Tag:David Stern
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:07 pm
 

Stern says Hornets could be sold by end of month

Posted by Royce Young

Stop me if you've heard this one before: The New Orleans Hornets will have a new owner soon. It's been a running theme for a while with the league saying buyers were lined up way back in September.

But according to David Stern via an interview with NBA.com, for real this time, the Hornets could be sold soon. Maybe within a couple weeks.
“We’re moving on dual tracks on a buyer, and with the state’s contribution under a new lease that will likely be complete, both of those, by March 1 or on or about March 1. The deal itself can’t close until the legislature confirms the role of the state, and the legislature convenes in March.”
Stern also told USA Today, "I'm optimistic and hopeful that we will complete the sale by the end of the month ... We're talking with multiple perspective buyers, but we're anticipating the ability to close by the end of the month ... We've had offers from seven but winnowed it down to two or three, and we're working on it."

The league has owned the Hornets since George Shinn decided to sell the team but couldn't find a proper buyer. By proper, I mean a buyer that would plan to keep the team in New Orleans. That's been Stern and the league's mission since purchasing the Hornets for an estimated $300 million.

Stern obviously can't wait to wash his hands of the situation as it came to a head with Chris Paul and the rescinding of the trade that sent him to the Lakers. Moving the team to an actual owner is definitely something the NBA wants to do before the end of the season.

But as this thing's gone, it's kind of a believe-it-when-we-see-it thing. Hopefully it's done sooner than later. For everyone's sake, but most of all, for general manager Dell Demps. I'm sure he'd like to go back to a normal working environment.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:16 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 2:33 pm
 

Report: Cuban bashes Stern for Chris Paul trade

Mark Cuban questions David Stern's Chris Paul trade. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

The Los Angeles Clippers added Chris Paul and became an instant contender; the New Orleans Hornets traded away Chris Paul and have the worst record in the Western Conference, by far.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants the world to know that the league-owned Hornets, with NBA commissioner David Stern calling the shots as de-facto owner, screwed up in making that trade.

ESPNDallas.com provides Cuban's trade analysis, in which he argues the Hornets should have simply held on to Paul for the duration of his current contract rather than trade him away to the Clippers after previously discussing a 3-way deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
"You're better off just taking the cap room, or whatever," Cuban said.

"I don't think it was about the Lakers, per se," Cuban said before the game. "I think it was just the way they did the deal, which was ridiculous. I don't think it was about which team. I think it was the fact that, even with the Clippers, we just went through this whole (collective bargaining agreement) and said the incumbent team still has the advantage and then the team the league owns (wimps) out. And look how it's worked out for them.

"Bad management gets you bad results."

It's impossible to believe that Cuban actually believes his own cap room argument but it's an absolute certainty that he enjoys reading the "Cuban blasts Stern over management decision" headline on every NBA website. That's probably endless amusement for him.

The recent case studies in handling disgruntled superstars all point to getting maximum value in trade rather than risking flight in free agency. Ask the Toronto Raptors if they could re-do the Chris Bosh departure. Ask the Cleveland Cavaliers if they could re-do the LeBron James departure. Ask the Utah Jazz if they are pleased with the return they got for Deron Williams, who is holding up the future of the New Jersey Nets as he contemplates his next move. Ask the Denver Nuggets if they're constant with the ransom they got for Carmelo Anthony at last year's trade deadline.

There's no question that Stern was operating from the right playbook in moving Paul, who had clearly had enough with the dysfunction and ownership questions in New Orleans. Look no further than the Cavaliers for additional proof. Do you think owner Dan Gilbert is happier with getting nothing but a trade exception in James' departure or getting the No. 1 overall pick and Kyrie Irving, his next franchise player, by trading guard Mo Williams to the Clippers last season? Obviously, getting the rebuilding value back is key for a struggling team that needs to drastically change course.

In addition to a likely lottery pick coming over from the Clippers, the Hornets still hold matching rights on Eric Gordon, who has star potential, and they will have a top-5 pick based on their own performance. That's a potential up-and-coming "Big 3" in New Orleans as soon as next season, depending on what happens with Gordon in free agency and how the lottery balls fall. Al-Farouq Aminu, also acquired in the trade, isn't worth writing home about, but he's probably worth at least a mention here. Meanwhile, if Paul walks, all New Orleans has is its own pick plus cap space to chase free agents that don't want to play for the Western Conference's worst team. The choice is here.

