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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

NBA Talks Ho-Ho-Hopeless: Christmas Games Are Off

November 25, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

The NBA informed NBC on Tuesday that the network's Christmas Day doubleheader, featuring the Chicago Bulls and possibly Michael Jordan, is the latest casualty of the nearly five-month-long NBA lockout.

Making matters worse, the bargaining process hit a major snag when the sides found themselves in disagreement over exactly what they agreed to last week.

The latest argument threatened to cancel Saturday's scheduled resumption of talks.

"The central part of the deal is no longer on the table, which means we didn't make any progress at all Friday," Deputy Commissioner Russ Granik said. "The owners feel there's no point in having any more meetings right now."

The union responded by saying the owners were "posturing" and "grandstanding."

NBC, in place of the New York Knicks at the Bulls and the Lakers at the Phoenix Suns doubleheader, will show "It's A Wonderful Life," starring Jimmy Stewart.

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The New Jersey Nets will get a bigger share of concessions, parking and advertising revenue at Continental Airlines Arena under a new lease agreement.

The incentives, which a source said could amount to $10 million a year, are aimed at keeping the club in New Jersey--either at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford or at a new arena the Nets want built in Newark, according to officials of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the club's landlord.

Miscellany

Joe DiMaggio has his 84th birthday today in a hospital in Hollywood, Fla., where he reportedly is battling lung cancer and had a heart attack last week.

DiMaggio's lawyer, however, denied reports by two television stations that the Hall of Famer had a heart attack or is gravely ill.

"This is totally false," Morris Engelberg said after TV stations in New York and Miami reported that DiMaggio's condition had worsened. "Mr. DiMaggio and his family heard this information on the television and were very upset."

Meanwhile, ESPN reported that DiMaggio's condition improved enough so that he was off life support. The cable station said that last week DiMaggio's health was so poor after a heart attack that he was given last rites.

Engelberg said that what some had thought was a heart attack was an alarming drop in blood pressure.

Kentucky athletes convicted of drunken driving will be kicked off teams and lose their scholarships, and the school will sever all sponsorship ties with beer, wine and liquor companies, Athletic Director C.M. Newton said Tuesday.

The revised alcohol policy for Kentucky athletics comes in the wake of an apparently alcohol-related truck crash last week that killed one Kentucky football player and severely injured another. Another young man also died.

North Carolina State wrestler Clyde Blunt, 20, of Modesto was charged with involuntary manslaughter and redshirt freshmen football players Harold Jackson, Willie Wright and David Stringer had their scholarships revoked in the wake of the shooting death of Neil Davis Jr. at a Raleigh, N.C., house party early Sunday morning.

Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis reached an agreement to stage their heavyweight unification bout March 13 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Holyfield will put his World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation titles on the line against Lewis, the World Boxing Council champion. Holyfield is 36-3 with 25 knockouts, Lewis 34-1 with 27 knockouts.

Hector "Macho" Camacho's bouts outside the ring continued Tuesday when Florida state troopers charged the former boxing champion with driving infractions after a motorcycle accident.

Camacho, 36, fled after crashing his motorcycle, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Qualifying for the 58th running of the Turkey Night midget auto race begins tonight at 7 at Bakersfield Speedway. Billy Boat will shoot for his third consecutive title in the 100-lap race Thursday night over the one-third-mile high-banked clay oval.

Tommi Makinen won a record third consecutive world rally driving championship when rival Carlos Sainz was forced out of the final race at Cheltenham, England, because of an engine fire.

The engine on Sainz's Toyota blew only 300 yards from the finish of the Network Q Rally.

The White House pledged $1 million in unprecedented federal help to fight drugs in sports and urged the International Olympic Committee to award medals to athletes who were beaten by cheaters.

In a 10-page memo to the IOC, White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey called for establishment of an independent doping agency and universal adoption of uniform drug policies, including year-round tests to "ensure all Olympians are drug free."

Sacha Gros of Vail, Colo., overcame balmy temperatures and softening snow to win the slalom in a field at Winter Park, Colo., featuring several World Cup skiers from Europe.

Rising Russian star Ilia Klimkin made up in artistry what he lacked in technical elements to maintain his lead at the world junior figure skating championships at Zagreb, Croatia.

Fiji, the likely favorite in the $700,000 Matriarch at Hollywood Park on Sunday, won't run because of a cough, trainer Neil Drysdale said.

Randy Harvey is on vacation.

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