Blog Entry

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

Posted on: August 14, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 1:17 pm
Posted by Ben Golliverdavid-stern

The NBA currently has thirty teams, but the league's commissioner, David Stern, seems open to the possibility that that number of franchises could shrink in the future.

Speaking on an podcast, Stern stated that there is some interest in contraction from both the league and players sides and that the subject will be picked up after the current Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations are completed.

"[Contraction] is not a subject that we're against," Stern said. "In fact, when you talk about revenue sharing, a number of teams have said that if you have a team that is perpetually going to be a recipient, aren't you better off with the ability to buy them in? Because between the revenue sharing and the split of international and the TV money, we could almost buy them in with their own money.

"The players actually have been heard to suggest that as well, which was interesting because that means they are suggesting that we eliminate 30 jobs, or the potential for 30 jobs. So we've said to the players, you know, 'Give us the right to contract, let's agree upon what the basis will be. Let's make this deal and then let's continue to look at that subject.'"

One obvious hurdle to contraction, Stern acknowledged, is the selection of which team or teams would be put on the chopping block.

"If you look for volunteers," Stern said. "There aren't many teams raising their hand."

Stern explained that folding a team is not something that he could unilaterally decide to do and that any such decision would have to take into account the interests of the ownership groups.

"I do represent 30 owners," Stern said. "[Saying to an owner] 'I'm here to tell you that I think you should go out of business and no longer own a team' is something that needs to be done pursuant to a plan. We'll see how that works after we make a [CBA] deal and the revenue sharing deal."

Three oft-discussed contraction candidates are the New Orleans Hornets, which the NBA itself runs, the Sacramento Kings, whose ownership group is struggling and recently failed to relocate to Anaheim, and the Charlotte Bobcats, who have struggled financially after the city's previous tenant, the Hornets, relocated.

Stern argued that the Hornets will continue to be a profitable franchise and New Orleans will be a viable city going forward.
"New Orleans is actually going to be a top-15 grossing team when it has its 10,000 season tickets and the like," Stern said. "Together with an expression of support from the state [of Louisiana], it's going to be an interesting team that I'm not sure is a candidate for contraction." 

Stern also said it was simply too early to render a verdict on Sacramento and the Kings.  

"I just don't want to get involved in discussion of individual teams," Stern said. "Right now we're working very hard with Mayor Johnson who has put together a plan that seems to suggest that a new arena would be a huge economic incentive -- $7 billion over 30 years -- and has been able to generate support for the project from the entire region. So let's see how that goes before we start talking about contraction."

He also noted that Sacramento has until April 2012 to put together an arena deal. 

Stern made the Bobcats sound safe as well.
"We have a long-term lease of a brand new building and we have a very unfortunate launch of that expansion franchise," Stern said. "Michael Jordan is leading... what's the opposite of an excavation? He is digging out, but he's building up the franchise. Sponsorships are up, tickets are up, an unfortunate TV deal is being reworked on an ongoing basis. I think Charlotte will be a candidate for revenue sharing in its current format, no question about it. North Carolina -- we're going to abandon it and say they're not supporting basketball?"

Lastly, Stern mostly dismissed the possibility of merging two current teams into one.

"We'll examine all of that but our individual owners are very committed to their cities," Stern said.

Since: Jan 4, 2011
Posted on: August 15, 2011 8:59 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

Just contract the teams that have never played in the NBA finals in any city under any name. L.A. Clippers, Charlotte Bobcats, Minnesota T-wolves, New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies.

Distribute the talent and you might end up with a competitive league.

Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2011 8:57 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

If you knew anything about what you just said they wont  contract toronto. if they are top ten in profit. If you owned  a walmart in a small town and it was top ten in profit would you close it down.


Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2011 8:30 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

Here's where the NBA's ownershp of the Hornets is definitely a conflict of interest.  The team's losing money like crazy.  It needs to be gone, but eh NBA will lose too much money so it's not going to happen.  Great job Stern!  You shouldn't have any say in who gets contracted because you're not unbiased.

Since: Aug 13, 2011
Posted on: August 15, 2011 8:11 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

Portland was actually 2nd in overall attendance and Cleveland was 3rd at over 20000 a game and I agree with you about the moron who had to be drinking.Cleveland had the second worst record in the league and was still third in attendance and then picks up 2 top draft picks, yeah contract them, how stupid.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: August 15, 2011 6:22 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction


New Orleans and Charlotte: twice failures.  How Stern can say the Hornets "will continue to be a profitable franchise" when they are NOT a profitable franchise is beyond me; of course, he claims to represent 30 owners when in fact no one owns the Hornets, so who knows what HE's smoking.

Get rid of both versions of the Hornets, then take your pick of Sacramento, Minnesota, Toronto, and the Clippers.  The Maloof brothers, I'm rather sure, could be bought out.  Donald Sterling we can simply declare insane and fold the franchise.  That would bring us down to 28, which is a good start.  If Toronto and Minnesota (another candidate for the asylum there!) can be convinced to see cold, hard reason, well ... a 26-team league is not a bad way to go.  Heck, all but two teams would make the playoffs, right?  LoL

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: August 15, 2011 5:38 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

Contraction won't happen in the NBA unless a major disaster wipes out a city - which nearly happened when Hurricane Katrina forced the Hornets out of New Orleans.  As Stern said, no owner is going to voluntarily give up a franchise unless something very dire happens.


Since: Sep 11, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:11 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

The Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks need to be contracted.  Sterling isn't competent to own a lemonade stand an Dolan shoould not be allowed out of his bedroom without a babysitter with "Shoot to Kill" orders if Isiah Thomas gets within 100 feet.

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:30 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

The City of Minneapolis apparently also thinks the Target Center is dumpy because they've proposed a $155 million renovation.  I guess what I'm smoking is called TRUTH SERUM.  Look!  They've even got their own website!   


Since: Mar 6, 2010
Posted on: August 15, 2011 2:23 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

In a league where only like 7 teams (or whatever) have actually won the NBA in the last 40 years, who cares if they contract? The NBA has always been about trying to engineer players going to the glamour markets. If they contracted the league down to 6 teams, would there even be a difference? The same teams "win" the thing over and over again. It's like recycling garbage. Plus, its a bad product anyway. I personally am hoping for like a 3-4 year lock-out/strike. And I'm hoping it gets nasty, so that the owners can void all the contracts they want, and make these guys have to go flip burgers for a living. That way, this loser generation like LeQuit and Wade and Bosh and Howard and Chris Paul can grow old and leave and let the league re-establish itself as something that isn't run by a group of narcissistic thugs.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: August 15, 2011 1:08 am

David Stern: NBA to look at contraction

Unless I missed it, how did everyone overlook Toronto as a contraction candidate?

Toronto has been around for 16 seasons and have only finished above .500 four times.  They make money (according to Forbes) and were the 7th most profitable team last season.  They put a crappy product on the court and they're $12 million under the cap in a league where it's a joke if you don't blow past the salary cap when you simply re-sign your own talent.  They bring nothing to the NBA except a stop north of the border where most teams come to get healthy before moving on to the next city.

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