HoopsHype David Stern rumors

February 17, 2014 Updates

Both David Stern and his successor, Adam Silver, targeted India for the next phase of the league’s global expansion. Given the lack of facilities and infrastructure, realistically, how long until the NBA schedules preseason games in your hometown, Mumbai? And how, specifically, will you benefit in India from your Kings ownership? Merchandise sales? Corporate sponsorships? Right now, we’re just saying we’ll build out the fan base. When you approach these things, you take a long-term view. You don’t ask, “How am I going to make money right now?” Are you going to lose money this season? Yes. But we’re not that concerned. Sacramento Bee

February 16, 2014 Updates

New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stood alone at the podium inside the New Orleans arena news conference room on Saturday night, his bald head glistening amid the scores of television cameras and his hip unattached to David Stern's for the first time in decades. "This press conference feels awkward for me, because, one, I'm not sitting, and also I'm not sitting next to my longtime friend, mentor, and boss, David Stern," said Silver, who noted that Stern was taking a few weeks of vacation before beginning his role as consultant for the league that grew to such great heights while on his watch. "It goes without saying that virtually none of us would be here without David. I want to thank him personally for his friendship, his leadership, his mentorship over all these many years." USA Today Sports

February 14, 2014 Updates

David Stern is going from the NBA commissioner's office to the Hall of Fame. The recently retired Stern was elected Friday to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the class of 2014. Stern retired on Feb. 1 after exactly 30 years as commissioner, during which he brought the league to its greatest success. NBA.com

February 13, 2014 Updates

Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu was present in Athens, Greece, and before the game between Olympiacos and Anadolu Efes he spoke about almost every matter of Euroleague. However the most important part of the press conference was the way he presented the possible expansion of the NBA to Europe under the terms of the American league as almost an impossible plan. That’s why according to him the cooperation with Euroleague should be considered the only way for this to be done. Jordi Bertomeu: “My answer is the same with David Stern’s answers. Every time this subject comes up, he says that he will think about it for the next ten years and every one starts to talk about it. In order for the NBA to come, there should be 5-6 really strong teams in Europe in league with a 130 million USD financial turnover. That means tickets which will cost 100 euros per average and at least 150 sold outs. Our television partners should pay ten times more for the rights. And we also have to answer how the salary cup will work under a possible six different taxation laws. There are many legal issues. A lot of people talks about NBA in Europe, but not about those matters. My place is to give answers. It’s easy to make the questions. Adam Silver, the new commissioner, is a great contributor to the sport. We have met and I think that we have a future together. We want to increase our cooperation and we want to see things realistically”. EuroHoops.net

February 12, 2014 Updates

His predecessor David Stern publicly butted heads with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, but new NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Cuban is good for the league. "There has been some public stuff around the edges between Mark and the league," Silver said, "but Mark's input has been hugely beneficial to the league in so many areas the public will never hear about." ESPN.com

Silver said Cuban, who is a part owner of AXS TV and made his fortune by selling his Broadcast.com Internet radio company to Yahoo, made strong suggestions on how the league should deal with its digital assets as well as helped the league with its marketing initiatives. "Mark epitomizes the new generation of owner who is all-in to his franchise and is involved in every aspect of the team," Silver said. "It's not necessary that that be the model for others, but we welcome it. While you won't hear this from many owners directly, Mark has attracted many of the new generation owners to the league." When told of Silver's comments, Cuban replied by email: "I like Adam :)" ESPN.com

February 8, 2014 Updates
February 4, 2014 Updates

Speaking of the product, Marion has another recommendation for Silver. “I think the age requirement for coming into the league should be higher,” he said. Since the 2006 draft, the minimum requirements have been that players must have turned 19 during the calendar year of the draft and have been out of high school for one year. Silver’s predecessor, David Stern, has long been a proponent of adding a year to those requirements. “It should be at least two years (out of high school),” Marion said. “Two to three years, minimum.” Dallas Morning News

February 2, 2014 Updates

Mark Cuban on the legacy of David Stern: "He took the NBA from a sport that wasn't on television for the Finals game to making it the second most popular sport in the world. You couldn't ask for a better legacy. Now, any NBA player that goes to China is a superstar, even if they've only played one minute in their entire career. That was just inconceivable 20 years ago, 25 years ago. He deserves 100 percent of the credit for that. Dallas Morning News

"I think he understood that soccer—all you need is a ball, and with basketball, a ball and a hoop. It’s an inexpensive game that anyone can play around the world, it’s easy to understand, and that with a little bit of momentum and visibility for the players, you could turn it global. And that, plus the fact that our players, like in soccer, are very identifiable. You could be sitting next to Richard Sherman, and you wouldn’t know how he is. You could look at the 10th guy on the Knicks bench, and you’ll know exactly who that is … And so I think he recognized that our players are very identifiable, and he could leverage that from a marketing perspective.” Dallas Morning News