If Cuban's larger argument was that the management decision to trade a superstar for parts continues a bad precedent that was supposed to be fixed during the lockout labor negotiations, he's right, of course. The system was changed but it wasn't entirely overhauled, and Stern and the Hornets had to act in their own self-interest, not take a stand for the greater good of the league. The risk/reward calculus was crystal clear given Paul's years of frustration and the weak Hornets roster that would have surrounded him this year. He had to go as soon as possible. 

The conclusion that Cuban likely wants you to take from his comments is not that Stern, the owner, is an idiot for the trade. It's that the NBA's system is still broken because not even Stern, the commissioner, trusts its new mechanisms for retaining franchise-player talent. That's an excellent point, although everyone seems to have been acting under that assumption since the first day that the lockout was lifted.


Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 11:43 pm
 

Stern: Seattle return possible if new arena built

Is momentum building for the NBA's return to Seattle? (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

There are basically five standards necessary to land an NBA team: a market with demonstrated interest in basketball, a super rich person willing to cut checks, a working relationship with commissioner David Stern, a building to play in, and an available franchise to poach. Absent any one of those five key features, and it becomes significantly more difficult -- if not impossible -- for a city to land itself one of the 30 NBA franchises.

The good news for Seattle: they apparently have secured three of those five.

Step one: the fanbase has never been in question, thanks to a long history of supporting the SuperSonics. Step two: the Seattle Times reported this weekend that Christopher Hansen, a hedge fund manager with beaucoup Bucks and ties to the Seattle region, is interested in landing a franchise.  

And, now, step three: Stern told the Salt Lake Tribune that he has met with Hansen and that Seattle is now officially back on the NBA's radar for a possible franchise relocation.

“We had heard reports of some interest in Seattle and the name of the person who’s associated with it is not totally unknown to me. I think he came in and I met with him, it must be a year ago. Just a general conversation; he was brought in by a mutual friend,” said Stern, during an exclusive, wide-ranging interview Monday with The Salt Lake Tribune at the league office.

“Everyone says to us, ‘Well, would you consider going back?’ Of course, if they have a building. And so that’s where it’s left. We have no involvement,” Stern said. “But we certainly are — if anyone asks us, we tell them what we know and we’re happy to talk to them. … There’s no shortage of potential sites, but the funding is a huge issue.”

Of course, the key quote there is: "If they have a building." That was one of the key deciding factors in the SuperSonics leaving for Oklahoma City to rebrand as the Thunder prior to the 2008-2009 season. KeyArena simply isn't up to the usual NBA standard, and numerous arena plans in Seattle have been floated in recent years with no firm plans emerging and a reluctance from taxpayers to foot the bill.

The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that Hansen is already at work on the arena issue, stockpiling land near Safeco Field, home of Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners, and communicating in detail with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
Hansen, who has built a fortune in the private investment world, has acquired property south of Safeco Field's parking garage, between South Massachusetts and South Holgate streets east of First Avenue South, records show.

His investment group has yet to produce a firm proposal to McGinn, who has said that the group must make a substantial financial commitment with no new taxes to fund an arena.

All of that leaves just the one, final remaining standard: Which team would move to the city? The obvious answer would be the Kings, who tried and failed to move to Anaheim after the 2010-2011 season and are now working through an effort to build a new arena so that they can remain in Sacramento long-term. Stern told the Tribune that the Kings had been taking "very positive" steps to remain in Sacramento.

What does all of this mean for the future of professional basketball in Seattle? Nothing definitely, but being back on the map is important. A motivated, patient and hard-working Clay Bennett eventually succeded in landing the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The process took years to play out, but his relationship with Stern was a key factor in getting it done.

If there's a will, three hundred million dollars, and an arena, there's generally a way in Stern's NBA.
Posted on: December 26, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Stern admits new CBA will make it tough on OKC

Posted by Royce Young



OKLAHOMA CITY -- Commissioner David Stern had himself a double-header Sunday, watching the Heat pound the Mavericks in Dallas and then making a short trip north to Oklahoma City to check out the Thunder.

