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Tag:David Stern
Posted on: March 3, 2012 7:26 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 7:36 pm
 

Report: David Stern done after two more seasons

An NBA world without David Stern is an NBA world tough to picture. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

David Stern has made it pretty clear that the end is near for him in the commissioner's seat. He stressed at All-Star Weekend that he would not be around for the next collective bargaining agreement, whether that comes in 10 years, or six.

But as for how soon? Maybe just two seasons from now, reports the New York Daily News:
Insiders say that David Stern is planning to tell NBA owners at their April Board of Governors meeting that he’s good for two more seasons, and that he’ll step down as commissioner then. “At one point, he had talked about doing it for one more season, but it looks now like two more,” said a league source. League suits say there probably won’t even be a search conducted to find a successor and that deputy commissioner Adam Silver is a lock to succeed Stern, with one source saying Stern’s lieutenant has the backing of almost 90% of the owners. All he needs is a simple majority.
Stern has almost been as much a constant in the NBA as the basketball itself. He's been around for 27 years since taking over for Larry O'Brien in 1984. To think of the league without him is, well, strange.

He's likely ready to go. He at least sort of seems prepared for it. He emphatically endorsed deputy commissioner Adam Silver in Orlando and really appeared completely at ease with passing the torch.

But it's the sort of thing where you believe it when you see it. Stern's been at this a long time and has probably been planning his exit route for a while. He wants to make sure the game is as healthy as it can possibly be when he hands the keys to the big car to Silver. With a new CBA in place, Stern is going to be sure that the game is in a great place.

Whenever it happens, he's going to leave behind quite a legacy. Which he should over 27 years. He's always been considered one of, if not the best commissioner in sports history, and once he finally leaves his post, we'll all spend plenty of time evaluating that I'm sure. As for Stern, he put it simply this year in Oklahoma City how he wanted to be remember: "Both teams played hard," he said.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 2, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 2:58 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Trade season approaches

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5,
Ken Berger talks about how you should evaluate trade rumors, if anyone will ever touch Wilt's 100-point-game, and how David Stern's legacy has evolved. 

1. 50th Anniversary of Wilt scoring 100 this week. There's a lot of talk about whether it will happen again or not. Do you think if the NBA went through a hyper-scoring binge like we've seen in the past it could ever happen again, or be passed?

KB: Never. The game is too different, defenses are more sophisticated and the talent level is more equal than in 1962.

2. 'Tis the season, KB. What are the things fans should look for when judging the accuracy of a trade rumor?

KB: Excellent way to put it. You have to consider the source (who's reporting it and how many outlets are reporting it) and dissect the potential agendas that are at play. For example, is an agent trying to manufacture news because he wants his client out? Also, teams have dozens of conversations about possible trades at this time of year. The mere occurrence of dialogue isn't news; serious discussions, with details of proposals that have been exchanged, perhaps rising to the ownership level, should be valued above the garden variety, "Team X is shopping player Y." As Ricky Watters once said, "For who? For what?" Details are proof. Finally, most teams have several people in the front office who are authorized and in position to discuss possible trades, which clouds the inevitable denial of those discussions. When a GM or coach says, "I've never even spoken with that team," or, "I've never even had a conversation about Player X," that doesn't mean someone else in the organization who's authorized to have those discussions didn't do so. In short, it's a tangled web we weave in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

3. Steve Nash is both the most adamant he doesn't want to be traded and one of the most involved in trade rumors. Do the Suns know exactly what they want to do with him, considering their public statements of "Nash now, Nash forever?"

KB: The key question is, what does Nash want? He doesn't want to be out there publicly lobbying for a trade, but if he decides it's time to move on, I believe the Suns will try to oblige.

4. Michael Beasley's another name out there on the wire. Are coaches receptive to dealing with his... er... eccentricities?
 
KB: For a contender that needs versatile scoring punch (Lakers, Celtics, Magic), Beasley would be the ideal fit. The questions will become, can he be had for a second-round pick? And if not, will a team -- particularly the Lakers, who have two first-rounders -- become so desperate to upgrade that they'll part with one?

5. David Stern said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel he can't be concerned with his legacy because it will impact his ability to do his job. What do you think Stern's legacy is today, given the events of the past 12 months?

