Tag:David Stern
Posted on: January 20, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 9:34 am

NBA labor talks will be held at All-Star Weekend

Posted by Matt Moore

It would appear cooler heads have prevailed. After yesterday's report from NBA FanHouse regarding a refusal of owners to meet with the players' union, it would appear that report was inaccurate and the two sides will meet during NBA All-Star Weekend. NBA FanHouse reports the same, but also says the players are not kidding around about the seriousness of this meeting, and what the owners' tactics signal to them: 

"If they don't want to meet, then they don't want to meet," he said. "But we'll still be out there. We're still going to have our meeting, to update players and do our due diligence. But I think those guys, the owners, are really miscalculating and getting bad advice. Whoever is advising them is giving really poor advice. If you had heads and CEOs of these Fortune 500 companies, I don't think they would ever run one of those companies like that."
via Notebook: Labor Issues, Tyreke Evans Foot Update, Dunk Contest News -- NBA FanHouse.

So the two will talk, and try and make some progress. But the players continue to freak out throughout these negotiations, showing their inexperience. The stunning thing about all this is that the players could have a lot of leverage were they to play things differently. Instead, they freak out and walk around stomping the ground like they did at All-Star Weekend, and with quotes like the one above. That only affords the owners the ability to further entrench themselves, rather than getting out on open ground. 

Open ground means the owners are talking, negotiating, and gives the players a better chance of causing dissension among the ranks of the owners between the small and big market guys over issues like player movement and revenue sharing. With Ken Berger's report of a possible compromise on all fronts that would make for a significant push towards a deal, the players have a shot at getting more than the scraps if they can get the owners out on the table with some level of dignity. But so far, the players seem content to play softball with their initiatives, then react with stomps and spits when the owners play hardball. 

They're losing on two fronts, but at least the talks will be held. 
Posted on: January 7, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2011 4:31 pm

David Stern: Fans boo LeBron because he's good

NBA commissioner David Stern says that fans boo Miami Heat star LeBron James because he's good at basketball. Posted by Ben Golliver. heat-stroke

All season long, we've covered the fan reactions to Miami Heat All-Star LeBron James as he's traveled the country in the first season following "The Decision," his televised free agency debacle. His former home Cleveland, of course, provided the harshest treatment, hexing him with a witch doctor, launching a campaign to laugh at him, and producing some incredible (and incredibly hurtful) shirts and signs during his first game against the Cavaliers.

James has done his best to flip that attention on its head, dubbing the Heat the "Heatles" for their road popularity. NBA commissioner David Stern was asked in an interview with FoxSports.com what he makes of all the negative attention James commands on the road, and Stern downplayed the importance of "The Decision," choosing to focus instead on James' considerable basketball talent.
"You either loved or booed Kobe and the Lakers. People used to love or hate the old Celtics. I think it will morph into the Heat being one of our really elite teams. And people boo the elite teams when they come into town to beat up on the hometown team."
"I don’t mind it if he’s booed in the context of the dominant team he’s playing for. I think that I’m not sure people know exactly what they’re booing. Are they booing because he left Cleveland? Certainly they’re doing that in Cleveland. Are they booing him because it took 18 minutes for 'The Decision' to say where he was going? Yeah, probably. Are they booing him because he’s part of a team that people think is too strong for their home team to compete with? Probably more so. And that will fade, and then they’ll boo him because he’s a member of the high-performing Miami Heat."
The booing will continue throughout this season, at the very least, as a good chunk of the NBA's fanbases haven't yet got their licks in.  But there's a lot of truth to what Stern says, as time heals most wounds, even catastrophic self-inflicted ones like those James created with "The Decision."
Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:48 am

More allegations of Sterling misconduct surface

Further allegations revealed that Donald Sterling has engaged in unacceptable behavior as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Posted by Matt Moore

For those who pay attention, allegations that Donald Sterling has displayed racist, unconscionable, penny-pinching behavior and a sole pursuit of profit in the face of opportunities to win should be the polar opposite of shocking. But learning the depths of just how hollow his moral mine shaft is reported to be always makes for a nice story, and today is no exception. ESPN has obtained more court documents in Elgin Baylor's case against Sterling. Take us to the highlights, J.A. Adande:

"Because of the Clippers unwillingness to fairly compensate African-American players we lost a lot of good talent, including Danny Manning, Charles Smith, Michael Cage, Ron Harper, Dominique Wilkins, [Corey] Maggette and others," Baylor said.

