Former NBA commissioner David Stern was a surprise guest at the Celtics Shamrock Foundation Gala this past week at the Museum of Fine Arts. And he was quick to fill fans in on his new responsibilities since retiring from his post in February 2014. “I’m very busy,” said Stern, 74. “I’m a senior adviser to a venture capital firm, big four accounting firm strategy group, an investment bank, and I counsel several startups and I’m a senior adviser to the NBA as well. So I’m more booked up than ever, having a great time.”
David Stern Rumors
ShotTracker, a company that got its start by launching a wearable sensor to track and analyze your basketball shots, has announced a $5M seed round that includes participation from basketball legend Magic Johnson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. R/GA and Elysian Park Ventures, which manage the LA Dodgers’ sports accelerator also participated, as well as Greycroft Partners.
There is at least some sense that Silver is especially eager to get something done. “I think he really wants to continue the good wave we’re on right now,” said one source with knowledge of the talks. It is always instructive to be cautious about such observations, though — while Silver’s style is less brusque than his predecessor, David Stern, he still has 30 owners to answer to, and they are not known for capitulating easily or quickly. But walking away from the current trend lines will take some doing.
Q: Folks wonder what you’re doing these days. What’s the Cliff Notes version of what you’re up to? David Stern: “I’m a senior adviser, in addition to the NBA, an investment bank, a venture capital firm, and a Big Four accounting firm, a strategy group. I advise three startups, and I’m spending a fair amount of time dealing with the charitable organizations that I feel as though I neglected (as Commissioner). I’m on the board (of the charities), like the Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Thurgood Marshall (College) Fund, and the Columbia University medical center, as well as giving speeches. I came here from Las Vegas (where he spoke at the Global Gaming Expo).”
Just a bounce pass from the doors of the Golden 1 Center, the glorious new arena in California’s capital that will now house the Sacramento Kings, there’s a street sign that tells the real story about why this is all here. “David J Stern Walk,” it reads. As the locals know by now, he built the road that led them to this point.
“Over time, I’ve come to accept the notion that a properly run gambling operation, or gaming as we like to say in Las Vegas, is protective and not deleterious to the health of sports,” Stern said. Stern has a slightly different view from the association on how to move ahead, suggesting that PASPA should be amended, not repealed. He proposes a national framework to keep consistent policy, but allow each state to monitor, regulate and tax it. Such a move also would likely cut down on compliance costs.