Tag:David Stern
Posted on: May 15, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: May 15, 2011 5:47 pm

Rick Welts, Suns president, reveals he is gay

Phoenix Suns president Rick Welts reveals he is a homosexual in a New York Times article. Posted by Ben Golliver. rick-welts

Rick Welts, the president of the Phoenix Suns and a long-time NBA employee, publicly revealed that he is a homosexual for the first time in an article in the New York Times on Sunday.

Welts says he lived in secrecy for decades because of the stigma attached to homosexuality in the world of professional sports.
“This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits,” said Mr. Welts. “Nobody’s comfortable in engaging in a conversation.”
ESPN.com.com reports that Welts' admission makes him a trailblazer, noting that he is "believed to be the first man in a prominent position in men's sports who has declared his homosexuality."
So why, after all these years, did Welts decide to come forward? The Times writes... 
Mr. Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men’s team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic. 

Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of this admission is that two prominent NBA figures -- NBA commissioner David Stern and Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Steve Nash -- both were well aware of Mr. Welts' homosexuality but had not discussed it with him directly. In Stern's case, he showed silent, indirect support. In Nash's case, he simply thought everyone already knew that Welts was gay. That both of those reactions existed shows just how complicated living his life in silence must have been for Welts.

While he has risen to the top of his profession, Welts likely still felt like an outsider in a very personal way. Stern commented that he hoped "the world will find this [admission] unremarkable," but clearly this will be a remarkable moment for Welts himself.

It wouldn't be surprising at all if his admission, and the peace of mind it will likely provide going forward, inspires other executives in similar situations to come forward.

Posted on: May 12, 2011 2:44 am

Report: Hard cap proposal delayed in new offer

Posted by Royce Young

In the latest collective bargaining agreement proposal that was rejected last week by the NBA Players Association, included the implemenation of a hard salary cap lower than the current figure, but not to take place until the 2013-14 season according to ESPN.com.

The new proposal, which the Players Association was reportedly very unhappy with, didn't have near the changes as expected. Instead, according to the report, were just that major changes to the CBA would now be eased in rather than implemented immediately.
The league, sources said, regards this as a major concession, since the next two seasons would employ a salary-cap system with luxury-tax penalties not unlike the system currently in place. Teams currently operate with a salary cap of $58 million per franchise, with a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax imposed for every dollar teams spend over the tax threshold of $70.3 million.

Sources said the owners' latest proposal, however, does still call for immediate rollbacks of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent to current contracts depending on salary levels, as part of the league's oft-stated desire to reduce payroll by roughly $800 million leaguewide on an annual basis.

The NBA's ongoing push for such sharp salary reductions, sources said, is what caused the quick rejection from the players' side, with the union also still determined to oppose a hard cap.

The league also reportedly wants to install even lower salaries for rookies as well as making it "hugely advantageous" to remain with the teams that drafted them.

The new offer would allow teams to offer longer and more valuable contracts to players that remain with their teams instead of taking their talents somewhere else. Obviously this is a response to the Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard situations. A reasonable idea, considering the mess fans and players have had to endure once their contract's expiration date even appears on the horizon.

There has been some solid progress on the non-lockout front lately, with a report from ESPN.com saying that union executive director Billy Hunter and David Stern were meeting face-to-face on a regular basis recently. That, combined with the ruling in the NFL lockout as well as the positive momentum in the game suggests that a deal is becoming more and more likely. The latest offer was rejected, but still optimism is increasing that a new deal will be signed by both signed before the June 30 deadline.

Posted on: May 10, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 2:28 pm

Andrew Bynum apologizes for dirty hit on Barea

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum apologized for his dirty hit on J.J. Barea. Posted by Ben Golliver.

It will stand as the enduring image of the 2010-2011 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers: Andrew Bynum nonchalantly delivering a forearm shiver to the ribs of a helpless, airborn J.J. Barea and then removing his jersey as he stomped off to the locker room, ejected and dejected.

On Tuesday, the Lakers conducted their post-mortem exit interviews and, according to NBA.com, Bynum issued an apology for the hit. 
“I want to apologize for my actions at the start of the fourth quarter of Game 4 against Dallas. They don’t doesn’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise or any of the Lakers fans out there that want to watch us and want us to succeed. More importantly, I want to apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad that he wasn’t seriously injured in the event. All I can say, now that I have looked at it, and it was terrible, is it definitely won’t be happening again.”
“After I saw it,” Bynum said again, “it was definitely embarrassing.”
An apology is pretty worthless here given that it's so late-arriving, the fact that Barea could have been put into the hospital and because Bynum is a cheap shot repeat offender. I guess this apology falls into the "better than nothing" category, but only barely.

NBA.com also notes that Bynum said: "I believe I will be suspended." 

