Tag:David Stern
Posted on: June 12, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: June 12, 2011 11:28 pm

Dallas Mavericks 2011 trophy presentation video

Video of the 2011 Larry O'Brien trophy after the Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Finals, beating the Miami Heat, 4-2. Posted by Ben Golliver.


The Dallas Mavericks are your 2011 NBA champions.

NBA commissioner David Stern presented the Larry O'Brien trophy to the Mavericks following their 105-95 victory in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban requested that Stern present the trophy to the original owner of the Mavericks, Donald Carter and his wife, Linda Jo.

Cuban then took the trophy, clutching it with one hand, before passing it on All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who held it high above his head with both hands. It marks the first title in franchise history and the first of Nowitzki's career.

"You know what, it doesn’t mean as much to me," Cuban said. "I just feel so good for Dirk, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion. The whole world was telling us we were the one-and-done boys, that we were going to get knocked out in the first round. This team has so much heart, so much determination and so much fortitude that you know what, I love every one of them. And let me just tell you, our fans that came down here to Miami. You guys rock, we heard you guys."

Cuban was then asked why he has maintained silence throughout the last few weeks despite being one of the league's most outspoken owners. Cuban refused to answer the question.

"It doesn’t matter," Cuban said. "Where’s Dirk, where’s Jet? Rick, why don’t you talk?"

He then signaled for Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to step up to the microphone.

Nowitzki was named MVP of the 2011 NBA Finals MVP. 

Here's video of the Dallas Mavericks trophy presentation.

Posted on: June 11, 2011 8:28 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 8:29 pm

Weak European market for locked out NBA players?

One NBA agent says the European market for locked out NBA players is pretty weak. Posted by Ben Golliver.

With little progress coming out of the latest round of labor negotiations between NBA commissioner David Stern and National Basketball Players Association head Billy Hunter, NBA players are forced to consider the fact that Game 6 on Sunday or Game 7 on Tuesday could be the last time an NBA game is played for quite some time.

Everyone's back-up plan, at least in theory: Go to Europe and play there!

But one NBA agent with experience negotiating contracts overseas says that players are in for a rude awakening when it comes to demand for their services in the European market.

Agent Marc Cornstein, who recently negotiated a contract for former Boston Celtics center Nenad Krstic with CSKA Moscow, told SportingNews.com that economic factors will prevent very many players from finding high-paying work overseas.
“I think what a lot of people don’t realize is, you’re going to have a perfect storm of issues here,” Krstic’s agent, Marc Cornstein, told Sporting News. “The economy in Europe is not great, that is a consideration. The lockout here is a big consideration. The bigger teams, like Moscow, are going to be very aggressive early. But beyond that, there are very few teams overseas that are going to be able give lucrative contracts. 

“Maybe 10 or 12 teams will be able to give out $1 million contracts, and they only have 12 roster spots. A lot of those teams have players already under contract, players that they’re happy with. Not every team is going to be in a position to completely restructure the roster to bring in NBA players. None of them are, really."
Going overseas requires a lifestyle change. Certainly some percentage of NBA players wouldn't be interested for that reason. Others simply might not need the money. 

But for fringe NBA players without future guaranteed contracts, international players that want to play closer to home, American players who simply want to compete competitively no matter what happens with the labor negotiations, and those who are looking to maximize  their career earnings potential, there's plenty of motivation to explore the overseas option should these negotiations continue to drag. That is going to put a serious squeeze on the available spots, to be sure.

While we might not be there quite yet, the date for NBA players to commit to the overseas option is approaching very rapidly. This could soon become a matter of who jumps first.
Posted on: June 5, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 6:34 am

Pistons fire John Kuester as head coach

Posted by Royce Young

It was expected, but John Kuester was relieved of his head coaching position in Detroit, the team announced today.

“Decisions like this are difficult to make,” said general manager Joe Dumars in a statement. “I want to thank John for his hard work and dedication to the organization over the last two years, however, at this time we have decided to make a change.”

Kuester became Detroit's head coach in July of 2009, replacing Michael Curry. In two seasons on the bench, Kuester led Detroit to just a record of 57-107.  As an assistant on Larry Brown's staff, he helped lead the Pistons to their 2004 championship.

