Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) hears that David Stern was an active participant in yesterday's vote over Sacramento/Seattle at the Board of Governors meeting. It's worth noting that despite an offer north of $625MM as well as the $115MM relocation fee that would have been included by the Seattle group, Stern was able to sway the vote in Sacramento's direction, even though it appeared that more owners were in favor of Seattle's offer (All Twitter links). Here are a few more miscellaneous tidbits from around the Association tonight:
The 2013 NBA postseason will be David Stern's last as commissioner, but when he appeared on ESPN Radio in New York this week, Stern said that fact hasn't really hit him yet. As Stern pointed out, he'll still be attending NBA playoff games beyond this year, as a fan rather than as a commissioner, giving him an opportunity to "experience the game in a different way." The longtime NBA commissioner also addressed a number of other notable topics during his ESPN Radio appearance, so let's check out a few of his comments, courtesy of Eric Schmoldt of Sports Radio Interviews....
On Michael Jordan's struggles as owner of the Bobcats:
"I have no doubt that Michael, who is a smart businessman and good manager and, I think, a good judge of talent, he’ll do fine. It’s just not as easy as people think it is to get going in this league if you inherit a bad situation."
On the latest in the Kings saga:
"I think we’ll likely have a meeting of the relocation committee later this week, which will then issue a report early next week. And then seven days after that report is issued, there’ll be a Board of Governors meeting to vote on it. I don’t want to project anything because it’s for the owners and the committees to make the announcement."
On whether he'd like to see Phil Jackson back in the NBA:
"Oh, I would. I think it’s great. I love the variety that our sport has. Sometimes Phil has a way of saying things that are directed to zing the league office, but that’s fine. We’re sort of one big family, and I think that somebody who has as many rings as Phil does, who brings so much sort of interesting thought to our game, would be a great addition, or re-addition, to our sport."
On preparing Adam Silver to take over as commissioner next February:
"Adam and I, by the time I step down on February 1st, we will have worked together in the NBA for 22 years. Okay? So, if he’s not prepared now, he will never be prepared. He knows what I do that he would like to do, and he knows what I do that he would not like to do. And everyone has their own approach to it. There’s nobody that is better prepared in dealing with media, fans, the game, owners, television, international. I’m very happy, and proud, that I have recommended to the owners — and they have accepted — a successor who is totally steeped in our game and our business."
NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media in a press conference prior to the start of Saturday night's All-Star Weekend events. He discussed a wide range of topics relating to the present and future state of the NBA (transcript courtest of NBA.com Media Central).
Stern on the Kings' future and possible move to Seattle:
I think it's fair to say that we have an application in house, as you know, from Seattle to both transfer ownership to the Hansen‑Ballmer group and an application to move the team to Seattle to play in Key Arena while the process goes on to get permission to build a new building in Seattle, and the various lawsuits and environmental impact and other things are dealt with.
And that's moving along. I met with Mayor McGinn of Seattle, we have two committees focusing on it, the Relocation Committee and Advisory Finance Committee, and we fully expect to have that process completed for report to the Board of Governors at its April 18th meeting.
We have been advised by Mayor Johnson of Sacramento, parenthetically, who we have not met with and who we have no plans to meet with here, closed parens, that Sacramento will be delivering to us a competitive bid to the one that we have received from Seattle. That will include the construction of a new building with a significant subsidy from the City of Sacramento, and other things that would bring the region together to support the team.
That's all we have. The mayor has said that we'll have that likely well before March 1, which appears in our constitution for when we must receive applications to move. It's sort of irrelevant exactly, but that was a good enough date, so we selected that.
Stern on the progress of HGH and other drug testing in the NBA:
I would say that we have a comprehensive drug testing program that has a long list, probably a hundred or so, I'm not even sure the number, of drugs that are prohibited, including HGH, subject to an agreement of the validity of an appropriate testing protocol. And we expect that to happen, we really do, before the start of next season.
With respect to the biological passport, I think the blood test is the precursor to the biological passport. And that's a subject for discussion with the Players' Association.
And let me say, our players have been front and center with us on this one. They want to be and be perceived as playing in a drug‑free sport. We have six unannounced tests a year. Two of those are authorized out of season. And we have an independent group of experts that adds drugs to the list of prescribed drugs. And we test in a way that the samples get sent to an approved lab and we're there.
There will always be some kind of leap‑frogging there, as there was in 1983 which we were the first league to have an anti‑‑drug program and dealt with a variety of things. So it's always subject to be improved. But together with our Players' Association, which I think has taken a leadership role here, I'm sure will continue to improve it.
