SI Vault
Edited by Richard O'Brien and Kostya Kennedy
October 16, 1995
The Verdict
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 16, 1995


View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue




Sideline Style. From fish ties to fashion plate: Worst-dressed coach Don Nelson gets makeover by Tommy Hilfiger.


Swooshes and Swoopes. Nike releases Air Swoopes, named for Sheryl Swoopes; first shoe to honor women's athletic fleets.


Jinxes. Bambino's and SI's kick in as cover-boy Mo Vaughn and the Bosox get swept in the playoffs.


New Milwaukee Stadium. Keg party at Selig's! Late-night lobbying in state senate wins support for Brew Crew's new home.


Roy Jones Jr. Champ's Pensacola house takes beating but goes distance against Opal. Is Hurricane McNeeley next?


Baseball's new playoff format. Riveting first-round games recall sport's golden era. You had to read about it in the newspapers back then too.


U.S. gymnastics' Olympic hopes. At world championships in Japan, women flip to bronze, men flop to ninth.


Churches, temples and city halls. Up to 200 couples offered chance to marry at halftime of upcoming Bucs-Falcons game.


Phil Jackson. Spiritual Bull coach will have his inner calm tested and Zen some; Chicago gets one-man yin-yang Rodman.


Budget-minded Bruin fans. The Gahden is dead and seats at new FleetCenter priciest in NHL at $45 average.


The Verdict

Each week for the past 34 years, we have offered our readers, under the heading of "They Said It," a quote or quotes from the world of sports. Ordinarily we like these selections to be funny or ironic. Last week, however, as we listened for a quip or comment to meet those criteria, two words—neither funny nor ironic—drowned out all the rest.

Deirdre Robertson, clerk to Judge Lance Ito: "Not guilty."

NBA Silence

No whining. No griping. No shouted ultimatums. Can an NBA season be approaching this quietly? It seems the new rookie salary cap has muted the usual din. Negotiations with top draft choices have been both quieter and quicker than in recent years. Last year at this time four of the top 10 draftees remained unsigned, and 11 of 27 first-rounders were still holding out. This year all 29 picks are already in the fold.

"With the wage scale set, there's really nothing to do," says agent Arn Tellem, who represents leading rookies Antonio McDyess, Ed O'Bannon and Brent Barry. The salary scale—which limits first-year players to a maximum of 120% of the average first-year pay of players drafted in the same position over the past seven years—doesn't leave much room for discussion. And by giving headstrong rookies and tightfisted owners little to argue about, the NBA has administered a giant aspirin to an annual headache. Also soothed are the veteran players who bristled at the prospect of unproven players making more than they did. And blessedly silent are the agents whose constant shilling on behalf of their unsigned rookie clients created a disagreeable clamor.

Even the rookies seem resigned to the new pay scale, partly because they know they can be free agents after their third year. This year's overall No. 1, Joe Smith of Maryland (page 62), signed a three-year deal with the Golden State Warriors worth $8.53 million. Though his numbers pale beside the 10-year, $68 million contract the Milwaukee Bucks gave last year's top dog, Glenn Robinson, who held out until a day after the team opened its season, Smith insists he has no regrets. "The amount of money I'm making now is a lot," he said. "I can't really say I'm getting cheated."

In an age when out-of-whack sports salaries often lead to out-of-whack perspectives, that's one sound we like to hear.

Logical Positivism in Jersey

One first-rounder who sounds happy not only with the way things are but also with the way he says things will be is Ed O'Bannon, the New Jersey Nets' top draft pick (No. 9 overall) who signed last week for $3.9 million over three years. O'Bannon, who led UCLA to the national championship last spring, said he believes the Nets are ready for a title of their own. He clearly expects the same optimism from his teammates. "I can't stand negativity," O'Bannon said. "I had a roommate in college who was very negative. Within a month he was gone."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4