It was a pretty rocky season in Detroit for Kuester and not just because the team stunk. At one point late in the year, the team arranged a bit of a protest against him as players were upset with him. It appeared Kuester had lost control of his team as veterans such as Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Charlie Villanueva publicly voiced dissenting opinions.

Kuester butted heads with both Prince and Hamilton over playing time, sitting both for extended periods including a deactivation of Hamilton for nearly a month. Late in March, the team had even privately nicknamed Kuester "Sean Penn" because of the Penn movie "Dead Man Walking."

This firing was entirely expected, but the Pistons wanted to wait until the ownership transfer with Tom Gores' group was finished up. After David Stern announced before Game 1 of the NBA Finals that the sale was complete, it was only a matter of time. As is protocol, the new ownership group first met with Kuester and Dumars to decide any future plans. Once that meeting happened, Kuester was out.

Kuester was an assistant to new Laker head coach Mike Brown in Cleveland and is expected to join Brown's staff in Los Angeles. As for who the Pistons are looking at, reportedly former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson is an early leading candidate along with the usual list we've come to know -- Lawrence Frank, Dwane Casey, Mark Jackson, Mike Budenholzer.

Woodson though was an assistant under Larry Brown in Detroit and with a pretty solid tenure in Atlanta, would likely be a good fit for the Pistons.

Posted on: June 2, 2011 6:48 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 7:02 pm

Stern: No franchise tag in new NBA CBA?

NBA commissioner David Stern seems to indicate that there will not be a franchise tag in the league's new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Given the Miami Heat's smashing success this postseason, Superteams and the player movement that helps create them are a hot topic around the NBA.

Back in May
, we noted a report that the NBA had reportedly included a franchise tag designation in a proposal to the National Basketball Players Association that would have provided greater protections for teams looking to increase their ability to retain star players. Unlike the National Football League's tag, the NBA's version would have simply strengthened the enticements available for a player's current team to keep a player rather than effectively locking a player up by preventing him from entering free agency.

On Wednesday, NOLA.com reported that NBA commissioner David Stern contradicted the report of a proposed franchise tag in his State of the Union speech from Miami before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. 
“That hasn’t been proposed,” Stern said. “We have historically tried to make it more attractive for a player to stay with his current team, and I’m sure that trend will continue, if not enhanced.

“But as you consider this with respect to the small-market teams, and you think about what a harder cap might do for them, and you consider what revenue sharing might do for them, there are sort of limits what the committee is thinking about, and the franchise tag is not one of them. Although a strong incentive for a player to stay with his team and the ability of the team to keep the player is there.’’

If the NBA did shift to a hard cap system, it would certainly help serve the purpose of keeping star players in place. Why? Because big-market and high-spending teams are the franchises that tend to attract stars in free agency and they aren't likely to have the patience to create significant room under the salary cap to be able to sign a player out-right and remain under the cap. Keep in mind how difficult it was for the Heat to create room under the soft cap system to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh, and then retain Dwyane Wade. They had to essentially slash-and-burn their roster. That process would be significantly more difficult to manage under a hard cap system. 

One other related point of discussion has been the elimination of sign-and-trades. This, too, would go a long way to keeping star players put. Without a sign-and-trade option, only teams that were under the cap could attempt to sign big-name and big-dollar free agents. With a sign-and-trade provision, teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are able to acquire star players as long as they send back salary or assets in return to make the numbers work.

The player movement question is a tricky one. A modified franchise tag would have been welcome by the league's smaller markets and struggling franchises. Given that 22 teams are reportedly losing money this season and that everyone has quickly seen how powerful a team can become if star players move in unison, odds are something will be added to the new CBA that will at least slow down that flow.

We just aren't sure exactly what that is yet.
Category: NBA
Posted on: June 1, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 7:19 pm

David Stern on Shaquille O'Neal: 'He's a giant'

NBA Commissioner David Stern, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss react to the retirement of Shaquille O'Neal. Posted by Ben Golliver.


On Wednesday, longtime NBA center Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement. Within hours, the league's top executive and the owners of the two franchises he won titles for were already singing his praises.

CBSSports.com's Ken Bergers reports from Miami that NBA commissioner David Stern credits O'Neal with nothing less than the rise of the sport as a whole. "If you’ve come of age with the NBA, you haven’t known an NBA without Shaq," Stern said. "You’ve known just an incredible, incredible athlete and competitor, and you’ve known somebody who, with his sense of humor and his presence, has helped to grow our game tremendously."

