David Stern Rumors
“What part of you misses being commissioner of the NBA?” he was asked in a phone interview with USA TODAY Sports on Monday. The 74-year-old man who spent three decades building the league into a $5 billion global business, who was always known for his hard-driving and heady ways, and who so happily handed the reins to his protégé, Adam Silver, more than three years ago, hesitated before setting the record straight. “I don’t miss any of it,” said David Stern
The NBA playoffs were always a whirlwind time for Stern, who would spend mid-April to mid-June jet-setting from city to city and heading for his next courtside seat. But nowadays, he’s not all that different from all those fans he spent half a lifetime fostering. With Stern so proud to see Silver doing his old job justice – “I think the way Adam is handling virtually everything is spectacular,” he says – there’s no need to get on a plane anymore.
“The highlights are that LeBron (James) is still LeBron; to me, that’s a great, great highlight,” Stern said of the 32-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers star whose team swept the Indiana Pacers in the first round and will face the winner of the Toronto Raptors-Milwaukee Bucks series in the second round. “The highlight is to get to know Milwaukee, and Mr. (Giannis) An-te-tok-ounmpo…”
If there’s one thing Stern doesn’t love – never has, and never will – it’s the chronic complaints from coaches about officiating this time of year. Here’s looking at you David Fizdale and Fred Hoiberg. “(It’s) really just a modern version of what a coach tries to do to inspire his players and attempt to influence the officiating,” Stern said. “That’s as old as Pat Riley and Phil Jackson (doing it) back in the day. If the moon is up during the playoffs – (if it’s not) on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon – the coaches will be baying at the moon and at the officiating.
“The fans are going to want to see be able to see what they want to see, when they want to see it and on any device they want to see it on,” he said. Stern believes viewers will favor streaming services and virtual reality, with output from wearable technology to provide statistical data to augment what they’re watching. So this week he and a group of partners that includes Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim announced the launch of SportsCastr.Live , a streaming platform that allows users to be color commentators and to select which sportscaster they wish to have call, recap or make predictions on a game.