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NBA Players Union Protests Fines

June 11, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ The NBA players’ union was preparing Friday to file a grievance on behalf of two teams fined $25,000 each by the league for giving players expense-paid trips.

The union announced the action on Friday, a day after the league penalized the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings for salary cap violations.

``The papers are still being drawn up,″ union spokesman Dan Wasserman said Friday, adding that the grievance may not be filed until early next week. ``A grievance will be filed when all the paperwork is done.

``As far as the players’ association is concerned, the NBA is not authorized to impose fines in this case under terms of collective bargaining agreement. The union does not consider this a salary cap violation.″

Don Nelson, coach and general manager of the Mavericks, arranged for Gary Trent, his fiancee, their infant son, Trent’s parents and his fiancee’s mother to spend a week at his Maui, Hawaii, vacation home last month.

The Kings recently provided several players with an expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas.

Nelson said he hoped the vacation would serve as a goodwill gesture to the 6-foot-8, 250-pound Trent, whom the Mavericks are aggressively trying to re-sign.

Trent averaged 16 points and 7.8 rebounds this season and was third in the balloting for the league’s Most Improved Player award. His salary this season was $1 million.

Nelson has not been bashful in efforts to persuade Trent to remain in Dallas. But the Mavericks can’t exceed the salary cap to re-sign him, so they are limited to paying Trent no more than $5 million the next two years.

A team can exceed the salary cap in re-signing a player only if he has been on the roster three or more seasons.

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