KB: Any time you discuss legacy, it has to be a big-picture, textured discussion. Though the lockout, lost games and hard-ball negotiating tactics are fresh in our minds, those things can't move ahead of certain undeniable accomplishments like dramatically increasing national TV exposure and revenue and globalizing the brand. But depending on how things work out in New Orleans and Sacramento, Stern is in danger of having his legacy tarnished by franchise relocation. The financial circumstances in markets like those and Milwaukee, Charlotte and Memphis are grim. If the problems can't be solved by revenue sharing, then what? So Stern can't retire yet simply because he achieved a new collective bargaining agreement. He can't leave the NBA until he's leaving all 30 franchises (or however many there are when he leaves) on sound footing competitively and economically. So that part of his legacy, which includes over-expansion, is still to be determined.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:57 am
Edited on: March 2, 2012 12:14 pm
 

Silver touts transparency in lockout tactics

By Matt Moore 

Adam Silver could be pulling the strings at the next CBA negotiations. (Getty)
BOSTON -- Adam Silver appeared Friday as a panelist for the opening session of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. During the conversation on the panel of "In the Best Interest of the Game: The Evolution of Sports Leagues" Silver was asked about the keys to the league's success in the recent labor negotiations, and referenced "transparency" as a key. Which is kind of interesting.

Silver specifically said that the league's opening of their books to the players was crucial to the league's approach. Personally, I thought starving the players off their paychecks for two months was helpful, too, but sure, whatever. That issue was hugely contested throughout the lockout, as the league continuously held back releasing its figures. When the league later did "open the books," the players heavily disputed how their figures regarding losses were calculated. A Forbes report also disputed the NBA's conclusions. The league went on the offensive to defend their assertions of losses and presented a compelling case in some of the most open discussion about the realities of the league's financials we've seen.

Why is this relevant?

We're nearly four months out of the lockout, and the battle is still being waged with the same talking points. Silver referenced the possibility of being back at the table in six years, when both the NBA and NBPA have an opt-out which could drag professional basketball back into lockout hell once again. Silver repeated the same tenets we heard throughout the lockout from Silver, but in this session, there wasn't the edginess we saw after the tense hours at the negotiating table over the summer and fall. Silver impressed with his command of the talking points while also conveying something we hadn't seen from the league in several months, empathy, for the owners, players, and fans.

Silver noted that after the lockout's resolution, there seemed to be "very little acrimony" between the owners and players.

We'll see how true that is in six years, when it could be Silver leading the league for the first time as both its head negotiator and public face. If Friday is any indication, the players should be prepared for an even tougher opponent should that acrimony miraculously return.

Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:02 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 2:24 pm
 

Reports: Sacramento, Kings agree to 'framework'

Looks like they were right. They are staying. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

The Kings have taken a significant step towards remaining in Sacramento for the foreseeable future, with team and city agreeing to the "framework" of a stadium financing proposal, according to multiple reports.

SI.com and NBA.com reported that Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the Maloof family, who owns the Kings, told reporters in Orlando that stadium funding is on track.

"It's game over, so our community should be really excited," Johnson said, according to SI.com. "I want to jump up and down."

Johnson added, according to NBA.com: "I’m very excited. It’s a new day for Sacramento. We’ve all been working around the clock to get to this point."
   
Negotiations that involved the NBA league office, the City of Sacramento and the Maloofs took place throughout All-Star Weekend.

During his annual All-Star Weekend address on Saturday, NBA commissioner David Stern said that a deal was close but that money still separated the two sides and that "several remaining [deal] points" need to be hammered out.

"Life is a negotiation," Stern said on Saturday. ""The City would like the Maloofs to make the largest ‑‑ both have come up with very substantial contributions.  It's really getting there.  It's just not there yet.  And we're looking for other ways, imaginative ways, to bridge the gap ... It's coming down to money after all of this?  Yeah."

SI.com reports that the Maloof family will put up $73 million towards the $387 million expected price tag and an additional $60 million could follow in future years.

SacTownRoyalty.com reports the next steps in the arena funding process include a City Council vote and approval of a plan to create stadium funding from parking structures.

The Maloofs attempted to relocate to Anaheim last season but the NBA actively encouraged the family to reconsider and give Sacramento another year. Johnson has been pushing hard to keep the Kings throughout the process. The city of Seattle has also been interested in landing a team.
Posted on: February 25, 2012 9:20 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 9:26 pm
 

David Stern on relocation, arenas, Hornets sale

Posted by Ben Golliver

ORLANDO -- No new teams, no relocating teams if at all possible, and a few moments of appreciation for the majesty of world-class arenas.