The only question now is how long NBA commissioner David Stern will suspend Bynum. Will he send a message or sweep this one under the rug? Since the suspension will be served at the beginning of next season, it's not going to have much of an effect unless Stern really throws the book at him. 

Here's Bynum's hit on Barea again in case you somehow missed it the first time around.

Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 10:35 pm

David Stern: NBA losing money is unacceptable

NBA commissioner David Stern says that he will not be in charge of a league that loses money. Posted by Ben Golliver. david-stern

NBA commissioner David Stern is making the media rounds and making headlines on Wednesday. 

First, he stated clearly that he does not want the league's labor dispute to end up being decided in court, something that has befallen the NFL in recent weeks.

Then, NBA.com reported that Stern is maintaining a hard line stance approach when it comes to reconstructing the NBA's financial model, stating that financial losses are simply unacceptable.
“We’re not going to lose any money,” Stern said. “I’m not going to be commissioner of a league that is comfortable [losing money]. Because I don’t have a group of owners who find it acceptable for me to have that conversation with them. 
“You don’t have $4 billion worth of revenue and pay out over $2 billion in salary and benefits to lose money. It’s something that we have sort of gotten used to as the revenues have gone up … but the world has changed about the prospect for all franchises, the world has changed for a lot of reasons – and economically – and now people who make investments in buildings and things expect not to lose money.”
The best estimate for the current state of the league's financial picture has been a $300 million loss. Even if simply breaking even is the goal, we're talking about a massive redistribution of wealth as the money is presumably expected to be made up (at least in large part) from the players' side.  

Representatives of the NBA players union recently said they were unhappy with the owners' latest proposal because it didn't represent much of a compromise. Now we know why. Achieving a guaranteed return on investment for the league and its owners will require a major, major overhaul.
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: May 4, 2011 12:08 pm

Players unhappy with owners' proposal

Posted by Royce Young

The owners submitted a new proposal recently to the NBA players union and the players are reportedly unhappy with it, according to ESPN.com. The new proposal is a 10-year year deal that evidently isn't much different than the original one made a more than a year ago.

"Unfortunately, the proposal is very similar to the proposal the league submitted over a year ago," union president Derek Fisher told ESPN.com. "This last proposal doesn't look close to what we were expecting."

A lot of hope had been building as of late with the NFL's lockout being overruled by a judge and because of the incredible push the NBA has made over the season that a lockout would be avoided. And while it still very well can be, evidently the players are looking for something better than what they got.

The owners are opting out of the existing collective bargaining agreement as they're looking for major rollbacks in current contracts, cutting guaranteed contracts, a hard salary cap and a larger chunk of revenue. Under the current CBA, players receive 57 percent of the league's revenue.

David Stern said last month that the league is projecting a $300 million loss for the current season. The union disputes that number.

"With the recent news that Round 1 ratings are at an all-time high, the popularity of the game globally has never been higher, we have to work to keep this going in the right direction," Fisher also said. "I will continue to urge our players to be prepared in the event of a lockout, but will remain steadfast in my efforts to drive this process forward."
Posted on: April 27, 2011 5:21 pm

Stern comments on small markets and rule changes

David Stern comments to a Miami radio show on a number of issues. 
Posted by Matt Moore

David Stern joined 790 The Ticket in Miami to talk about, well, quite a bit, actually. Sports Radio Interviews caught it and shares with us. So we're going to break down the finer points of what Stern decided to touch on. 
If he believes this year’s NBA regular season was one of the best ever:

“You know, I think so. But there have been so many that back in the day, the Celtics, the 76ers, the Lakers, and everybody else, that it’s hard to say. But I think it’s up there, it’s in the top three of the most interesting in probably the last 30 years or so, and really the introduction of so many new young stars.”
I think you have to make the argument this was the best for a much simpler reason. Access. Not only do you have star-studded teams in Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, but you have so much more access to them now than you did back in the league's hayday.  League Pass, League Pass Mobile, local television deals, national broadcasts split across two network families,  great blogs (like, oh, this one), new stats, replays on NBATV, there's about a million ways to experience the NBA.  Compare that with the "catch the occasional game on tape delay, go to it live, or else you're just reading box scores in the paper" of the 1980's, and the league has been able not only to capitalize on the biggest stars, but to make those big moments even bigger.  Chris Paul plays in New Orleans, Dwight Howard in Orlando, Blake Griffin for the lowly Clippers, and still those are household names. It makes you wonder why so many players think you need to go to a big city to get attention. Speaking of desperate needs for attention...
Did he secretly pump his first in delight that LeBron, Wade and Bosh were uniting as he thought about the kind of ‘jolt’ the trio would bring to the league:

