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Re: League Acts to Prevent Baker from signing with new team
How do you think it would do that Josh?
The unfit to perform was based upon the terms of the aftercare agreement as it was applied by the league's own substance abuse program doctor at the time he was released. Not what teams may do now that has to be considered on speculation, given the history established by the aftercaer agreement and prior behavior. I expect the league is mostly trying to just avoid complicating things. You don't take Hunter's typical rantings seriously, do you?
From: Josh Ozersky <jozersky@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Mar 2, 2004 8:49 PM
To: celtics list <celtics@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: League Acts to Prevent Baker from signing with new team
Any of you legal eagles have any idea what this means for us? I would
think that it would weaken our case that Vin is unfit to play, no?
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA sent a memo to all 29 teams telling them they cannot
sign Vin Baker until his arbitration case is decided, prompting an angry
response Tuesday from the players' union.
"It is outrageous for the NBA to prevent Vin Baker from signing with any NBA
club," union director Billy Hunter said. "The league's action is a clear
admission that Vin is not only fit to play professional basketball, but there
are numerous teams willing to sign him today."
Baker's agent, Aaron Goodwin, said the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and
Miami Heat all remain interested in Baker, though he will not make a choice
until he is cleared to sign a contract.
"I just think the kid should be able to play basketball. Other than that I
don't have a comment," Goodwin said.
The union filed a grievance last month with arbitrator Roger Kaplan after the
Boston Celtics terminated the final 2= seasons of Baker's contract. No date
for a hearing has been set.
Baker was due to earn $35 million over the remainder of his contract. At the
time of the termination, he had missed 10 games while on suspension for
violating terms of his alcohol treatment program.
League spokesman Tim Frank confirmed the memo was issued. It explained that if
Baker wins his arbitration case, his contract would be reinstated and he'd
return to the Celtics.
"He can't sign with someone else if there's a chance of going back to the same
contract," Frank said.
The union said it would seek a telephone hearing Wednesday with Kaplan asking
for an immediate judgment invalidating the NBA's memo and clearing Baker to
"We intend to go to the arbitrator immediately to expose this desperate and
blatant attempt to deprive this player of an opportunity to pursue his
livelihood and demonstrate to the world that he is ready, willing and fit to
play pro basketball," Hunter said.