HoopsHype Rod Thorn rumors

April 2, 2014 Updates
April 1, 2014 Updates
March 26, 2014 Updates

The NBA's stance on the issue is clear. It eschews the word "tanking" and prefers not only a more palatable term but one it believes is more accurate, "rebuilding." "When you're talking about tanking, you're intimating teams are losing games on purpose, and that just isn't true," Rod Thorn, the NBA's president of basketball operations, told USA TODAY Sports. "Every player, every coach is trying to do everything he can to win as many games as he can and to play as well as he possibly he can, because in both instances, your livelihood depends on how you do. "We've got some teams every year — and it's been that way forever — who are rebuilding, and that can manifest itself in a bunch of different ways." USA Today Sports

February 26, 2014 Updates
February 25, 2014 Updates

During a sit-down TrueHoop TV interview with our own Henry Abbott, Thorn was asked about the chances that a 4-pointer -- as outlandish as it may seem -- could be brought to the NBA at some point. In a Per Diem column last month, I advocated for the introduction of a 4-point line 28 feet away from the basket. Turns out, Thorn didn't think the advent of a 4-pointer would be outlandish at all. Rather than reflexively squash the radical idea, as you might expect from a 72-year-old NBA lifer who has worn just about every hat in the league, Thorn seemed genuinely intrigued at the notion and revealed that the 4-pointer has "come up" in league discussions. "Oh man," Thorn told Abbott, "Some of the players we have can shoot the ball 30 feet as easily as they can shoot 23, 24 feet." One of those players? Vince Carter. Thorn recalled a moment when he ran the New Jersey Nets from 2000 to 2010 as team president and general manager. As players tend to do at practice, Carter would showcase his shot-making abilities from far, far away. ESPN.com

February 19, 2014 Updates

The NBA's president of basketball operations, Rod Thorn, acknowledges that losing games in the name of better draft picks -- commonly known as "tanking" -- is "definitely a strategy" for front offices. "I don't look at it as tanking," Thorn told ESPN.com during an interview for TrueHoop TV record on the Friday of All-Star weekend in New Orleans. "I look at it as I don't want to be at this level here. I may have to get worse to be good. It's definitely a strategy and more and more teams are looking at it." Thorn says "more and more teams are looking at" trading away players as a way to improve. "We're not very good right now," he says, explaining teams' thinking, "but in a couple years we're going to be pretty good if we get lucky in the draft." ESPN.com

January 25, 2014 Updates

Meanwhile, as the GM of the New Jersey Nets, Ed Stefanski was trying to help team president Rod Thorn solve a problem. Two years after making the NBA Finals, the Nets were crumbling, and Stefanski (who later worked for the Raptors) looked north and saw an opportunity. “You hear or read that he and the coach aren’t eye-to-eye, and you pick up the phone,” he says. “There’s nothing I did that was special. You call 30 teams, but we were fortunate.” The deal went down in 24 hours. “When I mentioned the two first-round picks, they got real excited,” says Stefanski. “I got off the phone, and the next day we completed the deal.” SportsNet

December 26, 2013 Updates

Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding the ejection of Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin with 10:43 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Golden State Warriors' 105-103 win over the Clippers on Dec. 25, at Oracle Arena: "After a league review of the Clippers-Warriors game, we have come to the conclusion that Blake Griffin should not have been ejected from the game. A common foul should have been called on Griffin for initially attempting to dislodge the Warriors' Andrew Bogut and a technical foul should have been assessed to Bogut for grabbing Griffin by the shirt and wrestling with him." NBA.com

December 11, 2013 Updates

Last month the N.B.A. issued 21 fines and suspensions — a punitive spree that amounted to about $602,882. If all those penalties raised some eyebrows, it was for good reason. The number of punishments in November matched the total from the first full calendar month of the previous three N.B.A. seasons combined. And that sum did not include fines for the 343 technical fouls and 21 flagrant fouls called in games last month. Those infractions bring automatic fines of $2,000 each. “Normally, you don’t have that many early in the season, then around the holiday season, you get more, then as you get down near the playoffs, you get more,” said Rod Thorn, the N.B.A.’s president for basketball operations. “This year, it’s started early.” New York Times

December 1, 2013 Updates

Nowitzki suffered a bloody nose after a collision with Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio while they were chasing a long rebound in the fourth quarter. He returned to the game with a bandage on his nose, which wasn’t exactly a fashion statement for the 16-year veteran power forward. "I don’t think it’s broke, but since it wasn’t a foul, I might get another flopping call from my boy [NBA President of Basketball Operations] Rod Thorn on Monday," said Nowitzki, taking a playful jab at the NBA’s discipline czar. "But it’s actually a miracle my nose is so big [that] I don’t hit it more often. I try to dodge it every night that I’m out there. It’s a miracle I don’t hit it." ESPN.com