Okay, well there are always reasons to pass on players, and while Sterling's character history doesn't necessarily support the idea that these decisions weren't racially motivated, it's difficult to argue without providing context for where the team was at in its manifest and where those players were at in their careers. So hey, this one's probably duck-able. What else?

Dunleavy said that during a team trip to Russia in 2006, Clippers officials were dining at a restaurant called Rasputin when Platt, the Clippers' attorney, told him that the Clippers thought Baylor was too old and they were going to fire him. While the Clippers told Dunleavy that Baylor only wanted to work for two more years, Dunleavy said he never heard that from Baylor, and Baylor said in his statement that he never told anyone that he wanted to retire.

Okay, well, that's not stellar behavior, and Baylor's probably going to have a case, but really, that just sounds more like an employer having difficulty in managing employees. That's not good, but it's not outright horrible. It looks like there's nothing in this round of revelations which would really make Sterling look terrib ... oh. Yeah.  There's this. 

"While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team’s failures on me," Baylor said in the declaration. "During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, 'Look at those beautiful black bodies.' I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room."

Look, most situations between people are more complicated than they seem. and they often involve a great degree of dissonance between one party and the other.  It's a more difficult world than most people make it out to be. But if these, and all the other accusations are true, Donald Sterling is an abomination to a not-at-all exceedingly honorable league of NBA owners. He is a blemish on the NBA, and a detriment to the league. And the fact that he's allowed to continue pursuing his agenda in such a profitable market as Los Angeles represents a failure by his fellow owners, the league, and David Stern to set a standard of conduct and hold its representatives to it. The NBA wouldn't tolerate such behavior in its offices, yet here is an owner, a voice among the group that is determining the future of this sport in the next year, who lacks not only a drive to win, not only an objective of running an operation well, but who flaunts racism in a predominantly African-American sport.  I seem to ask this every six months, but I will ask again. 

What's it going to take for the NBA to purge itself of the disease that is Donald Sterling?
Posted on: December 23, 2010 11:17 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 11:25 pm

LeBron James misguided in contraction yapping

King James wants to destroy multiple fanbases in the NBA in pursuit of a return to the 80's.  Posted by Matt Moore

Akron's favorite son apparently hadn't done enough damage to the small-market Cavaliers. After leaving them high and dry in free agency on national television without so much as a text for a heads up, and then returning to a rabid chorus of boos only to detonate them on their home floor, LeBron has pretty much buried Cleveland as a franchise in rubble over the past six months. 

Now he's kicking the dirt over the leftovers. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that LeBron spoke to reporters prior to Thursday night's Heat game in Phoenix and managed to support contraction without saying contraction (always the delicate soundbyte for LeBron): 

“Hopefully the league can figure out one day how it can go back to the situation like it was in the ‘80s,” James said. “… The league was great. It wasn’t as watered down as it is. You had more [star] players on a team, which made almost every game anticipated -- not just a Christmas Day game, not just a Halloween game. I don’t ever think it’s bad for the league when guys decide that they want to do some greatness for the better of what we call a team sport. 

“I’m a player," James said, "but that’s why the league was so great. You can just imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team and you shrink the guys … I’m just looking at some of the teams that are not that great. You take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off teams that are not that good right now and add them to a team that could be really good. I’m not saying let’s take New Jersey, let’s take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid. I’m not stupid, but I know what would be great for the league.”
via LeBron: Contraction would be 'great' for NBA - CBSSports.com.

So LeBron thinks that the teams which are "not that great" should be contracted. Getting past the question of whether or not he's flirting with tampering with Kevin Love, Brook Lopez, and Devin Harris, it's pretty easy to make the argument that Cleveland's going to be "not that great" for the foreseeable future... since LeBron left. With the 17th biggest media market, you'd think that Cleveland would be safe. But if we're eliminating the Nets in this scenario, we're killing off a team soon to inhabit Brooklyn. Cleveland's got to be on the eventual list of targets should the league begin to contract. 

And speaking of the Nets in this scenario, how is James' friend Jay-Z going to feel about his buddy not only turning him down in summer, but then suggesting his team should be contracted?  Jay-Z's invested in the Nets, has pitched players as an owner, and yet his one-time supposed protoge is discussing simply disintegrating his team and selling off the pieces for parts. That's got to make for a few awkward texts. 

