Blog Entry

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

Posted on: February 19, 2011 9:20 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 10:33 pm
NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the media in a press conference on Saturday at NBA All-Star Weekend. Posted by Ben Golliver.

NBA commissioner David Stern lauded the current health of his league on Saturday at All-Star Weekend and spoke positively of developments in collective bargaining agreement negotations between the league and the players union, but acknowledged that there is still significant work that needs to be done.

"My lead is, the game is in great shape. It's never been better," Stern said. "I think it's fair to say that we and the players have each made proposals to the other. We have each expressed to the other our dissatisfication with each other's proposals. And at yesterday's meeting, I think in a very positive vein, we each agreed, the union and the teams agreed that you know everything was available to be discussed, and that we would set up a series of meetings and discuss away so that by the time the agreement currently in effect expires on June 30th, we will hopefully be able to assure our fans that we did all we could possibly do to have a replacement agrement in effect, and that's our intention, to work as hard as possible to cause that to occur."

Stern said that "hopefully" a work stoppage could be avoided but that "it's possible" one will occur.

Later, Stern was asked to compare the distance between the owners and players during this negotiation to the labor negotiation in 1999, which ended in a lockout and partial work stoppage. "We had a huge gap back then and we have a huge gap now. But you work hard to close it. And I think we have the capacity to do it."

Multiple times, Stern noted that his goal is a league with better competitive balance. "We want a sustainable business model that enables 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship that fairly compensates our union members who are currently the best-paid union members in the world, and after the agreement that we hope to consummate, they will remain the best-paid union members in the world in a league that is more competitive and hopefully profitable."

Stern was asked whether he would reduce his salary to $1 if the two sides could not reach a labor agreement, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has pledged recently. Stern said: "Last time, I ddin't take any salary. I think a dollar would be too high in the event of a work stoppage."

Here's a summary of the key talking points presented during the question and answer portion of Stern's remarks.
  • Nature of labor negotiations: Stern said that the two sides have reached a consensus that Stern and players association president Billy Hunter fully understand where each other are coming from. "IF the owners asked Billy to represent us, he could do it; and if the players asked me to represent them, I could do it."
  • Progress of labor talks:  Stern noted that the union "agreed to talk about some things that they said were nonnegotiable" and that both sides agreed during Friday's meeting that they were "willing to talk about everything."
  • Agreement on losses: Stern said that the players union now generally agrees on the financial losses presented by the league's owners. "There's no disagreement about the numbers. There's a little intramural disagreement about certain items." Those items include interest and amortization. Union president Billy Hunter issued the following statement on Saturday night following the press conference's conclusion. "There has been ongoing debate and disageement regarding the numbers, and we do not agree that the stated loss figures reflect an accurate portrayal of the financial health of the league."
  • Revenue sharing: Stern said he expects a "robust revenue sharing plan" to emerge "at the same time as we make a new Collective Bargaining Agreement." He noted that "our teams are in broad general agreement that there has to be more robust revenue sharing."
  • Stars teaming up in big markets: Stern said re-iterated his goal to create a business model that would support all 30 teams being able to compete for a title. Stern said that teams shouldn't have to spend into the luxury tax to compete for a title in the new system. "We don't think your ability to pay taxes to have a roster should be a part of the competitive landscape."
  • Franchise tag: Stern said that it "wouldn't surprise" him if a franchise player designation, which would help keep star players in their original market, emerges during CBA negotiations but that "it has not yet been put on the table."
  • Contraction: Stern said that contraction, or eliminating current franchises to improve the financial state of the league as a whole, was "not currently on the table." However, he said a push for contraction is popular among a portion of the league's owners. "That sentiment is out there. It's not a majority sentiment."
  • Expansion: Asked if there would be additional teams added to the league, Stern said: "There is not going to be expansion at this time or frankly in the foreseeable future."
  • Donaghy Scandal: Stern was asked to discuss the latest revelations regarding disgraced referee Tim Donaghy, which raise the question of whether Donaghy fixed games. Stern said the league would continue to review any new allegations but didn't have any new information to discuss this weekend.
  • Sacramento Kings: Stern said the league would continue to allow the Kings to determine their future after the league's attempts to help the team secure a new building did not result as hoped.
  • New Orleans:  Stern said the NBA and the New Orleans Hornets are "doing very well with the expressed and real support that Mayor Landrieu and Governor Jindal are giving us ... and we expect it to propel the club to success." Stern said he felt confident in the team's future in New Orleans.
  • Detroit Pistons sale: Stern said he would meet with prospective buyer Tom Gores and that he expected a resolution to the ongoing negotiation "within the next week." He also noted that "every indication is that there will be a deal."
  • Kansas City : Stern said there has been "some dialogue" about using AEG's NBA-ready stadium in Kansas City but that "there doesn't seem to be an ownership group for that city."