Stern said that O'Neal will be remembered not only for his Hall of Fame career but also for his engaging personality. O'Neal's legacy, Stern said, is "that you can be a terrific competitor and you can do it for a very long period of time. And as difficult as it is sometimes, you can retain your sense of humor. Shaq has always maintained his sense of humor."

There will be no replacement for O'Neal, Stern said. "He’s a giant. He’s physically imposing, he has an imposing smile. In the game, he imposed his will, and he has done it for quite a long time. It’s been a great run and we’re going to miss him greatly and we hope we can find ways to keep him involved in the game."

Heat owner Micky Arison also sang O'Neal's praises, crediting the center with helping the team win its only title, in 2006. "Obviously, he means a championship," Arison said. "He was great to be around. Loved having him on the team. Had an incredible sense of humor, incredible sense of marketing – both marketing himself and marketing the game. He was a joy to be around and the league is going to miss him."

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Lakers owner Jerry Buss shared Arison's sentiments, saying he would remember O'Neal both for his on-court and off-court contributions. "Shaq had a long and amazing career," Buss said. "A huge impact both on and off the court.  His contributions were significant to the entire NBA, but we specifically appreciate what he did with and what he meant to the Lakers during his eight years with us. We have three championships that we wouldn’t have won without him, and we will forever be grateful for his significant contributions to those teams."

As for Shaq's next step? Arison suggests the personable O'Neal consider a second career in television broadcasting.

"I definitely think he should take Charles Barkley’s job," Arison quipped. Barkley has been an outspoken critic of the Heat, who are on the verge of winning an NBA title, in recent months.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 10:23 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 10:24 pm

When should the NBA award its MVP?

Posted by Royce Young

MIAMI -- Amazing how public opinion can shift so quickly. During the regular season, most everyone agreed that Derrick Rose was everything an MVP should be. He led his team to the league's best record, carried them through injury and had a number of MVP-ish performances. There was debate but that largely stemmed from the stat-inclined community lashing out at Rose's Win Shares and plus-minus more than anything else.

But now, after Rose's unceremonious five-game exit where he was thoroughly outplayed by LeBron James, some are wondering: Why doesn't the MVP include the postseason?

"It's an idea that should get some traction," David Stern said before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. "I have no particular opinion on it one way or the other. And the worst answer I can give you is the truth -- it's always been done this way. That doesn't mean it's the best way to do it."

Rick Carlisle, who has a player on his team in Dirk Nowitzki that's made quite the postseason statement, said he likes the way the league does it now.

"I agree with the way they do it," he said. "And I believe the media does a good job of kind of keeping our fans informed of the difference between that award and whoever becomes the Finals MVP or the playoff MVP. I like it the way it is."

Obviously, as Carlisle points out, the Finals MVP sort of serves as a playoff MVP of sorts. But there's no doubt that in terms of legacy, a Finals MVP doesn't carry near the weight a regular MVP. Hench why this has been brought up. Some soured on Rose after what seemed to be a lackluster postseason and wanted to annoint someone new. And with the heightened level of play, visibility and importance of playoff games, some feel like a re-vote is in order.

"It's something we would consider if there was any momentum for it amongst the Competition Committee, our ownership," Stern said. "It's something we can always consider for next season."

Stern said that with sort of an air of, "Yeah, we're not really ever going to change it, but I'm answering your question as if we actually might." No sport awards its MVP to include the playoffs. Not even college athletics. It's pretty much commonplace to have the MVP given to the player that was best over the 82 games of the regular season.

If the MVP was given out after the playoffs, it would be natural though to just give it to the Finals MVP. That would be the lasting image in everyone's mind. For instance: Whoever plays better between Dirk and LeBron in this series would be the MVP. Worthy? Of course. But what about in a season like 2009 where LeBron was the obvious MVP, but Kobe Bryant won the Finals MVP? It seems like that would be a mistake to make that switch.

The last MVP to win a title came in 2003 when Tim Duncan took home both trophies. Of the 40 MVP winners, only 13 have won both. Which means I don't think we'd get a "true" MVP each season. In terms of weighing both the regular and postseason, at least.

