National Sports Briefs
The NBA notebook …
NEW YORK ó Magic Johnson said itís ěridiculousî to suggest David Stern is racist, saying itís OK to disagree with the NBA commissioner but that you ěcanít attack the man and what he stands for.î
Johnson was responding to comments made by attorney Jeffrey Kessler, representing the NBA playersí association, who told the Washington Post that owners are treating players like ěplantation workersî during the ongoing lockout.
That was similar to the comments Bryant Gumbel made last month on his HBO show, when he said Stern ěalways seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys.î
But Johnson said Stern has always done right by players, noting the number of black players such himself, Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas who have followed their Hall of Fame careers by going into management or ownership positions.
ěThis league is more diverse than any other league and has more minorities in powerful positions than any other league,î Johnson said during a phone interview. ěThatís all about David Stern and his vision and what he wanted to do. He made sure minorities had high-ranking positions from the league office all the way down to coaches and front office people.î
EASY ED DIES
ST. LOUIS (AP) ó Ed Macauley, one of the NBA’s first big stars who won a championship with the St. Louis Hawks and was traded by the Boston Celtics for Bill Russell, has died. He was 83.
Saint Louis University announced Macauley’s death on Tuesday. The school had no other details. “Easy Ed” was a standout player with the Billikens, leading them to the 1948 NIT title.
Macauley was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1960. A native of St. Louis, he was a territorial pick of that city’s Basketball Association of America franchise, the Bombers. He played there for one season and then was selected by the Celtics in a 1950 dispersal draft.
Macauley played for the Celtics from the 1950-51 season until 1955-56. He and the draft rights to future Hall of Famer Cliff Hagan were traded by Boston to the St. Louis Hawks on April 29, 1956, for the rights to Russell, a move that changed the power structure of the NBA.
The Celtics went on to win 11 titles with Russell dominating in the paint.
LAS VEGAS ó Event organizers have postponed a professional basketball tournament in Las Vegas hosted by NBA star Allen Iverson.
The tournament scheduled for this weekend has been moved to Jan. 6-7 at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Iverson says discussions to end the NBA lockout were the reason the tournament was postponed.
Iverson has been out of the NBA since 2010 and spent part of last year playing in Turkey.