76ers Get Bonus Pick In NBA-Brisker Squabble


April 19, 1973

New York -- The John Brisker affair is settled, with the struggling Philadelphia 76ers getting some much needed draft choices and Walter Kennedy, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, getting the backing of his Board of Governors.

The Brisker matter involving Philadelphia and Seattle was settled Wednesday night following a nine-hour meeting, which because of its length caused the second postponement of the NBA's college draft. The draft originally was set for last Monday, then today and now will be held next Tuesday. The American Basketball Association, which says it wants to draft after the NBA does, is still scheduled officially to have its selection session on Friday, but is expected to change the date today. The ABA draft fist was set for last Tuesday. 

When the NBA draft is held, Philadelphia, which had the worst record in the league this past season, will not only have the first pick of the first round but also will have a bonus pick which will be made after the 17 regular first round selections. The board also ruled that the signing of Brisker will cost Seattle $10,000 and its second-round choices in the year's and in the 1974 draft, which will go to Philadelphia.

The special session of the 17-member board took place after a court had overturned Kennedy's original ruling in the matter. Brisker became the NBA property of Philadelphia in 1969 in a supplemental draft but he signed with Pittsburgh of the ABA. When the Pittsburgh franchise disbanded last year, Brisker signed with Seattle. Kennedy then ruled that Seattle could keep Brisker but must pay a $10,000 fine and give its first-round draft choice to Philadelphia.

But Seattle owner Sam Shulman went to court and U.S. Judge John H. Tenney ruled that Kennedy had usurped the authority of the NBA's Board of Governors and was "guilty of misconduct" because he failed to hold a hearing or consult the board before making his decision. Kennedy then called the special meeting of the board and got its backing basically.

Sources: Associated Press