David Stern

Heat Notes: Lineup, Silva, Butler, Stern

While some head coaches prefer to shake up their starting lineup over the course of the season, Erik Spoelstra has found comfort in consistency this year, writes Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. After using 29 different lineups in 2018/19, the Heat have started the same five players – Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Meyers Leonard, Kendrick Nunn, and Duncan Robinson – in 27 of their 33 games so far this season, and in every game since November 27.

Spoelstra didn’t necessarily plan on sticking to a regular starting lineup coming out of camp, and youngsters like Nunn and Robinson certainly weren’t penciled in as everyday starters during the offseason. But the Heat are 21-6 in the 27 games those five players have started, so it’s hard to argue with the results.

“Those guys earned it coming out of training camp and coming out of preseason, for a lot of different reasons,” Spoelstra said.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • The clock is ticking for two-way player Chris Silva, who is nearing his 45-day NBA limit, Winderman writes in a separate Sun Sentinel article. Winderman estimates that Silva’s 45-day clock will be up by about January 24, at which time the club will have to decide whether to convert him to a one-year, minimum-salary contract, leave him in the G League, or try to negotiate a new, longer-term deal.
  • The Heat and Raptors have been two of the NBA’s most successful teams in recent years at uncovering hidden talent outside the first round of the draft. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst explores how those two teams do it.
  • Jimmy Butler and the Jordan Brand have mutually agreed to part ways, making the four-time All-Star a sneaker free agent, reports Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
  • As The Sun Sentinel relays, the Heat, led by owner Micky Arison and president Pat Riley, issued multiple statements on the passing of former commissioner David Stern. The club’s statement notes that the franchise originated when the league expanded under Stern’s watch: “There is no Miami Heat without David J. Stern.”

Reactions To The Death Of David Stern

Tributes are pouring in from every corner of the NBA for former commissioner David Stern, who died Wednesday at age 77. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski calls him “a visionary and a dealmaker and a tyrant and a revolutionist.” Stern commanded respect and often instilled fear during his 30 years of running the league. He’s being remembered as an indispensable figure who lifted the NBA out of its financial woes and took it to a place of unprecedented prosperity.

Stern brought salary caps, maximum contracts, and dress codes to the league. He marketed individual players, starting with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird before launching a worldwide superstar in Michael Jordan. He sold the game to a global market that expanded to include China when he negotiated the deal that brought Yao Ming to the NBA.

Wojnarowski relates a story by Manu Ginobili, who grew up watching NBA highlights thanks to a deal that Stern negotiated with Argentina Channel 9 in his first year as commissioner in 1984.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t even dream of playing in the NBA,” Ginobili said. “Nobody ever from Argentina played in the NBA when I was 10. I was watching MJ’s [highlights] and thinking he was from another planet, that he was unreachable, untouchable — the same as Magic and Larry. And then I find myself, years later, raising the same trophy as they did.”

There are more remembrances of Stern this morning:

  • One of Stern’s towering acts was the support he gave to Johnson in 1991 when the Lakers’ star announced he had tested positive for HIV, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. The public had little understanding of the disease at the time, Zillgitt recalls, and many thought Johnson was about to die. Stern threw the full support of the league behind him and hired a prominent AIDS researcher so he could learn more about what to expect. “David Stern was such a history maker,” Johnson tweeted last night. “When I announced in 1991 I had HIV, people thought they could get the virus from shaking my hand. When David allowed me to play in the 1992 All Star Game in Orlando and then play for the Olympic Dream Team, we were able to change the world.”
  • Jordan, who dealt with Stern extensively as a player and owner, also released a statement, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. “Without David Stern, the NBA would not be what it is today,” he said. “He guided the league through turbulent times and grew the league into an international phenomenon, creating opportunities that few could have imagined before. His vision and leadership provided me with the global stage that allowed me to succeed.”
  • LeBron James believes the league should find something to name in Stern’s honor as a lasting tribute, relays Mark Medina of USA Today. “He definitely should have something named after him,” James said. “Either if it’s an award, or, I don’t know, a day? During the course of an NBA season, there’s a ‘David Stern Day.’ I don’t know. We can figure it out.” James added that Stern and Dr. James Naismith “are two of the most important people for the game of basketball,” and believes the league office will find an appropriate way to honor his memory.

