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Ex-NBA Spokesman Makes New Schedule

January 8, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Everyone wants to know what the new NBA schedule is going to look like. They’ll have to wait until Matt Winick is ready to tell them.

Winick, a 58-year-old former public relations director for the NBA, is the vice president of scheduling and game operations who has been given the Herculean task of assembling the new schedule.

The NBA is aiming to start the season Feb. 5, with every team playing 50 games _ including a handful of nonconference games.

``Matt Winick is going to be very busy over the next several days,″ NBA vice president Rod Thorn said. ``We’ll do everything we can to make it as fair as possible.″

Thorn said the schedule won’t be ready until next week. Each team can expect to play the vast majority of its games against opponents from its own conference.

With 50 games crammed into 12 1/2 weeks, the wear-and-tear factor will be significant. Teams will sometimes play on three consecutive nights, a back-to-back-to-back grind that NBA players haven’t had to endure in more than a decade, but never on four consecutive nights.

Thorn said teams might play eight games against teams from the other conference, four at home and four on the road.

``You have 15 teams in the East, and in the West you’ve got 14, so teams in the East may play teams in the West fewer times than teams in the West will play teams in the East,″ he said. ``With the top teams, there may be some interconference games that are TV games that are going to be against a real good opponent.

``You could expect to see a New York-Los Angeles game, for instance, in one place or the other,″ Thorn said.

Thorn also said several referees who resigned after being indicted for tax evasion may get their jobs back. Among those referees are Mike Mathis, Joey Crawford, Steve Javie and Blaine Reichelt

``The commissioner has stated many times that it is not a death sentence,″ Thorn said. ``He’ll look at it.″

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