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:01 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

"The game is in great shape. It's never been better," Stern said.... This is not true!  The game is in great shape only if you are a fan in Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, or San Antonio. The Minnesota franchise is floundering and the Wolves fans are sick of the RIGGED LOTTERY SYSTEM (and Glen Taylor). If the NBA is going to be truly competitive then teams with the worst records should get the top picks. If NBA teams are going to beg for public money to build or fix up their arena's then the NBA should have a system in place that allows the worst teams to draft marquee talent and actually compete.  I won't spend a nickel on anything NBA until it fixes all the problems with competitive balance.  

Since: Apr 28, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2011 8:01 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

Give me $10 million for one year and I'LL work the rest of my life for .50 cents a year.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:13 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

I would be more impressed if he worked for the opposite of whatever his current salary is.  Instead of making $2 million (or whatever it is; I don't know the exact figure), he would donate $2 million to a charity of some sort.  That would be more classy.

Or how about lowering his salary PERMANANTLY to like 250k a year? That seems like a reasonable salary considering hes already made tens of millions of dollars.

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:19 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

If owners and fans wonder what may happen if the cost come under control( hard cap) look at the NHL. People can use buzz words like business models or cost efficancy and the Blackhawks in hockey are a good example of what a hard cap will do. Hawks won no way they could keep everyone and had to make some hard choices and lose players so the word dynasty for them any team wont happen soon hockey once a team wins and its time to reward star players. The NBA system has the Larry Bird exception and a few others for a good reason, the owners want make sure they keep their stars and be able to add pieces to contend for a championship. The players have a right to make as much as they can and if they move teams it is their right. Things may need to change but the players need to have their voice listened too and just not have Stern put out a Public relations statement while acting differnetly behind closed doors, negotiation is a 2 way street and while cost may need to be controled players need a say in it. Teams come and go from city to city but it is the owners responsibility to put a team on the floor that can win, in New Orleans Shinn never had to money to make the hornets more than a 5 to 8 seed with the exception of one year when everything went right. No one in any city will pay money to see a bad team in tight times and it is not a cities job to build these people(owners) a stadium or arena. Last thought if star players want to team up on one team its cool, no one complained when the celtics traded for their players but if the heat do it all heck breaks loose, put a team on the floor that can win and in most cases it wont be a problem(player movement).

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:06 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

Please STFU!!!  You could work for free for 20 lifetimes and not worry about it, EVER.  If you worked and lived paycheck to paycheck and said that, then maybe it might mean something.  Please don't appease the masses by making a statement that will only piss off the people that put you in the position to "work for free".  What a moronic tool, this guy!

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:27 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:30 am

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

Who cares idiot, you could never take a salalruy again - whats the point, you arer worthless.

Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:47 am

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

piss off commish your words are as hollow as easter bunny chocolate!  You only serve to work against yourself when you make these type of foolish some work!

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:36 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

Commissioners are funny these days, so Stern now is a copycat to Goodell's powerhouse management.  David needs to get some original lowly positive public image ideas, instead of stealing NFL management ideas from the ones that make great profits on a yearly basis.

Gary Bettman didn't even have the balls to do this, and he represented owners in a fully locked out season with his own NBA copycating league, well since he got the gig anyway it has been NBA copycating in the LNH.  Even though the NBA owners are now crying like his NHL owners did five years ago.

Since: May 9, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2011 10:29 pm

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

Phew!  Good thing Stern will work for free.  I mean, the guy probably has millions in assets.  How bout another team out in Seattle??  Move the Kings or Hornets up there, Southern California doesn't need three teams and New Orleans is owned by the league.  Lets get some basketball going again in the Pacific Northwest so i can see the Bulls pimpslap the SuperSonics like the gold ole days.

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