought by Jugoplastika, the 1988-89 Yugoslav and European champions, to prevent their key center from playing for the National Basketball Assn. team.
"This is a contract we're dealing with. Clearly, it was an agreement of services in return for considerations," the judge said, referring to agreements signed by Jugoplastika and Radja in May last year to retain his services until the end of the 1991-92 season.
The Celtics were expected to appeal the ruling. Their attorney, Neil Jacobs, said earlier that he expected an appeal no matter which side won.
Jugoplastika sought the injunction after filing a suit last month that accused the Celtics of inducing Radja to break his contract with the Yugoslav team.
Radja, 21, has signed a one-year contract for the Celtics reported to be worth $500,000. He joined Jugoplastika in 1984-85 and last year helped the national team to win a silver medal at the Seoul Olympics.