Those were the takeaway business points from NBA commissioner David Stern, who held his annual press conference before All-Star Saturday, addressing a crowd of more than 100 reporters inside Orlando's new Amway Center. He was joined by deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who spoke up briefly on his particular areas of expertise during the roughly 34 minutes of questions and answers.

There weren't many surprises, and Stern stuck with his customary optimistic tone.

"We had this thing called a lockout," Stern said. "But the recovery has been spectacular for us, and the results of the collective bargaining agreement with the expected leveling of the playing field, and the ability for well‑managed teams to both compete more than our teams have had the opportunity to compete, by some combination of the hugely enhanced revenue sharing and the much larger luxury tax. So we're thinking that we're in for a treat over the years as this situation continues to improve."

But much of the nitty-gritty of the press conference was about tying up some of the uglier loose ends facing the league on the business side. Stern addressed an array of topics related to the league's teams, including ongong arena negotiations in Sacramento, the potential sale of the league-owned New Orleans Hornets, the possibility of an NBA return to Seattle, the New Jersey Nets' upcoming move to Brooklyn, and whether or not the NBA would consider expanding the league past its 30 current teams. Here's Stern's thoughts on each, one by one.

Sacramento Kings

The future of the Kings, who nearly relocated to Anaheim last year and have been hard at work to fund a new arena in Sacramento, drew more questions than any other topic, including New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.

"Write this down: life is a negotiation," Stern said, delivering the night's most memorable quip.

Stern met with Sacramento Mayor and former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson on Saturday with talks expected to continue on Sunday, including representatives from the NBA, Johnson's office, the Maloofs and members of the league's Relocation Committee.

"We have several remaining points that will not necessarily be guaranteed to be bridged, but we're going to give it our best shot tomorrow," Stern said. "We all consider ourselves to have a March 1 deadline to either come up with a financing plan and a critical path to the construction of the arena or not."

Stern said that the NBA would not help "bridge the gap" by loaning money to the Kings. He also said both sides were invested considerably in the negotiations, but that doesn't necessarily mean a deal will eventually be reached.

"The Maloofs have stepped up, the City has stepped up," he said. "We're having very intense conversations.  Sometimes the best‑intentioned and most fervent workers don't quite get to the finish line because there are things that separate them... We're going to see whether we can bridge that gap.  I think both sides deserve it, particularly the City of Sacramento." 

Why hasn't a deal been struck yet?

"The City would like the Maloofs to make the largest ‑‑ both have come up with very substantial contributions.  It's really getting there.  It's just not there yet.  And we're looking for other ways, imaginative ways, to bridge the gap ... It's coming down to money after all of this?  Yeah."

The sale of the New Orleans Hornets

On Friday, reports surfaced that California businessman Raj Bhathal is leading a group into exclusive negotiations to purchase the league-owned Hornets with a deal expected to be struck in the near future. Bhathal would reportedly agree to keep the Hornets in New Orleans.

On Saturday, Stern declined to confirm that Bhathal was the individual involved in the exclusive negotiations, but he did confirm that one of two groups interested in purchasing the Hornets is being given priority in the negotiations. He also said that he was "optimistic" that a deal will be reached between the two sides.

"We are in discussions with one group," Stern said. "We have another group in sort of second place, waiting to see how we do with group one.  We're optimistic that we will make a deal with group one."

Stern said a deal with the new owners cannot be made until the NBA reaches a deal with Louisiana on naming rights for the Hornets' arena, which is expected in the near future.

"We're a little bit behind here because we haven't concluded our deal with the State yet, but I think it's moving closer day by day," he said. "It's progressing well, but it's not finished.  We expect to have it finished, I'm told, in the next week or ten days, and that's the period of time that we would like to hopefully have this deal for the sale of the club come into much sharper focus. 

An NBA return to Seattle?

In recent weeks, the city of Seattle and investor Chris Hansen have made some noise about building an arena in Seattle in hopes of landing a team to replace the SuperSonics, who relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. Stern confirmed that he had been in contact with Hansen regarding the plans but he seemed to place some distance between the league and Hansen's plans. 