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Dies At 77

Former NBA commissioner David Stern passed away on Wednesday due to the brain hemorrhage he suffered approximately three weeks ago, the NBA announced in a press release.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement:

“For 22 years, I had a courtside seat to watch David in action. He was a mentor and one of my dearest friends.  We spent countless hours in the office, at arenas and on planes wherever the game would take us. Like every NBA legend, David had extraordinary talents, but with him it was always about the fundamentals – preparation, attention to detail, and hard work.

“David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads.  But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA. He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand – making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation.

“Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. Our deepest condolences go out to David’s wife, Dianne, their sons, Andrew and Eric, and their extended family, and we share our grief with everyone whose life was touched by him.”

Stern was hospitalized on December 13 after collapsing at a Manhattan restaurant as a result of a sudden brain hemorrhage. He underwent emergency brain surgery, but reportedly remained in critical condition in the weeks leading up to his death.

We at Hoops Rumors send our condolences to Stern’s family and friends.

NBA: David Stern Remains In “Serious Condition”

The NBA has issued an update on former commissioner David Stern, who underwent emergency surgery last week after suffering a brain hemorrhage. According to the league, Stern remains in “serious condition.”

“He is receiving great care and surrounded by his loved ones,” the NBA’s statement reads. “The Sterm family and everyone at the NBA appreciate the incredible outpouring of support. Our thoughts and prayers remain with David and his family.”

Stern, 77, collapsed at a restaurant in Manhattan last Thursday afternoon and was rushed to a New York City hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery. The former NBA commissioner held the position for 30 years before being succeeded by Adam Silver in 2014.

We at Hoops Rumors send our best wishes to Stern and his family.

Former Commissioner David Stern Hospitalized After Brain Hemorrhage

Former NBA commissioner David Stern was hospitalized on Thursday after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage, the league announced (link via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today).

Stern reportedly collapsed at a restaurant in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon and was rushed to a New York City hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery.

Stern, 77, was named the NBA’s commissioner in 1984 and held the position for 30 years before being succeeded by Adam Silver. As Zillgitt notes, Stern has remained active as an investor since then and is still close to both Silver and the NBA.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family,” the NBA said in a statement on Thursday. The league has yet to offer an update on Stern’s condition on Friday.

We at Hoops Rumors send our best wishes to Stern and his family.

And-Ones: Stern, Wiseman, Kuzminskas, Falk

Former NBA commissioner David Stern has suggested that the NBA’s current ban on marijuana is outdated and believes the league should reconsider its stance, Jabari Young of CNBC writes.

Stern’s perspective within the argument, fueled by the medical benefits and factors based in recovery, have shifted over the years with the recent surge of medical use in THC and CBD.

“In many cases in sports,” Stern said, “the opioid crisis begins with players being prescribed pills for their pain, and if there is another substance, whether it be CBD or THC that eases pain, then I’m all for it.”

The NBA recently issued a 25-game suspension to Suns center Deandre Ayton after he tested positive for a diuretic, which is sometimes used to cleanse the body of a THC. Veteran guard Dion Waiters received a 10-game suspension from the Heat after consuming an edible laced with THC last week.