What if you extrapolate a bit though? Should Coach of the Year be voted on after the season? Sixth Man? I mean, Jason Terry has been a much better sixth man than Lamar Odom was. It's understandable to get wrapped up in the importance of the playoffs and feel like the MVP should include that, but remember, in terms of the grand picture, the playoffs are only about 25 percent of an NBA season. More important? Definitely. But it doesn't tell the whole story.

Like Stern said though, it's worth the debate. When you see MVPs fizzle out like Rose to a better player in LeBron like this year, it makes you wonder.
Posted on: May 24, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 5:34 pm

Union charges NBA not bargaining in good faith

The National Basketball Players Association reportedly has filed an unfair labor practice against the NBA. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Are the NBA's collective bargaining negotiations about to take an ugly turn or could legal action prevent a lockout?

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the National Basketball Players Association has "just filed unfair labor practice charge with National Labor Relations Board, accusing NBA of failing to bargain in good faith."

Shortly thereafter, Yahoo! Sports reported that the "NBPA's complaint to NLRB for unfair labor practices charges the NBA with 'harsh, inflexible and grossly regressive 'takeaway' demands. Players Association also charges NBA is 'engaging in classic 'take it or leave it' and surface bargaining intended to delay action.'" The site also noted that it's possible this is simply legal maneuvering. "These charges will probably go nowhere, but the union seems determined to make clear that there's been no progress with Stern and owners."

The Associated Press reports that the move could impact whether there is a lockout this summer. 
The NBA players' association filed an unfair labor charge against the league Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, a move it hopes could block a lockout it feels owners want.

The union says the NBA hasn't bargained in good faith, has made financial demands without offering concessions to the players, and has bypassed the union to deal directly with players.

The charge filed with Region 2 of the NLRB seeks "an injunction against the NBA's unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat."
In recent weeks, the Players Association has expressed frustration with a lack of progress in ongoing negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Via the Salt Lake Tribune, the NBA issued the following response on Tuesday afternoon.
"There is no merit to the charge filed today by the Players Association with the National Labor Relations Board, as we have complied -- and will continue to comply -- with all of our obligations under the federal labor laws. It will not distract us from our efforts to negotiate in good faith a new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association."
Back in April, Yahoo! Sports reported that the NBA referee's union filed a similar complaint.

This post will be updated with more on this story as it develops.
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 18, 2011 12:49 am
Edited on: May 18, 2011 12:46 pm

David Kahn insinuates NBA lottery is rigged?

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently insinuates that the NBA Draft Lottery is rigged. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-kahn

Update: Here's video of Kahn's comments.

For years -- no, decades -- basketball observers have had suspicions about the NBA Draft Lottery. The process is hidden, ping pong balls are involved, and there are a bunch of hurt feelings because 13 of the teams present go home without the No. 1 pick.

Speculation about the lottery being rigged has always been a favorite custom of fans, but it's not something you ever hear spoken about, or even implied, by NBA executives. Until now.

Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn apparently implied in an interview with the Associated Press that the NBA's lottery process is not totally on the up and up.

Kahn's comments came after he joined Utah Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor and Nick Gilbert, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, as the three finalists for the No. 1 pick. Nick Gibert suffers from a nerve disorder and eventually secured the No. 1 pick for the Cavaliers. 
"This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines," Kahn said. "Last year it was Abe Pollin's widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: 'We're toast.' This is not happening for us and I was right."
A "habit" of producing incredible storylines implies that it's not intentional or manipulated but simply the product of a track record. But the disclaimer "I am just going to say habit" screams "I am really, really bitter because this was totally fixed so that the kid would win."

Either this was the clumsiest language of all time or a crystal clear implication. I don't see any other interpretations. Surely, a clarification is coming. (Not to mention an apology for referring to a child with a nerve disorder and a widow as "storylines".)

Even the implication of impropriety is sure to rub NBA commissioner David Stern the wrong way and this isn't Kahn's first time getting on Stern's bad side. Kahn was fined $50,000 last July for comments made regarding Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley's marijuana use. A fine here wouldn't be out of the question considering what's at stake for the league: its reputation.

Here's CBSSports.com video of Nick Gilbert winning the NBA Draft Lottery.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com