“No, I thought it would be a great jolt for Miami. If I’m remembering correctly, I mean, did they sign Chris (Bosh) before? The day before? I just remember thinking boy, this is going to be great for the fans of Miami, and not so great for the fans of Cleveland and Toronto. You know, I’ve got lots of franchises here, lots of charges. So I worry about them all.”
Well that's partially true, anyway. But considering the hands-off approach he took to discussion of collusion, and the fact that small markets continue to struggle to remain competitive (don't let Hornets-Lakers fool you), not like the priorities are equal. The Commish took a much bigger interest in New York being off the map rather than Cleveland's plummet into disaster. On the flip side, Stern has repeatedly and consistently spoke of the need for an improved revenue sharing plan in the future, without undermining the ownership group's efforts to keep that to a separate discussion. Stern's not oblivious or hard-hearted to the plight of smaller markets. But you can still bet the revenues the Heat brought into the gate brought a grin. 
After being asked about fining Cavs owner Dan Gilbert for his actions after LeBron left Cleveland, Stern was asked about not fining Clippers owner Donald Sterling for heckling his own players:
“Oh, he’s just a fan at that point, and he promised he wouldn’t do it again.” 
  But there was a conversation with Sterling about it, right? 
“Yes, there’s always a conversation with everybody. You know, the best way to describe it is to say that how you deal with something that has passed you, is that you say ‘I assume you didn’t do it, if you did it it was an accident, that you didn’t mean to do it, and if you did do it, you’re not going to do it again. Right?’ Right, okay. Let’s move on.”

Stern has to have had that conversation with Sterling so many times he's actually just running a digital recording of the questions at this point. Maybe it's an automated 1-800 number they set up just for Sterling. "If you made another racially insensitve comment, press '1' now. If you failed to make your team competitive for the fifth season in a row despite every advantage in terms of market and profit-margin, press '2' now." 
What’s the most radical change the league is considering:

“Well I’m going to urge the owners — and it’s not very radical but we were talking about it for awhile — to adopt the international rule on basket interference. That is to say, once the ball hits the rim it’s in play. Because I think that it’s too hard to call. I think that we don’t want to stop the game every time to see if it’s the right call, but the camera that looks down on the basket can tell the story if the refs have gotten it right. And it’s just impossible to call to make whether the ball’s touching the rim, on the rim, off the rim or the like.  And I think that would make the game faster, better, and less controversial. And I think we’re going to be putting in more — I forget the exact number — just more replay opportunities because we really want to get it right. So those are the biggest things. I also think we’re going to be talking about cutting out a timeout or two to move the game along. The last period, even in a close game, shouldn’t begin to approach an hour.”
Big stuff here, including a discussion of the "in the cylinder" rule that narrowly avoided costing the Nuggets a game early in their series with OKC. The D-League has already adopted this league as an exploratory measure, but it's having some issues with it as well. The last point, though, about making that last quarter faster? Everyone, players, fans, media, everyone will probably be on board with that one. 


Posted on: April 26, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 5:39 pm

Sacramento businesses pledge millions to Kings

Sacramento-area business reportedly pledged millions of dollars to keep the Kings from relocating. Posted by Ben Golliver. maloofs

There's no question that money talks in the NBA, especially when it comes to matters of relocation. A money-generating arena, sponsorship dollars, television deals and season ticket holder bases: these are the factors by which owners and the league evaluate markets.

Sacramento, a market that was thought to lose its team to Anaheim next season, reportedly received some great news on the money front on Tuesday, when Mayor Kevin Johnson met with NBA officials and local businesses to help demonstrate the community's financial support for keeping the Kings in Northern California.

The Sacramento Bee reports that, following the meeting, Johnson announced that millions of dollars in sponsorship money had been pledged with the goal of keeping the Kings in Sacramento through next season. 
The $10 million in business pledges aimed to show the NBA that Sacramento could financially support the team, and to convince the league to keep the Kings here rather than allowing them to move to Anaheim.
This morning, Johnson said, Sacramento businesses "made a down payment on the Sacramento Kings and this being their permanent home." Companies committing to support the team included Sleep Train, Golden One Credit Union, Zoom Imaging Solutions and Arden Fair Mall.
"We are for real and we are here to support the NBA and the Kings --not just for this year, but for many years to come," said Matt Mahood, president and CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.
The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, had taken steps to relocate the team to Anaheim and re-name it the Anaheim Royals. Now, suddenly, they are virtually invisible, with the NBA and local politicians essentially conducting their business for them.

These developments have led SacTownRoyalty.com to ask some big questions, such as: "Who is running the Sacramento Kings?"
Note the continued absence of the Maloof family in all of this. These sponsorships were pledged to the Sacramento Kings, owned and operated by the Maloofs, a member of the NBA. These businesses pledged this money because KJ told them that otherwise, the Kings would be gone. The NBA has the power to tell the Maloofs they must keep the Kings here in Sacramento, and to wield that power wants to ensure that KJ isn't selling wolf tickets. Again: it's a reasonable quest.
But collecting local sponsor money is usually a task left for the team. In fact, I cannot think of any instance in which the NBA would collect local sponsor money for a team that doesn't deal with an NBA takeover of a team (hello, New Orleans) and a situation where the local owners have become so poisonous that the NBA would rather take the time and bear the expense to basically do the owners' job for them.
The NBA should be commended for standing up for Kings fans and the Sacramento market, regardless of whether their actions are motivated in part by a skepticism towards the Maloofs, a desire to prevent an over-saturation of the Los Angeles market or other outside reasons. 