February 1, 2014 Updates

Cleaning out his office in December, David Stern found a photo from his first day as commissioner of the National Basketball Association in 1984. Stern, then 41, had a mustache, a full head of dark hair, and eyeglasses as big as windshields. In the photo he rests his right hand on a copy of the Sporting News Official NBA Guide for the season. His left is raised to take an oath. Russ Granik, a league lawyer who would become Stern’s deputy, holds the book. Seven other guys in suits stand by grinning. “I swore to uphold the NBA constitution, bylaws, and all that’s holy,” Stern recalls. On Feb. 1, 30 years to the day later, Stern will retire as commissioner. Adam Silver, who joined the NBA in 1992 as Stern’s special assistant and has been deputy commissioner since 2006, will take over the top job. There will be no mock oaths, no ceremony of any kind. “It isn’t like I have a key to hand [over] or a staff or a crest of arms,” says Stern, sitting next to Silver in the commissioner’s meeting room at the NBA’s headquarters in New York in December. For Silver, it will be another working Saturday. “It feels seamless,” he says. “I feel I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be.” BusinessWeek.com

Bob Iger, the CEO and chairman of Walt Disney (DIS), knows about following in the footsteps of a legend (he took over from Michael Eisner in 2005) and the perils of handing off to the next generation (he’s stepping down in 2016). Iger has been counseling Silver while maintaining close ties to Stern. “David deserves a lot of credit for not only developing Adam but for supporting him,” he says. “That shouldn’t be taken lightly. Adam’s got all the talent in the world and deserved to get the job. But David recognizing that was of real significance.” BusinessWeek.com

As commissioner, Stern lived up to his title. He was the league’s chief cop, stamping out behavior that could make sponsors skittish. He was swift with suspensions when a player refused to stand during the national anthem, went into the stands to fight a fan, or choked his coach. (He also hit Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with almost $2 million in fines over 13 years, mostly for criticizing referees.) “He was very effective at being the sheriff,” says Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and chairman of the NBA board of governors. BusinessWeek.com

“David was very much the protector of that brand and the integrity of the league,” says Silver. “I think the job has very much evolved over the years to more closely align to a CEO position than just the cop-on-the-beat, commissioner notion.” The NBA now employs 1,100 people in 15 offices in a dozen countries. Along with basketball operations, Silver will oversee marketing, finance, legal, security, and merchandising departments, among others. He’ll answer to billionaire owners who run software companies and venture capital firms and manage relationships with Adidas (ADS:GR), Samsung Electronics, SAP (SAP), and ESPN. BusinessWeek.com

“Over the last 22 years, there’s no one on the planet I’ve talked to more than I have David,” Silver says. “For years and years, I traveled everywhere David went. I even opened his mail when I first started working here.” After a year, Silver became NBA chief of staff. Two years later he moved to the league’s entertainment division, which manages its largest revenue source: television rights. (One of his first tasks as commissioner will be negotiations for new national deals. The NBA’s $930 million-per-year contracts with ESPN and Turner Sports (TWX) expire in 2016.) He went on to run the entertainment division for eight years. When Granik stepped down in 2006 after a 22-year run as deputy commissioner, Silver took the No. 2 post. Granik, six years younger than Stern, was seen as too close in age to succeed him. “Had the timing been different, [he] would have become a great commissioner in his own right,” says Silver. BusinessWeek.com

Silver says he’ll be calling Stern for advice. “I can’t imagine a scenario in which we won’t be talking on a regular basis,” he says. “It would be foolhardy for me not to be constantly checking in with David.” He’s not concerned about any appearance that Stern is still pulling the strings. Neither is Gilbert: “David will give good, honest, impartial advice, so I don’t think that can hurt,” he says. “Adam’s also made it known to me and others that, as much as he respects David and the way he ran things, he is going to be his own man and there is going to be a different style.” BusinessWeek.com

One of Stern's most enduring memories, however will be of the league's decision to hold the 2008 game here, one made in the months after Katrina when the city's rebirth was far from assured. "You know, this is a little screwy, but I wish I understood earlier what the power of sports was, to change lives, to call people's attentions to important issues and the like," Stern said. "We finally hit our stride on that up to, and especially, in 2008 in New Orleans when our day of service hooked in everyone from players to sponsors, to licensees, to guests. "And to see the impact that we could have in a city that was reeling, having scheduled the first regular-season games back in New Orleans, having scheduled the All-Star Game. But it gives us all great pleasure, and I know Adam joins me in that, in what part sports can play in bringing your great city back. "It was something that we all felt so good about, that it was sort of the proof of our confidence that New Orleans would come back from Katrina and needed the help we thought we could provide in a limited way." New Orleans Times-Picayune

In the first sign of a major change in the NBA landscape, new basketballs bearing the insignia of Adam Silver will debut for Saturday’s games. Commissioner David Stern serves his final day Friday in the league’s New York offices, retiring after 30 years, before Silver takes over. According to NBA spokesman Tim Frank, teams were given the Silver-inscribed balls — fresh off the factory line – two months ago “to break in.” Teams have practiced with the new balls, but not until tomorrow — when they host the Heat on the eve of the Super Bowl — will the Knicks use them in a game. New York Post

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