Stern on the possibility of expansion:
[T]here's a large group of owners who believe that expansion is an economic matter, is a neutral thing. At least the way we've done it to date, you get a lot of money in and in return for that you cut the new team in for a large and growing source of revenue from national TV, national licensing, and all things international and digital. And then it doesn't really seem to make that much additional sense as the increased revenue that demands to the gross PRI and increased each player costs and the like.
So it has to be parsed and analyzed but right now given that we've just come through an intriguing collective bargaining negotiation and coupled it with specific revenue sharing, over $200 million, I think the sentiment is to let it all settle and assess how we are doing and what the projections are for how we'll do.
Stern on the NBPA's leadership controversey:
I don't have any comment on the Players' Association situation other than we know as much as you do and nothing more. We've seen Derrick Fisher's statements, and we await notification from the union as to who we should be dealing with, because it has been a principle of faith for us that we will deal with whomever the union tells us to deal with. That's what we do, and it remains the same.
Stern on the progress of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement:
We think that the Collective Bargaining Agreement is working. We think that it's yet to click in its fullness, which will happen next year. We believe the revenue‑sharing projects together with the Collective Bargaining Agreement that our teams will have the opportunity to both compete and to be profitable.
Stern on the NBA's increasing international profile:
[O]ur international prospects remain as strong as ever. We don't have anything to announce, but we're going to be doing lots of exhibition traveling, I have no doubt, this coming preseason. Our digital footprint will become larger country by country, with respect to the websites that are going to be entering into partnerships and the like. Adam is heading off to China next month. Heidi Ueberroth has me going to India in April. And the march continues as our game continues to prosper and thrive.
Silver on the future of the NBA D-League:
I attended the D‑League Showcase this afternoon. We think it's a wonderful event and I met with the D‑League owners yesterday, as well. I think ultimately we'd like to have a 30‑team league, and we do envision a one‑to‑one relationship between every NBA team and a single D‑League affiliate. We think it's the second best basketball in the world after the NBA.
By the time he eventually steps down next February, David Stern will have seen the NBA make huge strides in globalization and in overseas popularity over the course of his 30-year tenure. However, it's extremely unlikely that Stern will be bringing an NBA franchise to Europe before he retires. Nonetheless, appearing on ESPN Radio's SVP & Russillo, the longtime commish expressed some degree of certainty that the Association would expand overseas within the next couple decades.
"I think so," Stern said when asked if he sees a team in Europe at some point (link via Royce Young of CBSSports.com). "I think multiple NBA international teams. Twenty years from now? For sure. In Europe. No place else. In other places I think you'll see the NBA name on leagues and other places with marketing and basketball support, but not part of the NBA as we now know it."
Stern's comments echo ones he's made before -- back in October, he suggested that expansion overseas currently wasn't viable, and that it didn't make sense to have a single team in Europe. However, he noted that if NBA-caliber arenas were to be constructed in various European countries, the resources eventually could be in place to support multiple clubs overseas.
While we're likely still a long way from hearing any serious discussions about European expansion, cities like London, Berlin, and Paris could be candidates to eventually have NBA franchises.
NBA Commissioner David Stern addressed members of the media while attending the Hornets' game against the Lakers in New Orleans on Wednesday night. Stern, who had previously announced that he is stepping down as Commissioner on February 1, 2014, spoke on several topics. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com has a transcription, and the highlights are reprinted below.
On the Hornets' announcement that they plan to change their name to the Pelicans:
“If it works for them, it works for me,” Stern said. “I don’t have any objections to anything that the Hornets want to do name-wise because I’m sure it’ll be sensible. … I’m sure whatever it is, it’ll be good. If [Pelicans] is what it is, that’s fine. … I think everything sounds good. I think Lakers, have you seen any lakes in Los Angeles? There’s the same amount of lakes in L.A. as there is jazz in Utah, or grizzlies in Memphis. I’m out of that business. Whatever works for a team works for me.”
On the Lakers' new TV deal:
“It’s one component of the Lakers’ income that gets accounted for when they make a payment into the revenue sharing pool, so there’s more money to be shared,” Stern said. “The combination of that and the tax tend to act as something of a brake on team spending.”
On Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's controversial decision to rest four players against the Heat on Thursday:
“In the case of San Antonio, they didn’t just come to town and rest healthy players, they sent a 26-year-old and 30-year-old plus Manu and Timmy home virtually under the cover of darkness or light of day, however you do it, without notifying as our rules require for injury and illness. Maybe it’s my mistake not to think injury and illness when you’re secreting someone away should also include deciding to move them out. So in all other circumstances, I thought if we didn’t do something this time there would never be a reason to do it. Only visit to Miami, practically the first month of the season, notifying nobody and sending home young and healthy players, it merited rebut and I did it. And this was a team decision. This is not me and Pop. Pop is a great coach, Hall of Fame coach. This decision was made by the entire senior management and ownership of the San Antonio Spurs and I felt that they were doing what they perceived was their job and I was doing what I perceived as my job and that’s what happens.”
On the ability of small-market teams to compete under the new CBA:
“I don’t have any concerns about small markets under the new CBA,” Stern said. “I think when the tax penalties come in next year, where teams that pay an extra $30 million, for example, might have to pay another $84 million in taxes, lose their right to the mid-level exception, lose their right to sign-and-trade, you will see a substantially modified behavior. Actually, we began to see it this year when Chicago, a ‘large market,’ passed on matching Omer Asik because they don’t want to deal with the $45-million-dollar impact in taxes in the third year. Then New York declined to match Houston’s offer to Jeremy Lin, and Oklahoma City decided to trade James Harden rather than deal with the tax consequences of a max contract, so we’re seeing early green shoots and it’s going to get more profound. I think, together with revenue sharing, it’s going to allow low-grossing teams to compete with high-grossing teams. New Orleans is going to be a profitable team, and the ultimate irony is that you would call it a small market because it’s one of our smallest markets, but they’re going to contribute to revenue sharing.”
David Stern told John Reid of The Times Picayune that he would support the Hornets' decision to change their name to the Pelicans, a move that's expected but not yet finalized, as we passed along earlier today. The commissioner spoke at length with Reid and touched on more issues related to the New Orleans franchise, which the league owned before Tom Benson bought it earlier this year. We've rounded up the highlights of his talk here.
You can count NBA commissioner David Stern among those who are none-too-pleased about Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's decision to rest his stars against the Heat tonight. Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida relayed a statement by Stern which indicated that "substantial sanctions will be forthcoming" as a consequence for San Antonio (Sulia link). Earlier, Popovich told reporters: "It has nothing to do with the Miami Heat, or TV, or anything...You deal with the schedule as best you can and do the wisest thing for your particular team” (Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation reports). On another note, here's what we're hearing out of the Western Conference tonight:
The NBA has issued its first two warnings for flops, as the league's official site outlines today. The league has formally warned the Timberwolves' J.J. Barea and the Cavs' Donald Sloan about flopping, meaning that if either player commits a second offense, they'll be fined $5K. Let's round up a few more odds and ends from around the Association....
When it was announced yesterday that David Stern would be retiring as NBA commissioner on February 1st, 2014, reactions and retrospectives immediately started pouring in. Many pundits praised Stern for the work he's done over the last three decades to grow the NBA globally, and plenty of players and executives around the league echoed those thoughts.
Not everyone was complimentary of Stern's tenure as NBA commissioner, however. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports wrote that the longtime commish used intimidation and manipulation to get his way for years, and that his last 15 months on the job will be spent "promoting the myth of David Stern." Grantland's Zach Lowe also points to four lockouts and a string of unpopular decisions, including last year's veto of the Lakers' trade for Chris Paul, as blemishes on Stern's legacy.
How do you feel about Stern's 28+ years as NBA commissioner? Weigh in on the poll below with the grade you'd assign Stern for the job he's done at the head of the Association since 1984.
On the heels of yesterday's announcement that David Stern will be stepping down as NBA commissioner in February 2014, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has penned a less than flattering retrospective on Stern's "three decades of totalitarian rule."
In addition to looking back on the tenure of the longtime commissioner, Wojnarowski's piece also includes a handful of interesting nuggets related to Sacramento and Seattle. According to the Yahoo! scribe, Stern is "determined" to return the NBA to Seattle in his last 15 months on the job. Wojnarowski also hears that pressure on the Maloofs from the league office to sell the Kings has been "growing."
The city of Seattle's quest to return an NBA franchise to the area has been well documented, with the Seattle City Council and King County Council approving the arena proposal put forth by Chris Hansen earlier this month. Stern said yesterday that he "wouldn't preclude" the possibility of expanding the league beyond 30 teams, but it's more likely that one of the league's current franchises would have to move to give Seattle a chance at a team.
Given their inability to date to secure a new arena, the Kings have long been considered the most logical candidate to relocate to another city. On a teleconference with reporters yesterday, Stern didn't commit too strongly to the team's future in Sacramento, simply encouraging the city to continue supporting the Kings and then hoping for the best.