His formal address to the media was the usual stuff. He talked about OKC's chances of getting an All-Star Game (the city needs more hotels), talked about the new collective bargaining agreement and how wonderful it is and talked about the NBA's business.

But after he wrapped, a couple of reporters chatted Stern up some more (or listened, if you're me). Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman led the charge asking Stern about how this new CBA that's supposedly designed to help small markets like Oklahoma City could be what tears the Thunder apart.

First, there's the new "Rose Rule," which allows -- actually scratch that -- forces teams to pay a superstar more money if he meets certain criteria. That's already happened in Oklahoma City as Kevin Durant has qualified by being named to two All-NBA teams. Durant will make roughly $15 million more over the life of his extension and some $3 million more per year. A number that has actually put the Thunder over the cap.

The new luxury tax, which is more punitive than before, goes into action in two seasons. Right around the time the Thunder will have potentially locked up Russell Westbrook for big money along with needing to re-sign James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Plus, if Westbrook makes another All-NBA team, he'll qualify for the Rose extension, which would hurt the Thunder even more. So that's where the Thunder are at right now -- needing Russell Westbrook to NOT make an All-NBA team.

Stern disagrees with the idea the harsher luxury tax hurts small markets like the Thunder though.

“The idea that the luxury tax hurts small markets is ludicrous," he said. "It may impact a small market that's a great team and has to raise its payroll. But at the bottom, it's designed to eliminate the ability of teams to use their economic resources to distort competition"

He's right. Because that's a blanket statement. It doesn't hurt all small markets. But specifically applied to this Thunder team and its current roster structure, it absolutely does. Stern put it this way though: If you're good enough to have to be forced with making the decision to "go for it," as he put it, that's a good thing. At least that's the league's perspective.
And then he dropped this bombshell:

“People are saying to Miami, ‘Well, you're going to have a decision to make with respect to one of your big three.' And they may say the same thing to Oklahoma City, and that's a good thing. That means you've arrived and you're out there being competitive."

So David Stern thinks it would be a good thing if the Thunder are forced to give up either Westbrook, Harden or Ibaka because they can't pay to keep them all. The way Stern put it is that the new CBA doesn't just share more revenue, but shares more talent. He sees it as "player sharing."

A small market team like the Thunder, who have become the poster child for small market viability, could potentially be punished for their slick management and wise draft choices. Stern sees that as a good thing. I get his point -- if you're having to pay players lots of money that means you're doing something right. But at the same time, Thunder general manager Sam Presti has always preached on "sustainable success," which this new CBA makes a bit difficult to accomplish. You can have Durant plus either Westbrook or Harden. But not all three and definitely not all three plus Serge Ibaka. Something about that just doesn't seem right to me.

I wrote about this over the summer when the idea of a hard cap was floated. Build a team like Oklahoma City using the "Thunder model," as so many people like to call it, and you may be breaking it apart in just a few seasons. The irony here is that Presti might've done too good of a job assembling his team.

The idea with the new tax is that teams won't be willing to bust into it, large or small. Of course Oklahoma City can just choose to pay the harsh tax penalty. But are they really going to do that? Stern seemed extremely confident that not many would.

“They could, but they won’t," he said. "There are going to be very few circumstances where someone is going to go $20 million over to pay $65 million in total unless they’re sure this is their time and they’re going for it once.”

Basically Stern is banking on big markets shying away from paying the harsher tax. He could be right as it's possible the Lakers dealt Lamar Odom for virtually nothing to get away from paying so much of it. The Blazers, who once had a $57 million tax bill, won't be going into that territory again. But let's face reality: Stern talked about teams choosing to pay the tax to "go for it." Big market teams like the Lakers and Knicks will have the chance to "go for it" a lot more than the Spurs, Grizzlies or Thunder because they have a bigger slice of the pie. If they swing and miss, oh well, they can try again later.

No bother to Stern though. He's sure of this new system. Positive of it, in fact.

“You’ll see. It’s beauty,” he said. “It’s all going to happen and then we’ll look back at it rather than prejudge it. I happen to think it’s going to be good for all of us, and it’s going to hit small market and large market teams alike.”

