Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing Eye Openers

Article excerpt

The mouthpiece for ERIC MONTROSS in negotiations with the Boston Celtics is his father, W. SCOTT MONTROSS, a personal-injury lawyer in Indianapolis. According to PETER MAY of the Boston Globe, relatives who handle an athlete's business affairs are commonplace in tennis and golf, but not in the National Basketball Association.

Mostly, family members step in to keep the money in one pot. Said the elder Montross: "If I were to turn Eric over to someone else, it would not be the prudent thing to do (financially)." An agent's commission is 4 percent. Eric, a 7-footer, starred at an Indianapolis high school and the University of North Carolina.

Atlanta Hawks President STAN KASTEN can tell the Celtics stories about dealings with family members. Whenever Boston's KEVIN WILLIS had a contract problem - which was often - Kasten would ask, "Have you talked with KEITH or ROBERT?" Willis would reply, "You mean ROBERT KEITH?" Kasten would say, "Robert. Keith. Either one."

Only after two years into Willis' contract and what were many conversations with what Kasten thought were two different people did he learn that Robert and Keith were, in fact, one and the same.

NBA players have been represented by fathers and brothers (LIONEL SIMMONS, WAYMAN TISDALE), by sisters (JAMAAL WILKES), and for one negotiating session, a spouse (MRS. MOSES MALONE).

Kasten again: "Right after we did the JON KONCAK deal, ALFREDA (Malone) came to see me and gave me the third degree. She wanted to know what we could do for Moses."

She didn't have a prayer. Speaking of which, it was WAYNE EMBRY, then the Indianapolis Pacers' general manager, who did the negotiating with the Tisdale clan. Here's how it went, from Embry's perspective:

"We were all in this room in Los Angeles, about nine of us, and seven of them are on Wayman's side. Before anything started, the Rev. Tisdale (Wayman's father) asked us all to rise and pray. That was the first time something like that happened to me in a negotiation.

"Then, when things got sticky, he asked us to rise again, and the prayer was something like, `Let the wise mind prevail.' I turned to BOB SALYERS (the Pacers' lawyer) and said: `We don't have a chance. …

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