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Stern On The State Of The NBA

Earlier tonight, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver participated in a pre-Finals press conference. While there were plenty of reporters who live-tweeted several of the responses during Stern's question and answer session with the media, Hoopsworld's Yannis Koutroupis released a more complete transcript of Commissioner Stern's comments. You can read some of the highlights below. 

  • Stern said that he has the "best job in the world" and that there is still much to be done in the months leading up to his retirement, also reiterating his faith in Silver as his successor. 
  • As for instant replay, the concept of off-site review (as it's done in the NHL) is under consideration, and Stern will bring up the topic at the Competition Committee in San Antonio next week. Silver added that having officials in a broadcast booth somewhere to assess replays could even speed up the overall review process. 
  • On the topic of flopping, Stern implied that it's still a complex challenge to deal with. While many of the flops of have been reviewed, the approach has been to punish even the most egregious flops very gently. While he said that suspensions could eliminate it altogether, Stern said that it'd be too severe of a punishment but concluded that it would be up to the Board and Competition Committee to handle.
  • He will bring up the topic of resting players during upcoming board meetings with the owners, citing that it has a variety of layers to it and merits discussion.  
  • Stern adamantly downplayed the effect of flopping fines: “It isn’t enough.  It isn’t enough.  You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is 5.5 million."
  • Regarding the more punitive tax penalties that loom over the next several years, Stern believes that the rules and exceptions put in place have been accommodating and allowed teams to gradually adjust accordingly: "So we, trying to deal with the entire situation, said let’s do it slowly, so we’ll build up to it, so that the luxury tax doesn’t click into the highest level until the third year to allow teams to do what they’re going to do.  And let’s allow an amnesty for one player who is then on the roster.  And let’s have a stretch, so if you cut a player you can do that.  You can stretch it out twice the length of the contract plus one."
  • Stern referenced New York's decision to not match Jeremy Lin's contract offer, with Chicago's decision to let Omer Asik sign with Houston, the coaching changes, and decisions based around the salary cap as evidence that teams are starting to become more conscientious with management. 
  • Expanding more on the topic of coaching changes, Stern alluded to it as "a natural consequence" of trying to assemble a roster along with the pressure felt by the general manager of being able to compete. Overall, he sees it as an important part of the overall pressure of a system in the NBA, where teams that aren't competitive and/or struggle financially have no choice but to do what they can to improve. 

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