"Chris, who I had met about a year ago, called us two weeks ago to tell us what was going to be announced that Thursday, about a letter laying out a plan, and we thought it was a ‑‑ it sounded okay to us" Stern said. "Go for it. That's all."

Stern then said that his goal was to restrict the number of teams that would be available for relocation. 

"Right now what I'm working hard to do, in a perverse kind of a way, from Seattle's perspective, is to sell New Orleans to stay in New Orleans, and get a building for Sacramento that will enable the Kings to stay in Sacramento.  I can't say for sure [that a new arena in Seattle is] a pathway [to a replacement for the Sonics], but I will say that the only way to have a team these days is to have a world‑class building."

The New Jersey Nets' move to Brooklyn

Stern got back into salesman mode when discussing the upcoming move of the New Jersey Nets to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2012-2013 season. He lauded the building and sounded genuinely excited about a transformed rivalry between the Nets and the Knicks.

"We are very happy for Bruce Ratner and Mikhail Prokhorov that this building has not only risen from the ground, but it's going to be indoors, completely pretty soon, and it's going to be on time and opening," Stern said. "It is great for Brooklyn.  It is great for the Knicks.  We're going to have a spectacular rivalry. And it's going to be great for the fans of New York City and the NBA to have that kind of a rivalry and that kind of a new building."

Expansion / International Exhibitions

Asked whether the NBA had plans to add any teams, Stern ruled out any new North American franchises.

"I just don't see a North American addition," he said. "We're at 30, and we've got teams that we are working hard on to keep in their cities, to make strong through revenue sharing in our system, to grow their value, their fan base and the like."

Stern then mentioned the possibility, raised in previous years, of an expansion to Europe, before passing the microphone to Silver.

"We'll see," Silver said, with a smile that indicated you shouldn't hold your breath.

Rather than expanding, Stern and Silver mentioned plans to increase exhibitions and regular season games to be played internationally. No definitive plans were set, but both London and Shanghai were mentioned as possible destinations. London was previously scheduled to host two NBA games before the lockout schedule killed those plans.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:29 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 12:05 am
 

Reports: Buyer for Hornets finally emerges

The Hornets might have an owner. Great timing. Only been a year and a half. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ben Golliver   

NBA commissioner David Stern has been hinting for some time that the league-owned New Orleans Hornets have a buyer. On Friday, a name finally emerged.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that a group led by a California businessman could pay up to $340 million for the franchise, while agreeing to keep it in New Orleans for the foreseeable future.

A group led by Los Angeles-area businessman Raj Bhathal, who founded one of the country’s leading swimwear manufacturing companies, has emerged as a top candidate to purchase the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA, sources said Thursday. The group includes Larry J. Benson, brother of Saints owner Tom Benson and former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy.

Bhathal, 72, and Larry Benson, 66, each once owned franchises in the now defunct World League of American Football, a spring league venture initiated and funded by the NFL in 1990. Bhathal owned the franchise in Orlando, Fla., while Benson owned the team in San Antonio, his home base.

ABC26.com also reported that a Hornets sale is pending and provided an estimated sale price, although they did not reveal details of the ownership group.

Although there is no word yet from the state, city, NBA, or new ownership, the New Orleans Hornets, owned by the NBA, will be sold within the next 10 days to 2 weeks to an out-of-town owner. 

The new out-of-town owner will pony up $340 million for the team. 

The sale price would reflect a $20 million increase over the $320 million that the NBA reportedly paid to purchase the Hornets from the league, according to the Orange County Business Journal

The paper provides some background on Bhathal's business as well.

Raj Manufacturing makes and sells swimsuits under its own brands and through licenses with Irvine-based St. John Knits International Inc., Guess Inc. of Los Angeles and New York-based PVH Corp.’s Tommy Hilfiger Group, among others.

Bhathal started Raj Manufacturing with his wife Marta more than 40 years ago. Both sold their stakes in the company to their children, Lisa Vogel and Alex Bhathal, in 2007. The siblings run Raj Manufacturing as co-presidents. Raj Manufacturing has $130 million in annual sales, according to a Business Journal estimate.

Stern has maintained since the league took over the Hornets that the league was not interested in buyers who wanted to relocate the franchise.

The league's ownership of the Hornets has drawn plenty of criticism, including from the likes of former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and it sparked a major controversy in December when Stern reportedly vetoed a 3-way trade that would have sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers. Paul was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Stern is scheduled to speak to the media on Saturday night during his annual All-Star press conference. Surely the Hornets sale will be a hot topic.

