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Central New York Basketball, Inc. (Syracuse Nationals) v. Barnett

181 N.E.2d 506 (Ct. C.P. Cuyahoga Cty. Ohio 1961)

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Central New York Basketball, Inc. (Syracuse Nationals) v. Barnett

Court of Common Pleas of Ohio, Cuyahoga County

181 N.E.2d 506 (Ct. C.P. Cuyahoga Cty. Ohio 1961)

Facts

Dick Barnett (defendant) was a first-round draft pick and professional basketball player under contract to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Syracuse Nationals (Nationals) (plaintiff). Barnett signed a standard player contract for the 1959-60 season and then played the 1960-61 season for $8,500 pursuant to an option clause in his contract. In May 1961, Barnett and Nationals President Dan Biasone reached an agreement by telephone whereby Barnett would play for the Nationals during the 1961-62 season for $11,500. Subsequently, Barnett was enticed by a rival team in the American Basketball League (ABL), the Cleveland Pipers (Pipers) (defendant), to enter into a contract to play for $13,000. The Nationals brought suit against the Pipers and Barnett for an injunction to prevent Barnett from playing for the Pipers.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Danaceau, J.)

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