“You don’t want players drinking beer at halftime,” Stern said. “And you don’t want them smoking joints at halftime. But if it’s a controlled usage and has a viable, legitimate use, why not?”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Potential No. 1 overall pick James Wiseman is likely to be selected as a top-five selection in the 2020 draft regardless of what happens with his college eligibility, Sam Vecenie writes as part of his story for The Athletic. Wiseman, a 7’1″ center, has been deemed as “likely ineligible” by the NCAA as it continues its investigation.
  • Former NBA forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas has been released by Olympiacos in Greece, the club announced in press release. Kuzminskas and the team finalized a mutual termination agreement over the weekend, a source told Hoops Rumors, allowing the 30-year-old to enter free agency and explore other avenues this week.
  • Matthew Gutierrez of The Athletic hosted an interesting Q&A with veteran NBA agent David Falk, who discussed the evolving agent business, why Carmelo Anthony could still be a free agent and more. Falk is best known for representing Michael Jordan during his playing career.

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern: “I Have No Regrets”

Former NBA commissioner David Stern, who handed over duties to Adam Silver five years ago, sat down with Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated to discuss his tenure and the state of the NBA since he left the position. In the piece, which is worth a read, Stern tells Spears that he has “no regrets” about his time leading the NBA.

“I have no regrets. I know that sounds crazy,” Stern said. “Other than the regrets of lockouts, I would love to have had clear sailing and unanimous agreement on collective bargaining, but I didn’t, and that’s a failure, I would say. I am so happy because when I took over the NBA, our players’ reputations were, I would say, in the basement of the pyramid of celebrity. And now they’re at the tippy-tip of the celebrity pyramid. They’re the most listened to, the most beloved, in some ways, and the most important athletes in all of sports.”

Stern added the NBA “couldn’t be in better shape” and said that he believes the heavy player movement in free agency “gives the NBA ownership of a huge chunk of calendar real estate.”

The former commissioner also touched on the dress code that he implemented back in 2005, telling Spears that fashion was always an opportunity for them to shine and he’s “glad” that many are taking advantage of that opportunity now. Outside of fashion, players are using their platforms in different ways than they did just five years ago, such as speaking out on social issues. Stern is “very pleased to see those developments” and he’s particularly thrilled with the work of LeBron James.

“I take enormous pride in watching LeBron and his school activities, his charitable activities, and his leadership activities on social issues. It’s a great thing,” Stern said.

Stern took over as commissioner of the NBA in February of 1984 and held the post for 30 years, stepping down in 2014.

Southwest Notes: Gentry, Morrow, Gasol, White

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry weighed in on the comments made by former NBA commissioner David Stern, labeling the importance of staying focused on the current team instead of outside noise. Stern ripped Pelicans GM Dell Demps this week, calling him a “lousy general manager.”

“For us, we worry about our team,” Gentry said, according to Will Guillory of The Athletic (Twitter link). “We worry about our franchise. I’ve got a great working relationship with Dell. I think we’ve got a good team that we put out on the floor because of he and (president) Mickey (Loomis). That’s all I need to say. I think what has happened here is our franchise has a really bright future and that’s all that needs to be said.”

The Pelicans have started the 2018/19 season on a red-hot note, winning each of their three games in impressive fashion. Led by Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and a nice collection of young assets, New Orleans has designed its roster to compete for many years to come.

The Pelicans also released a statement on Stern’s comments, backing their general manager and claiming their excitement for playing under current NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Here are other notes from the Southwest Division:

  • Free agent Anthony Morrow is interested in joining the Rockets if the team looks for additional shooting, according to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. “Absolutely,” Morrow said. Mike (D’Antoni) knows I love him, tell him to give me a call.”
  • Marc Gasol is dealing with neck soreness and is considered day-to-day, the Grizzlies said (Twitter link). Gasol suffered the injury on Wednesday against the Kings, with fears that he could miss extended time.
  • Despite having no timetable for a return, Spurs guard Derrick White continues to progress in his recovery from left heel pain that’s sidelined him since the preseason, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News (Twitter link). “He’s progressing as they hoped,” coach Gregg Popovich said.

