HoopsHype David Stern rumors

January 23, 2014 Updates

The NBA this year expects $5.5 billion in annual revenue, and one of the league’s small-market teams, the sold for more than $500 million. “When I got into the league, our central revenues outside of ticket sales were less than $1 million,” said Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who bought the Bulls in 1985 for $16 million. “David took basketball from a sport that had its Finals on tape-delay television to a worldwide sport. There was no marketing when I got into the league. He was determined to bring what was a second-class sport into a world-class sport. You have to give him the majority share of the credit.” Sports Business Daily

“David had to, and was able to, deal with the complexities of antitrust laws, labor laws, media rights, being the first league to have a drug agreement, and of marketing a sport with a brand that at the time he came on was perceived as being difficult to take to mainstream America,” said Bettman, who before joining the NHL spent 12 years working with Stern at the NBA. “He helped create a licensed product business before there was much of one. He brought all that together and he was the first to do that whole package. So I would say that David is the whole package and that is what a commissioner in this time had to become, particularly in this era of expansion internationally and onto digital media platforms — both of which didn’t even exist when he came in.” Sports Business Daily

Owners meetings may have been meant for debate and discussion, but much of the decision making was left to Stern. “I went to every board meeting for five years and it was just amazing to me,” said Pat Croce, former co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers. “We’d get the agenda, but whatever David wanted to get done, got done. He really cares about fans, too, and will get really radical with owners when he thinks the fans are getting shafted.” Sports Business Daily

Stern was one of the first commissioners to migrate the NBA to cable television while advancing opportunities in the field of digital media. He created NBA.com in 1995, the first league to integrate both team and league websites. The NBA then launched NBA TV in 1999 (then called NBA.com TV), and the league has long embraced various social media channels to drive its brand. “It was David’s vision and his smart, forward thinking that really put Turner on the map,” said David Levy, president of Turner Sports. “He was the only commissioner at the time to look at cable and Turner/ESPN as an option. He put his crown jewels on cable well before any of the other top leagues. He trusted us with the postseason. He trusted us with the All-Star Game. He trusted us with his brand at NBA TV and NBA Digital. These moves were both risky and visionary at the same time.” Sports Business Daily

January 17, 2014 Updates

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore, the best remunerated administrator in English football, is ‘vastly underpaid’ according to the overlord of American basketball. NBA commissioner David Stern, who retires next month after a remarkable 30 years at the helm, has enjoyed an annual salary of around £15million compared to the £2.5m a year including bonuses that Scudamore receives for running football’s richest league. Daily Mail

January 16, 2014 Updates

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is at high risk to be fined by the league before the month is out. So says Mark Cuban. In an interview with ESPN.com this week to reflect on David Stern's 30-year run as NBA commissioner, which ends Feb. 1, Cuban said he has been telling Stern for months that he is determined to get dinged one last time before his longtime foil leaves his post. "We talk about it all the time," Cuban said. "I'm going to have one final fine before he leaves." ESPN.com

Yet Cuban has mostly praise for Stern with slightly more than two weeks to go before Stern's longtime deputy Adam Silver takes over and the longest tenure of any commissioner in North American professional team sports comes to an end. "One reason that I truly respect David is that he followed the rules," Cuban said. "He didn't want to be king. He wanted to be successful and make the NBA successful. He was less concerned with his legacy than with creating results for the NBA. He knows that the results will stand the test of time and define his legacy." ESPN.com

"On the officiating side, that's probably the one thing I'd say he's failed miserably on, but I understand where he's coming from, because he doesn't have a horse in the race. Win, lose or draw, as long as the business of the NBA is good, he's happy. I obviously have a completely different perspective, and that's where we clash. He doesn't care who wins. That's the difference, because I do. ESPN.com

Commissioner David Stern, who is in the final year of a 30-year reign, has even opined about a permanent European presence. To hear Nets players consider the subject this week, it sounds plausible—with a few notable caveats. "I think Europe deserves to have an NBA team, but it's impossible logistics, traveling," said Nets forward and Russian native Andrei Kirilenko. "It has to be the whole division here," he continued, echoing Stern's vision of a five-team European division. "It has to be a lot of teams here. It's not going to be possible if it's only one team playing in Europe and traveling all the way to U.S., playing and coming back." Wall Street Journal

More international investors will follow the example of Brooklyn Nets' Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov and buy into U.S. basketball, NBA boss David Stern said on Thursday. Wealthy groups in China, the Middle East and Latin America were all potential investors in NBA franchises, Stern said. He believed the sport could absorb the inflationary pressures that flows of foreign money have brought into English soccer's Premier League. "We encourage that movement of capital and we think it is inevitable," NBA Commissioner Stern told reporters, reflecting on the example set by Prokhorov's purchase of the now rebranded New Jersey Nets in 2010. "In addition we also have an operating structure with a salary cap that very much blunts the impact of pure dollars or pounds or roubles," he added. Yahoo! Sports

January 10, 2014 Updates

Dennis Rodman is NOT on Kim Jong-Un's payroll, despite allegations from NBA Commish David Stern ... so says Dennis Rodman. TMZ Sports spoke with Rodman's rep who tells us, "Dennis did not receive, nor has he ever received, any compensation from the North Korean government." Of course, the statement is a direct response to Stern, who told CNN that Dennis only organized the basketball trip to Pyongyang because he was "blinded by a flash of North Korean money." TMZ.com

Team executives are encouraged by a growing perception that incoming commissioner Adam Silver will be more open minded than his predecessor, David Stern, who will hand the reins to Silver on Feb. 1. Though there's little consensus on an idea floated to replace the draft lottery with a "wheel" concept that would lock in the draft order regardless of record, executives view the proposal as a sign of Silver's flexibility and willingness to buck conventional wisdom. CBSSports.com

January 9, 2014 Updates
January 7, 2014 Updates

Stern, commissioner for nearly 30 years, said the league has had preliminary discussions in the past with Pyongyang about a cultural exchange but he wouldn't send any players to North Korea without the OK of the White House. Stern said he believed that these former players agreed to the game for a big payday and didn't think about the political ramifications. CNN.com

On Tuesday, the Silnas, the league and the four former A.B.A. teams will announce a conditional deal that will end the Silnas’ golden annuity. Almost. The Silnas are to receive a $500 million upfront payment, financed through a private placement of notes by JPMorgan Chase and Merrill Lynch, according to three people with direct knowledge of the agreement. The deal would end the enormous perpetual payments and settle a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Silnas that demanded additional compensation from sources of television revenue that did not exist in 1976, including NBA TV, foreign broadcasting of games and League Pass, the service that lets fans watch out-of-market games. New York Times

The N.B.A. has long hoped to be released from its financial obligation to Ozzie and Daniel Silna, brothers who owned the Spirits of St. Louis in the defunct American Basketball Association. But it has never been easy. The Spirits were excluded from the 1976 merger of the two leagues. So the Silnas watched unhappily as the New York (now Brooklyn) Nets, the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs were absorbed into the N.B.A. But the Silnas negotiated an astonishing benefit that was critical to the merger: an agreement to be paid one-seventh of the national television revenue that each of the four teams was to receive, as long as the league continued to exist. That amounted to being paid in perpetuity, and so far, the deal has provided the Silnas with about $300 million. New York Times

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