Source: The Mercury, 8 January, 1999, p.42

Losers aplenty as NBA pay row settled

[previous text excluded] 
Among a number of unre- 
solved questions was the 
future of Michael Jordan. 
The Chicago great was not 
at the players' meeting 
though many of the sport's 
top stars including Hakeem 
Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, 
David Robinson and Barkley 
Joining in the general 
euphoria of anticipation 
within the sport, NBA- 
related companies - from 
the Boston Celtics to Nike 
and Reebok-saw the prices 
of their shares leap on the 
stock markets. 
No professional sports 
union in North America had 
ever agreed to a maximum 
salary before but the NBA 
had been pushing for one 
throughout the lockout. 
The union initially re- 
fused, then suggested a lux- 
ury tax be charged to any 
owner who signed a player 
for more than $24 million. 
The league kept holding 
out and eventually the play- 
ers relented. 
NBA players have the 
highest average salary in 
professional sport - about 
$4.15 million annually - 
and the median salary is 
about $2 million.

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