In such an unstable situation -- in the Sacramento market, its ownership group and in the league as a whole -- the less change, the better. That makes the hard money put up by Johnson and the Sacramento businesses that much more important and influential.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 6:39 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 9:12 pm

Report: Kings 'expected' to stay in Sacramento?

The NBA reportedly expects the Sacramento Kings to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-2012 NBA season rather than relocate to Anaheim. Postedmaloofsby Ben Golliver with reporting from Ken Berger.

After months of discussion about the likely relocation of the Sacramento Kings to Anaheim, the tables have apparently turned. 

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the Kings are now "expected" to remain in Sacramento for the 2011-2012 NBA season, citing NBA officials.
NBA officials now expect the Kings to play next season in Sacramento, league executives told The Times on Friday.
Whether the team, which was about to seek permission to move to Honda Center in Anaheim, stays in Sacramento beyond next season remains to be decided.
Fan efforts in Sacramento to keep the Kings have been ongoing for months. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA point guard, has also been instrumental in presenting the city's case for keeping the team, appealing to the NBA's Boad of Governors to reconsider the merits of the Kings' relocation proposal. 

NBA commissioner David Stern says that Johnson's presentation provided significant new information, and the Times writes that it was essentially a game-changer.
"Mayor Johnson made certain representations about community support that he had secured," Stern said.
The NBA officials agree that if the Kings live up to all of their pledges, the team is expected to stay in Sacramento long-term.
When Johnson presented his lavish package with the Is dotted, the Ts crossed, the timetable specific and the funding package appearing to be credible, everything changed.
The Maloof family, which owns the Kings, has until May 2 to present its case for relocation, a date that exists after two extensions were already granted by the league. They could still pursue the relocation option, but it's possible the NBA's Relocation Committee wouldn't approve their proposal. 

Three sources told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger Friday night that NBA officials, led by Thunder owner Clay Bennett, have not informed the Kings or the city of Sacramento of any final decision on assertions made by Mayor Kevin Johnson to the Board of Governors about the city's renewed push to keep the Kings. Berger notes in an email:
One of the sources said a key component missing from plan, which includes additional sponsorships and a push for a new arena, is financing.
"Where is the financing?" one source said. "Where is the money?"
League officials are expected to convene with city officials Monday to complete the fact-finding mission. One of the sources told CBSSports.com said all signs point to a positive referendum on Sacramento's efforts to keep the team, but added, "It's not there yet."
The Maloofs, clearly frustrated with the 11th-hour effort after 13 years of unsuccessful attempts to get similar commitments from the city, have not yet made a decision on whether to apply for relocation to Anaheim by the extended May 2 deadline.
"We're anxious to look at what Kevin Johnson has been able to accomplish since he made a lot of assertions about the Sacramento market," co-owner Joe Maloof told CBSSports.com. "After the NBA does its due diligence, we'll evaluate it and go forward. But we have not made any decision one way or another."
The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that Joe Maloof denied the L.A. Times report, saying that nothing has been decided yet. "That is not what we are saying," Maloof told the paper. "We haven't said what we are going to say. We'll let you know when we know."

The Associated Press quoted Gavin's brother Joe with the same "no decision yet" message on Friday.
Maloof told The Associated Press on Friday that no decision has been made and he's "as anxious as anybody" to find out if Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson can deliver on his promise for more sponsorship support and finally finance a plan for a new arena.
"I don't know that Kevin Johnson's meeting in New York swayed the NBA one way or another, but I think that the NBA next week is going to go into Sacramento to verify a lot of the promises Kevin Johnson made to the board," Maloof said. "There were various sponsorship promises and a promise to show the board, once and for all, how a new arena not only will be planned, but financed."
SI.com also reported the decision has not yet been made but noted that things are looking "very good" for Sacramento.
After speaking to several highly-involved sources, I would say that it's still looking very good for Sacto but no decision yet. Maloofs are still considering Anaheim, according to sources. NBA's further investigation into mayor Kevin Johnson's claims next week.It's telling, however, that there is no current plan to analyze Anaheim situation further on part of the NBA.
Will they be the Sacramento Kings or the Anaheim Royals next season? That remains to be seen. But all the logistics involved in executing a relocation means the clock is ticking for Anaheim. Any delay or hiccup from here on out favors Sacramento.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com