Pelicans Respond To Stern’s Comments On Demps

Earlier today, we shared snippets of a conversation between former NBA Commissioner David Stern and Chris Ballard of SI.com, wherein Stern spoke on numerous issues involving the NBA. Among them was his role in the Lakers’ near trade for Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets in 2011. In elaborating on that deal and its eventual breakdown, Stern was quoted as saying:

“But Dell Demps (GM of the then Hornets and current Pelicans since 2010) is a lousy general manager and none of those players are currently with the team anymore, and he may lose Anthony Davis.”

Well, the Pelicans apparently weren’t willing to take those comments lying down, responding with a statement earlier tonight, which reads, in pertinent part:

“We are very disappointed to read the inappropriate and inaccurate comments from the former NBA Commissioner regarding the New Orleans Pelicans. Our organization has the utmost confidence in our General Manager, Dell Demps. He is part of our family, the NBA family… Our organization is excited and proud to be part of the NBA with the progressive and innovative leadership of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.”

Of course, Stern and Silver share a relationship stemming from Silver serving as Stern’s deputy commissioner for eight years. Stern even endorsed Silver to become his successor. Accordingly, it’s interesting that the Pelicans chose to use Silver to backhandedly cast aspersions on Stern. Silver and the NBA have yet to comment.

David Stern Talks Gambling, Warriors, CP3 Trade

Since leaving his post in 2014, David Stern hasn’t often spoken publicly and candidly about the major issues and controversies he dealt with during his long tenure as the NBA’s commissioner. However, Stern opened up about a few of those topics during a conversation with Chris Ballard of SI.com.

Stern, who insists he stepped down as NBA commissioner rather than retiring, continues to stay peripherally involved in the sport of basketball, investing in gambling, wearables, and streaming apps.

Speaking to Ballard, he explained why he’s now enthusiastic about sports gambling after being opposed to it during his time as commissioner, and shared his opinion on a few NBA stories, past and present. The piece is worth checking out in full, but here are a few highlights from Stern:

On why he’s no longer opposed to legalized gambling on the NBA:

“I always said the reason we don’t want to have gambling is because we don’t want Junior going to the game and coming away disappointed because the home team won but they didn’t cover. But as soon as they allowed daily fantasy, I said that’s it, there’s no sense in having daily fantasy and not being in favor of betting — especially when you add in the fact that so much of it is already done offshore illegally and lining the coffers of some people you don’t know.”

On the Warriors’ current dynasty, and whether it’s bad for basketball:

“It’s great. They’ve got a great team. Interesting players, a dynamic coach, owners that demonstrate that they care, they’re about to open up a billion-dollar-plus building…. I think it’s only good. And I don’t believe in the debate about super-teams, because when I started there were two super-teams: the Celtics and Lakers…. Look at the attendance and the ratings and the product sales. We’re the most metricized business there is, and all signs are positive.”

On his decision not to approve the Chris Paul-to-the-Lakers trade when he was serving as New Orleans’ de facto owner in 2011:

“I did it because I was protecting the then Hornets…. To this day everyone always asks me, ‘Well, why did you keep Chris Paul from going to the Lakers?’ I didn’t keep him. I didn’t approve the trade. No team sells or trades a future Hall-of-Famer without the owner signing off, and I was the owner’s rep. But I wasn’t going to hand up [New Orleans GM] Dell Demps.”

More on the failed Paul trade with the Lakers, and the Clippers deal he eventually approved:

“I didn’t do a great job of explaining it at the time. There was a trade that Dell Demps wanted us to approve and I said heck no, but he had told [Rockets GM] Daryl Morey and [then-Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak he had authority to do it and he didn’t. I said no. We just settled a lockout and you want me to approve a basketball trade?

“[Demps] had agreed to [trade Paul to the Lakers for] Kevin Martin and Luis Scola or something, and I said we can do better than that…. And the next trade was [to the Clippers for] Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu and what we thought was a really great draft pick, the 10th pick, which turned out to be Austin Rivers. At least those three and someone else [center Chris Kaman]. But Dell Demps is a lousy general manager and none of those players are currently with the team anymore, and he may lose Anthony Davis.”