HoopsHype David Stern rumors

January 31, 2014 Updates

“When he first came in, there was still some racial tension,” Bryant said. “Drugs were running rampant in the league. And he managed to take that and make the game appealing for everybody. You had Larry Bird coming into the league and Magic Johnson coming into the league, and still you had to be able to package that and make it reach the masses and communicate that in a way that reaches the masses -- and then, figure out how to make it profitable.” CBSSports.com

January 30, 2014 Updates

NBA commissioner David Stern will retire at the close of business on Friday, and one of his many legacies will be that he globalized the NBA. What he never saw happen, though, was his vision of placing NBA teams in Europe. Mark Cuban touched on that possibility before Wednesday’s game. And until somebody actually invents a teleporter, it’s not likely to happen, Cuban said. But that doesn’t mean the NBA’s presence overseas isn’t going to grow. “I could see us licensing and maybe playing a World Cup with winners from overseas to try to replace the Olympics,” he said. “Just like hockey’s looking at it right now. But unless they bring back the Concordes and they change the schedule to give us a little more time, it’s going to be really difficult for teams to travel back and forth. It’s tough just doing one game, much less a whole schedule.” Dallas Morning News

NBA TV will televise an interview with David Stern on Friday night, the day before he ends his 30-year run as NBA commissioner. "David Stern: 30 Years" will air at 7 p.m. EST. Stern will be interviewed by Turner Sports' Ernie Johnson during the hour-long program, which includes comments from former and current NBA players such as Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Jerry West, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. FOXnews.com

January 29, 2014 Updates
January 28, 2014 Updates

Though Stern hasn't been hugely popular with the players as his tenure has seen two labor stoppages, James had nothing but positive things to say about the man who has handed him four MVP Awards and two NBA Finals MVPs in recent years. "David has been great," James said. "Obviously we had a lockout, but at the end of the day the players want more and the owners want more and we all want more. You can't knock what David has done. He came in in the '80s and build the game into what it is today. Can you name a commissioner who is better than him and what he's done? I don't know think so." ESPN.com

NBA executive president of global marketing partnerships Mark Tatum is in line to become the NBA's deputy commissioner under incoming commissioner Adam Silver, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the announcement is official. NBA spokesman Tim Frank declined comment. The move needs to be approved by NBA owners, but a decision such as this wouldn't progress to this point unless Silver, the deputy commissioner who takes over for commissioner David Stern this week, knew Tatum would be approved. USA Today Sports

Tatum, who is African-American, would become one of the highest-ranking minority executives in major professional sports. Silver had been the NBA's deputy commissioner, and has targeted Tatum to take over his No. 2 position in the league office, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

A distant third behind the NFL and baseball through the 1980s, the NBA is now a behemoth. With the owners slicing the players’ 58-42 share of revenue to 50-50 in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, profits and franchise values are ramping up. In an eye-popping bequest to his successor, Adam Silver’s first major piece of business will be to negotiate new network TV deals amid projections that rights fees could double from the current $930 million a season. Forbes.com

The 2011 labor talks were a masterpiece for Stern, despite the fact he was no longer the absolute ruler he had been for 20 years, when Bulls/White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, a force behind the scenes in baseball, didn’t attend NBA meetings, saying everything was already decided. Two sources in the room described an exchange between Stern and the Clippers' Donald Sterling at an owners meeting in Las Vegas in the run-up to the lockout. Pressed by Stern for his opinion, Sterling demurred, then blurted, “I would fire you. You're great at marketing but you're not tough enough with the union.” Forbes.com

...There was real pressure from new breed owners like Dallas’ Mark Cuban and an insurgent small market coalition. Stern adeptly made their draconian demands his and delivered, staying well away from a January drop-dead date by sheer sleight of hand. With the players looking at seven weeks of lost paychecks, counting start-up time, Stern offered to make three of them up if they settled in time to start on Christmas. They did. Forbes.com

With the economy struggling and ad budgets slashed in 2001, the NBA was in the wrong place at the wrong time when talks began for a post-MJ TV deal. NBC’s Bob Ebersol, who had walked away from the NFL four years before, offered a 33% cut from $1.8 billion to $1.2 billion--going that high only because Stern had invited the Walt Disney Co. into the process. Noting Disney's losses from televising NFL games at sky-high rates, media analyst Brian Schecter told the New York Times, “If David Stern pulls this out of his hat, he's a true magician of TV rights negotiations.” Stern pulled a six-year deal averaging $767 million out of his hat--with Disney paying $485 million of it, 50% more than NBC offered--taking the bulk of his package to (gasp) cable with ABC airing fewer games and only two rounds of the playoffs and the rest on ESPN and Turner. Daring as it seemed at the time ("Cable is said to muscle out NBC for NBA rights," said the New York Times headline), it carried the league to the brink of a better day. Forbes.com

January 27, 2014 Updates

"He really looked for people who had the same genuine love for the sport that he had," said Rick Welts, who worked for the NBA for 17 years as an executive, ultimately becoming Chief Marketing Officer and president of NBA Properties before taking jobs as president of the Phoenix Suns and, then, the Golden State Warriors. It makes a difference. He wasn't interested in people who were really talented people unless they had that emotional investment in the game. Because he does." NBA.com

Stern turns over the multibillion-dollar operation to his successor, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, on Feb. 1. Stern has been calling owners over the past week and telling them he will remain out of sight, that Silver is the guy to call, and he wants Silver to have his space as the new commissioner starts the job. "David Stern is the No. 1 force, the No. 1 reason why this league is where it is today," Miami Heat President Pat Riley said. "That's not disrespectful to any one great player in any one era or any owner. This has to do with the leadership of one man. "Over that span of time, things don't change because they're coincidences. They don't. There's somebody at the top who is going to eliminate what is bad and market what is good. He was a very forceful, very pragmatic visionary." USA Today Sports

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