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April 09, 1990 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-09

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - April 9,1990 - Page 3 -

Pistons ruin NBA salary structure

Suddenly, the Detroit Pistons have become
the NBA's version of the spend-crazy New
York Yankees. In less than the span of one
basketball season, the Pistons have personally
changed the face of the NBA pay scale. And,
unfortunately, the rest of the league and even-
tually the fans will all feel the repercussions.
The latest in the Pistons list of fiscal
irresponsibilities occurred last week when they
signed their 1Ith man on the team, William
Bedford, to a ludicrous three-year, 3 million
dollar contract. Not only has Bedford yet to
make a contribution on the court for the Pis-
tons, but he has given them nothing but
trouble in the past. Bedford tested positive for
drugs two years ago and has since finished his
rehabilitation program.
While Bedford's rehabilitation deserves
merit, his three-million dollar contract deserves
to be thrown in the garbage. How can the Pis-
tons justify giving some unknown pinerider all
that money? When he was making much less
than a million a year, he only took that money
and put it up his nose. What will happen now?
What will happen when the contracts of all
the other NBA pineriders run out? They will
all point to Bedford's contract and demand the
same amount of cabbage.
And this will lead to nothing but trouble.
The Pistons have started a domino effect in
which salaries will rise as far as the salary cap
allows it to. After this vicious spiraling slams
into the salary ceiling, set up to avoid such an
escalation, the players will eventually demand

Richard Else
., M ,W
the elimination of the salary cap. Then the
NBA will be, like Private Pyle in Full Metal
Jacket, in a world of you-know-what.
This all began last September, when Piston
general manager Jack McCloskey might have
had too much to drink. He must have had one
too many or else he could never justify signing
Atlanta Hawk forward/brickmeister Jon Koncak
to an astronomical offer sheet.
McCloskey offered Koncak a one-year con-
tract worth 2.5 million dollars after his 1988
season in which he singed the league, aver-
aging a Jordanesque 4.7 points a game. I had a
better average in intramurals and I can't hit the
side of a barn. Nonetheless, McCloskey, for
some reason, felt this offer justified.
Eventually, the Atlanta Hawks must have
drank from the same bottle as McCloskey as
they responded with a mind-boggling 6 year,
$13.1 million contract. Koncak, who probably
couldn't believe his tremendous luck, signed
on the dotted line.
Everyone should remember this Jon Koncak
affair, much like high school history teachers
told you to do for the XYZ Affair. Maybe,
we'll call this the JKK Affair. This was a

milestone signing in NBA history because it
will eventually cause a player strike or an
owner's lockout.
The JKK Affair started the domino effect as
other executives figured that they better start
spending to stay competitive with the World
Champion Pistons. After the JKK affair, the
Denver Nuggets offered a sick amount of
money to another unknown commodity, Port-
land Trailblazer guard Terry Porter. Portland
then signed Porter to a $2.2 million contract.
After this signing, All-Stars Dominique
Wilkins and Charles Barkley renegotiated their
contracts to make sure people like Koncak and
Porter didn't make more than them. So, with
all these outrageous salaries, it comes as no
surprise that ticket prices and concessions have
never been more expensive.
This will all lead to a labor disagreement of
some sort when the current collective
bargaining agreement expires. Back in the early
80s, when the NBA was poor, the players
allowed the owners to install a salary cap.
Now, with the spend-crazy Pistons leading
the pack, the owners cannot cry poor any
more. The players will want their money now
that they know, when people like Bedford get a
million a year, it's out there to get. You heard
it here first.
And you've got the Pistons to thank for it.
Now that's something for Dennis Rodman to
get excited about.

MINNESOTA
Continued from page 1
The Wolverines were not able to
score in the second game until the
bottom of the fifth. Bonnie Tholl
singled, then got to third on an error.
She then scored after tagging up on a
long Patti Benedict fly ball.
"We did very well yesterday and
we did very poorly today,"
Minnesota coach Teresa Wilson said.
The rest of the Wolverine runs
were singled in by Kari Kunen,
Bonnie Tholl, and Julie Cooper.

"Batting made the difference, and
we really held them on defense," said
Nelson, a junior pitcher. "We really
have high hopes now. I think we are
on a role now. The whole line-up is
starting to come through.
"We played so much better than
Friday. Our young players are really
starting to contribute," she added.
Friday Jenny Lindstrom held
Michigan at bay, earning her second
win against two losses this season.
The Wolverines now hold a 14-
14 record on the year, 2-2 in the Big
Ten. Minnesota now posts a 13-18
mark, tied with Michigan in the

IOWA
Continued from page 1
The Hawkeyes snapped the 1-1
tie in the fifth for the margin of
victory. Erroll Shirer, the leadoff
hitter, singled, took second on a
sacrifice and then third on a wild
pitch by Wolverine starter Kirt
Ojala. The wild pitch proved to be
big, as Shirer scored on a sacrifice
fly to center by Costo.
Iowa coach Duane Banks didn't
blame the lack of offense on the
bitter temperatures.
"I don't know if that had much to
do with it," he said. "I think great
pitching by both teams had a lot to

do with it."
Saturday's first game was another
pitching dual, but this time the
Wolverines emerged on top. Jason
Pfaff scattered seven hits over six
and two-third innings to raise his
record to 4-0 on the year. Todd
Marion struck out Chris Malinoski
for the last out of the game, earning
his sixth save.
The second game looked to be
another low-scoring affair, with Iowa
leading 2-0 after six innings. The
Hawkeyes then broke it open with
seven runs in the seventh, by virtue
primarily of five consecutive walks,
four of them by Marion.
Prior to the seventh, Wolverine

KENNETH Ifi MO.LLEH/DaldIy
Dan Ruff swings away against Iowa on Saturday. Ruff drove in the
winning runs with a third-inning single in Michigan's 3-1 win on Sunday.

starter Dennis Konuszewski worked
a solid six-inning stint, striking out
five while surrendering only five
hits.
"Konuszewski pitched well,"
Freehan said. "I wanted to get
Marion some work. He pitched well
in the first game, and a guy like that
needs to pitch to keep his rhythm."
The deadly seventh began
innocently when Shiver and
Malinoski put together back-to-back,
one-out singles. Noreen's sacrifice
put runners on second and third with
two out and Costo at the plate. After

Marion ran the count to 2-0,Freehan
elected to give Costo the intentional
pass.
The move resulted in disaster, as
the next five batters drew walks, ;
each forcing in a run.
"We were trying to get him out,"
Freehan said. "Hatcher (the next
hitter) hit better than anyone else
against us. We didn't want to face
(Costo) when we were behind in the
count. I would have done the same
thing to any of their middle hitters."

conference standings.
CINMA IRCTOY

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