Or destroy one like the Thunder. But whatever.
Posted on: December 19, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Cuban: Stern owning team 'threw us under the bus'

Posted by Royce Young

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

(Cuban is at the 11-minute mark)

David Stern has already tried to wipe the mess of the NBA owning the Hornets and trading Chris Paul clean. He's tried to blame the frenzy last week on irresponsible journalists and outraged fans. He's tried to say that everything was on the up and up.

But with the report out of Houston saying that Stern lied and the same coming from Los Angeles, it's obvious that this isn't going away. Especially since Mark Cuban piled on a bit when talking to TMZ.

“David Stern owning a team kind of threw us all under the bus. You know, we went through a long lockout, and one of the things we were trying to gain was that small-market teams could have confidence they could keep their star players. … And within two weeks of the new collective bargaining agreement, the smallest-market team, which is owned by the NBA, threw up their hands and said, ‘We can’t keep our star player.’

“So it’s not about Chris Paul. It’s more about the fact that the NBA kind of gave up on the CBA before giving it a chance, and to me, that made them hypocritical, very hypocritical, and that didn’t sit well with me.”

Cuban already said that but just not in as strong a way last week. He talked about how star players have a system where if they stay in their current market, they can make the most money. And that was part of what the labor fight was over. He called the league hypocrites for given in so easily. Dan Gilbert sent an email to Stern and it's very likely that Cuban voiced his displeasure in the original trade as well. So he's not really upset about the veto, but more with the whole mess created by the NBA owning the Hornets.
“You would think the team owned by the NBA and run by the commissioner would be the first to stick it out, and they weren’t. And to me, it’s hypocritical, and they threw a lot of us under the bus.”
Wouldn't expect anything less than strong words from Cuban. And while he's not necessarily talking about the failed three-team trade, he is talking about the way the whole thing got handled. It was a mess and remains so. The NBA needs to find a new owner quickly before more of this happens. Because Stern's got at least three perturbed owners in Houston, Los Angeles and Dallas that didn't like the way this all went down.
Posted on: December 16, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: The weird week that was

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, we go over the insanity of the week that was, the best value signing of free agency, and why you should be very, very scared of the Mavericks. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. So... that was a fun week. What surprised you the most over the past week?

KB: Undoubtedly, it was how involved Stern and the league office were in the Hornets' trade discussions. Ultimately, I believe the Hornets got a better deal as a result. But I was stunned by the role the league took on. It had been my impression that the league would advise on certain priorities for trading Chris Paul, but I never envisioned that the commissioner would be telling the Hornets' basketball people what to do -- or that Stu Jackson would be the architect of the eventual deal. All's well that ends well, I guess. But I definitely found that surprising.

2. What's next for the league with the Hornets? When are they going to start looking at buyers?

KB: Stern said there would be a new owner in place in the first half of 2012, so they're moving fast. Clearly, there must be a list of contenders, and they'll evidently begin narrowing it down after the New Year.

3. Give me your best value signing of free agency. 

KB: It's hard not to like what the Pacers did, getting David West for $20 million over two years. Indy has a nice group with West, Roy Hibbert, Danny Granger, Paul George and George Hill/Darren Collison.

4. So Dwight Howard's off the table. Let's indulge in fairy tales for a minute and ask the question, what could Orlando do between now and All-Star Weekend to convince him to stay?

KB: Well, the hope in Orlando is that a good start over the first two months of the season, with an expressed willingness to add another significant component to the roster, would appeal to the part of Dwight that, deep down, wants to stay. I'm not convinced that's going to work, simply because I'm not sold that the Magic have enough to be a title contender. (I'm puzzled by the Glen Davis addition, for example, but I'm told that's what Dwight wanted.) I suppose one thing they could do is just give the ball to Dwight every trip down the floor from Christmas Day until the All-Star break and hope everyone else is too tired and beat up from the compressed schedule to guard him. Having said all that, I do not expect Howard to finish the season in Orlando.

5. What in the name of everything holy is Dallas doing? 

KB: That's easy. They're trying to get Deron Williams, Dwight Howard or BOTH. Getting both will be difficult, but the Mavs already are projected to be at least $18 million under the cap next summer, and if they bought out Lamar Odom ($2.4 million guaranteed) and amnestied Brendan Haywood, that's another $14 million. Scared? You should be. Just imagine how the Nets and Magic feel. 

Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:44 pm
 

CP3 could file a lawsuit against the NBA soon?

Posted by Royce Young

There was a lot of anger and frustration after the NBA vetoed the original Chris Paul trade that would've sent CP3 to the Lakers. Emotional reactions, threats and big talk.

One of those things was that CP3 might pursue a lawsuit against the NBA for collusion. It seemed to have a good amount of steam early on, but felt like one of those things that would melt away as everyone sort of moved on.

But it hasn't. At least not for CP3. According to the NY Daily News, Paul and the union could be taking action soon.
"A source told the Daily News Tuesday that Paul could file a lawsuit 'in the next couple of days' charging the NBA, which owns and runs the Hornets, with collusion and violating the league's collective bargaining agreement. The NBA's labor deal has an anti-collusion clause that prohibits teams from conspiring with the league to influence contracts, signings or transactions."
I always thought the lawsuit thing was more of a threat than an actual thing, but at some point, you've got to follow through I guess. Especially when things don't change.

The million dollar question is though, does CP3 actually have a case? Could he win? Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com makes the case saying that Paul really doesn't have much of a shot:
"Not a lawyer but just don't understand how CP3 has grounds for suit. He is not a free agent. He's under contract to play for New Orleans and being paid. Part of contract is ownership, whoever it is, can choose to trade him or not trade him anywhere/for anything they want. This is the deal. Been in contact with several labor attorneys. They all agree Paul/NBPA has case under federal labor law. Most don't think he'll win."
But don't think just because someone can't win is reason enough to not try. Not many actually thought the players union would win a lawsuit against the league during the lockout, but they went ahead with it anyway to try and gain a sense of leverage and control. Right now, the NBA and David Stern are completely in control of the CP3 trade talks, but the Paul camp is trying to at least grab a small piece of that.

A lawsuit makes a statement that this isn't OK, that CP3 isn't just going to be a napkin blowing in the wind, taken wherever the league may feel like. It's a worthy and probably necessary effort, even if it's a futile endeavor.

Posted on: December 14, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:44 pm
 

CP3 could file a lawsuit against the NBA soon?

Posted by Royce Young

There was a lot of anger and frustration after the NBA vetoed the original Chris Paul trade that would've sent CP3 to the Lakers. Emotional reactions, threats and big talk.

One of those things was that CP3 might pursue a lawsuit against the NBA for collusion. It seemed to have a good amount of steam early on, but felt like one of those things that would melt away as everyone sort of moved on.

But it hasn't. At least not for CP3. According to the NY Daily News, Paul and the union could be taking action soon.
"A source told the Daily News Tuesday that Paul could file a lawsuit 'in the next couple of days' charging the NBA, which owns and runs the Hornets, with collusion and violating the league's collective bargaining agreement. The NBA's labor deal has an anti-collusion clause that prohibits teams from conspiring with the league to influence contracts, signings or transactions."
I always thought the lawsuit thing was more of a threat than an actual thing, but at some point, you've got to follow through I guess. Especially when things don't change.

The million dollar question is though, does CP3 actually have a case? Could he win? Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com makes the case saying that Paul really doesn't have much of a shot:
"Not a lawyer but just don't understand how CP3 has grounds for suit. He is not a free agent. He's under contract to play for New Orleans and being paid. Part of contract is ownership, whoever it is, can choose to trade him or not trade him anywhere/for anything they want. This is the deal. Been in contact with several labor attorneys. They all agree Paul/NBPA has case under federal labor law. Most don't think he'll win."
But don't think just because someone can't win is reason enough to not try. Not many actually thought the players union would win a lawsuit against the league during the lockout, but they went ahead with it anyway to try and gain a sense of leverage and control. Right now, the NBA and David Stern are completely in control of the CP3 trade talks, but the Paul camp is trying to at least grab a small piece of that.

A lawsuit makes a statement that this isn't OK, that CP3 isn't just going to be a napkin blowing in the wind, taken wherever the league may feel like. It's a worthy and probably necessary effort, even if it's a futile endeavor.

 
 
 
 
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