Rod Thorn Rumors
But for all his opposition to the 3-pointer, Bird sees the appeal of Stephen Currys, Klay Thompsons and Kyle Korvers. “Back when I played, we just didn’t shoot it that much,” Bird says. “Now, hell, if you’re not firing up 30 3s, you’re not playing basketball.” As the gatekeeper of the NBA game, league president of basketball operations and former team executive Rod Thorn loves the way the game is tilting. “Some from my era think there are too many 3-pointers,” Thorn says. “But the game has changed, there’s no doubt about it. The fans love the game and the way it’s being played. From our perspective, we’re very happy with what we see.”
The NBA’s review of Dwight Howard’s contact with Andrew Bogut concluded that it did not rise to the level of excessive because Howard was trying to free himself from a tie-up with Bogut, president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told CBSSports.com Tuesday. “It was a very close call as far as I’m concerned,” Thorn said. “As Bogut is holding his arm down, Howard tries to extricate his arm. He doesn’t hit him with his elbow, by the way. He hits him with the back of his hand, maybe a touch of the wrist. To me, it was unnecessary, but I didn’t think it was excessive.”
Rod Thorn, on his second run as the NBA’s president of basketball operations, plans to leave the league office and retire in August, sources told Yahoo Sports. Thorn is highly regarded around the league, a figure who commands respect among executives, coaches and players.
For the first time, the NBA All-Star Ballot presented by Sprint will feature all NBA players, NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn announced today. The NBA All-Star Ballot presented by Sprint had previously been determined by a panel of broadcasters and media members who cover the NBA, and contained 60 players from each conference. Fans will continue to select two guards and three frontcourt players when choosing the starters for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, but will now be afforded the opportunity to choose from the entire NBA player pool, as opposed to 36 frontcourt players and 24 guards per conference.
The league has gone to great pains to say that the Replay Center, which gets direct game feeds from each of the NBA’s 29 arenas, serves to supplement the referees, not do their job for them — though it has not shuttered the notion that improved technology in future years might make using the Replay Center for the final decision possible. “Our feeling was the following: The Center is not here to replace the official,” NBA Vice President of Operations Rod Thorn said Saturday. “We try to help the ref make the right call by giving him the best angle possible. His job is to call the game. At this particular time, that’s the best approach for us. But as you know, in the modern NBA, we study everything. At some point in time, if we feel there’s something that can help, then we’ll address it.”
Members of the black and Latino press are livid at the NBA for what some say are discriminatory new media rules for games. The league has quietly revoked floor access to photojournalists for smaller publications, saying there’s not enough room. Three seasons ago, the NBA allowed 40 camera positions, but this season they are now allowing just 20, 10 on each baseline. In a statement, Rod Thorn, the league’s president of operations, said the policy is about safety.
The idea to shorten the game was conceived in an off-season coaches’ meeting in Chicago. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle initially made the suggestion, according to Nets coach Lionel Hollins, the NBA jumped at the idea, and the Nets and Celtics were willing to be the test subjects. The league has no plans to try it again this season, although the D-League could be used to conduct further experiments. But even with a small sample size, the NBA hopes to get a better idea of all the potential externalities. “We’re taking a look at a lot of different things regarding our game and if we can find ways that can make it more appealing, or make it better. Then we hope that we’re able to ascertain what those things are,” said NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, the former general manager of the New Jersey Nets.
“We have looked at everything that we do and are taking a fresh look at all the different things we do,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said. “One of the things that keeps coming up is our schedule and the length of our games. … Our coaches talked about it, and a lot of them seemed to be in favor of at least taking a look at it. We talked with our competition committee, and they were in favor of taking a look at it.” The NBA will look how a 44-minute game impacts length of the game, player-substitution patterns and flow of the game to determine if there’s a better experience. “Let’s get some empirical evidence regarding this and take a fresh look at it,” Thorn said.
Thorn says clearing the congestion behind the playing area was planned even before Indiana’s Paul George broke his right leg when he crashed into the stanchion last month during a USA Basketball exhibition game. “The conversations about this topic preceded Paul’s injury by several years,” Thorn said. “As a matter of fact, at our league meetings in July we informed our teams this was the direction we were going. But of course when an injury occurs like the one to Paul, it reaffirms the changes we have made and the need to continue to evaluate our policies.”
The “escape lanes,” the unoccupied area on either side of the stanchion to the closest photographer spot, will increase from 3 to 4 feet. Only 20 camera positions, 10 on each baseline, will remain, down from 24 last season and 40 during the 2010-11 regular season. Each baseline can have six photo spots on one side of the basket and four on the other, and dance teams or other entertainers cannot be stationed along the baseline.
The NBA is expanding the area that must be clear behind the basket and cutting the number of photographers along the baseline in an effort to improve player safety. The new regulations, calling for an extra foot of open space on both sides of the basket stanchion, were sent to teams Tuesday by league president of operations Rod Thorn and executive vice president of team marketing and business operations Amy Brooks in a memo that was obtained by The Associated Press.
New Jersey thus became the first in a long line of teams that have underestimated Korver and live with regret as he continues to improve well into his thirties. Korver’s development into a borderline star has surprised everyone, even the 33-year-old swingman, and the journey will reach its latest peak this week when he competes for one of 12 precious roster spots on the U.S. team heading to the FIBA World Cup. “We gave away a good player for summer league,” says Rod Thorn, the Nets GM at the time. “It was just one of those things we had to do. At least, that’s how I rationalized it.”
It’s never a good sign for the NBA when league officials have to be added to the postgame news conference lineup, yet there was Rod Thorn, the league’s president of basketball operations, explaining it all afterward on this most surreal of nights. “Once the game starts, it’s in the hands of the referees,” Thorn said. “Had the referees felt at any time or had I felt at any time — I was sitting the second row midcourt — were such that the game shouldn’t be continued, then they would have come over and said something to me. Never did, I never said anything to them regarding the fact that the game should be cancelled. You know, again, in live sporting events, sometimes things transpire that you don’t expect.”
Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding a non-call during overtime of the Golden State Warriors’ 122-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 1, at American Airlines Center: “Upon review at the league office, we have found that a shot taken by Dallas’ Monta Ellis with 16.0 seconds remaining in overtime was on the way down when initially contacted and ruled a block by Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal, and should have been ruled a goaltend. The exact trajectory of the ball when touched was impossible to ascertain with the naked eye, and the play was not reviewable.” To view the play, click here
Rod Thorn, NBA President, Basketball Operations, issued the following statement today regarding a missed call late in the fourth quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies’ 94-92 win over the Denver Nuggets on March 31, at Pepsi Center: “Upon review at the league office, we have confirmed that a free throw taken by Memphis’ Courtney Lee with 0.7 seconds remaining in the game did not touch the rim. A violation should have been called with Denver inbounding the ball with 0.7 seconds left on the clock. Since the Nuggets had no timeouts remaining, they would not have been able to advance the ball to the frontcourt.” To view the play view video
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.