HoopsHype Rod Thorn rumors

October 20, 2014 Updates

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. Wall Street Journal

October 14, 2014 Updates

"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. USA Today Sports

August 26, 2014 Updates

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. USA Today Sports

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." USA Today Sports

July 29, 2014 Updates

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.” Grantland

June 6, 2014 Updates

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." USA Today Sports

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

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