November 20, 2013 Updates

Former Nets assistant and executive Rod Thorn, the current NBA President of Basketball Operations who was also on hand at Fordham Prep, said he expects Kidd to be a successful head coach. "He knows basketball, he gets instant respect from players because of who he is and what he's done, and I think he'll do very well," Thorn said. New York Daily News

November 13, 2013 Updates

Rod Thorn: I think Jason is as smart as any player I’ve ever been around as far as understanding the game and as far as understanding what you need to do to win. That’s a plus. I think Jason gets instant respect because of who he is and he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He also has good players on his team, and he’s got veteran players. He is going to be a terrific coach, they are going to have a really good team. You are going to go through times that are difficult and things aren’t going that well. Everybody has to learn how to do that, particularly if you’re a first time coach, but I see nothing but really good things for him. He’s a terrific guy, knows the game, and he’s going to do great. NBA.com

C.J. McCollum: What is your day-to-day schedule like now, being in such a position in terms of controlling the fines? Rod Thorn: I get here anywhere from 8 to 8:30 (a.m.), and we have people that work here who have a series of reports that I go through when I get in. Did we have any flagrant fouls last night? Did we have any technical fouls? Did we have any altercations, fights, anything of that nature? I’ll have a report on all of that. We want to make sure that we’re on top of everything so that’s the first thing I do when I come in. If there is an altercation anywhere, I will always get a phone call, no matter what time it is. If there is an altercation, you interview the players to see what they felt about it and you end up making whatever decision you end up making. Normally we have anywhere from three to five meetings a day on a range of subjects. We’re also involved in international here, we have 18 people that I’m responsible for that work internationally so we get reports from them, talk to them, and see what’s going on in their lives. NBA.com

RT: If you work for the league, you’re thinking about what’s best for the league and how you can grow the business. You’re thinking about a lot of things that may not be just happening today. You don’t care who wins or loses, but you’re thinking about the good of the league. When you work for a team, I would compare it to being in a silo. You’re more concerned with what’s in the best interest of your team and your players, and you tend to live and die with every victory and every loss. You have more instant gratification, or sometimes it’s not gratifying, if you’re with a team that’s not winning, in that there’s feedback every day. Players are getting better, players aren’t getting better; we’re winning, we’re losing. It’s more short-term as far as that goes. The league is more long-term and you don’t care who wins and losses, with a team it’s a little more short-term, and you live and die with wins and losses. NBA.com

CM: Going back to the NBA, how do you think the league has changed since you played and since you have been involved with the NBA up until now? RT: Dramatically. When I came in the league as a 2nd pick, I got a one-year contract, and I had to make the team, it wasn’t guaranteed. There was no other league to play in, nobody played overseas. Our meal money was $8 a day on the road and we traveled commercial, in coach. It was an entirely different league — not nearly as popular, not nearly what it is today. The athletes are so much better today than they were back when I came in the league. It’s much more international, we have 92 international players this year, that’s almost a quarter of the league. There were none in the league at that time I played. Now we’re watched all over the world by 215 countries, we’re popular everywhere. We weren’t even popular in the States at that time. I can recall even when Magic Johnson played, The Finals were tape delayed. They weren’t on live, and that wasn’t that long ago. This league has come an incredibly long way. With the great athletes in this league and how many good young players such as yourself we have coming into the league, I think the future is even greater. NBA.com

August 30, 2013 Updates

Q: You don't have an assistant GM, and longtime NBA guys like Doug Collins and Rod Thorn and Tony DiLeo are now gone. Before you hired Brett Brown, who are some of the people who were helping with personnel decisions? A: We have a talented staff that's been working real hard, behind the scenes, that people don't see. Courtney Witte is our director of player personnel and we have scouts and we are taking note of things we've done personnel-wise. We will continue to look for organization people and we want ones that make good decisions. Philadelphia Inquirer

July 10, 2013 Updates
July 3, 2013 Updates

Collins, who declined comment for this article, made a push for more power, for control of all player personnel decisions - which at the time was then team president Rod Thorn's responsibility. According to sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, Collins wanted to sign center Kwame Brown to a guaranteed five-year, $30 million deal before the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Harris, on Thorn's advice, vetoed the signing. Unfortunately for the Sixers, it was revisited. Philadelphia Inquirer

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