HoopsHype David Stern rumors

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February 1, 2014 Updates

“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

January 31, 2014 Updates

“I think the TV revenues are going to grow dramatically in the next agreement,” Falk said. “And it's so damaging to the business of the NBA to shut it down. Personally, I think it was irresponsible for Billy [Hunter] to have allowed it to be shut down twice. The players lost $1.25 billion that they'll never make up and they got nothing for it. And why would the owners shut it down? To get 5 percent more? The potential for where the league should be at the end of the current agreement is so high -- if it's done properly -- that to be greedy to try to steal a few percent is foolish.” CBSSports.com

“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

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