Hat tip: HoopsHype.com
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:22 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 9:29 pm
 

David Stern: 'Linsanity' unprecedented in sports

Posted by Ben Golliver  
David Stern says "Linsanity" is unlike anything sports has ever seen. (Getty Images)

NBA commissioner David Stern was in Orlando on Thursday night, getting ready for Sunday's All-Star Game. Of course, all he could talk about was the only player anyone wants to talk about these days: New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin.

Hours before Lin took the court against the Heat, a few hundred miles South down I-95 in Miami, Stern told reporters that Lin's instant popularity hasn't ever been matched in sports history, not even by Sunday's biggest names, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.

The Associated Press had the details.
"I haven't done a computation, but it's fair to say that no player has created the interest and the frenzy in this short period of time, in any sport, that I'm aware of like Jeremy Lin has," Stern said Thursday.

Lin, an undrafted guard from Harvard, has become the NBA's biggest story since coming off the Knicks' bench earlier this month to lead them to nine wins in 11 games heading into their matchup with Miami on Thursday night.

With Lin's popularity in Asia as the league's first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent, and with the religious community because of his strong Christian faith, Stern says he's "never quite seen anything like" the attention on Lin.

"It's fascinating," Stern said after the All-Star Jam Session opening ceremonies.

The top five videos on NBA.com since Feb. 4, when Lin joined the rotation, are all Lin or Knicks related. Lin went from 190,000 followers on Sina, China's version of Twitter, on Feb. 2 to more than 1 million as of Feb. 16.

Indeed, Lin's popularity is so out of this world that the NBA made a late roster switch to ensure his participation in the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star Saturday, a game that includes the NBA's best rookies and sophomores. Lin is in such high demand that all of the game's other participants will meet with the media following a team practice on Friday while Lin will have his own, separate press conference later in the night. 

This is Jeremy's world, folks. We're all just living in it. Even David Stern and the rest of the league's All-Stars, at least for the moment. 
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:38 pm
 

David Stern admits lockout season 'not perfect'

Posted by Ben Golliver 
David Stern admits that the play this year has been "uneven." (Getty Images)

Critics, including Naismith Hall of Famer Charles Barkley here, have decried the quality of basketball during this lockout-shortened season. Scoring is down, shooting percentages are down, injuries are causing players to lose a greater percentage of a team's games with the compressed schedule, back-to-back-to-backs have drawn Heat from basically everyone and there have been plenty of blowouts already.

In an interview with USA Today, NBA commissioner David Stern acknowledged that he is aware of the criticism and that the compressed season, which attempted to fit 66 games into roughly four months, was not an ideal situation.
I don't think the media will let go of it for a while because it's all too delicious every time there's a blowout or every time there's a loss, you're saying this horrendous lockout-shortened season. … It's not the perfect season. It has its unevenness to it. It has coaches making decisions that they think are best for them and teams — like how to space minutes, how to deal with practice or not, scrimmage or not, how to deal with training. Some trainers are changing, actually, the nutritional direction of their team — emphasizing, perhaps, more massage for recovery than previously.

So this is enabling teams to see whether these very significant sums of money they're spending on lots of talent are going to be making a difference in the competitive landscape. And several teams believe it has. But they're treating it as trade secrets, which they don't want to share.

However, Stern defended the schedule, as he has done before, stating that sacrificing 16 games and compressing the season was a worthwhile sacrifice to better the game with a new collective bargaining agreement.
I think the 20% of the games of one season is going to turn out to have been a modest price to pay for the fundamental change in the league's operation going forward. And by that I mean its competitiveness and the value of its franchises.
To boil this down, Stern is basically saying, "Charge it to the game." NBA television ratings and online interest are way up, the Jeremy Lin phenomenon has essentially erased any of the ill will still left over from the ugly labor negotiations and attendance numbers league-wide are strong. The league can expect a number of big-market teams to be a factor come playoff time, thanks to the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Bulls and Mavericks. The Miami Heat, a major star-studded breadwinner, show no signs of slowing down.  

The complaints are sure to fade by the time the playoffs roll around and once it's time for the NBA Draft, now just four months away, the league's calendar will officially be back on track. Stern can make a public admission like this now, because the storm has essentially been weathered.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com