Regardless, my colleague Ken Berger thinks that LeBron's right and that contraction is a great idea, that it would create more talent on the teams that exist, with multiple stars.  But in the 80's when we had that wonderful time, we didn't really. The Lakers did, as they do now. Back then they had Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Mychal Thompson, and Michael Cooper. Now they have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum, and Derek Fisher. The Celtics did, as well. with Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, and Dennis Johnson. The Celtics now have Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Shaquille O'Neal, Kendrick Perkins, and Nate Robinson. And if we contracted? Those same teams would have even more All-Stars, leading to more Boston versus LA battles. But would it make the rest of the league better? 

You had the Sixers at that time, a fading dynasty with Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and Moses Malone. You had the Houston Rockets with Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson. But really, it was just LA and Boston who were great teams.  And the same would happen now. You might have New York or Chicago use their market influence to make a push, but in reality, you'd still have what you have now. Three teams with championship potential, and a bunch of Washington Generals wandering around. 

David Stern has been clear throughout the CBA process that changes must be made to revenue sharing in an effort to improve competitive balance. The problem isn't these teams dragging the league down, the problem is how difficult it is for small market teams to succeed. They can, they just have to be nearly flawless, as the Spurs have been. And big market teams can fail, but they have to be steeped with horrific decisions to not prosper, as in the case of the Knicks over the past decade and the Clippers over the past ... forever. 

When James says he wants to contract teams that are "not that great" he's basically playing on what's going on at this very moment. For example, if Glen Taylor were to either sell the Timberwolves, or move David Kahn for a GM with a more competent plan outside of "Boy, I hope Ricky Rubio is awesome" then Kevin Love may not be wasted at all in Minnesota in a year. When the Nets move to Brooklyn and can attract free agents with a new arena in the Burroughs, things are likely to turn around. What then? Do we then contract whoever's bad that point? If the Suns tank after Steve Nash retires, do we eliminate the Suns? What if the Blazers sink to the bottom as their injury history mounts to a breaking point? 

There are legitimate economic reasons to contract, including the viability of the league in markets which may not be big enough to support it. But simply in an attempt to create more great teams? We'll simply be making elite teams more elite, perpetuating the problem. 

Here's a better idea. With the most obnoxious free agency ever perpetrated by their three stars, followed by the most disappointing two months of basketball in NBA history and the team clearly a step behind the Celtics in pursuit of a championship, why don't we talk about sending those star players elsewhere? Why don't we talk about contracting the Heat. Maybe then James will give pause before he starts trying to advance his reign through the elimination of entire fanbases. 
Posted on: December 22, 2010 1:53 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:45 pm

NBA television ratings soar

Television ratings for the National Basketball Association are way up this season. Posted by Ben Gollivercharles-barkley-tv
NBA bloggers are the last people you should ask to guess NBA television ratings, as we watch games until our eyes bleed six or seven nights a week and have no real connections to the outside world, let alone the "average Joe" and his viewing habits. In general, we rely totally on online news reports to connect us with reality.  On Wednesday, one of those reports came down the pipeline: it turns out more and more people are chaining themselves to the boob tube to take in a professional basketball game. Welcome, everyone! The Associated Press reports that the NBA's televison ratings are "up more than 30 percent so far this season compared to last year" and that, even if you take out the Miami Heat, ratings are "still up 23 percent."
"It tipped off with a great deal of interest about the Heat and about 'The Decision,'" NBA Commissioner David Stern said last week, "and it seems to have gone from there, when the story lines have unfolded were not about the Heat initially -- except about their struggles -- but about San Antonio, New Orleans' start, the Knicks' start, the Lakers' start and the Lakers suddenly stumbling a little bit, the Celtics' strength.
"It's across the board," Stern said, "a whole variety of story lines." The successes of several prominent franchises have boosted viewership numbers. Ratings for ESPN's games are up 58 percent in Los Angeles, 56 percent in Boston and 36 percent in New York.
The Heat, who bolstered their marketability and watchability by re-signing Dwyane Wade and adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh this offseason, have seen their nationally televised ratings jump a staggering 69% year over year. Big market success has always been crucial for the league, as there is no easier way to secure national relevancy. That the Lakers are heading towards a three-peat, that the Knicks are no longer pathetic and that the Celtics are locked in, playing some of their best ball of the last few years, are all important contributing factors. But, as in all NBA media, the Heat continue to cast the largest shadow.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 2:54 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:42 pm

NBA adds American Express as official charge card

The National Basketball Association has added American Express as a major sponsor. Posted by Ben Golliveramerican-express

American Express has worked for decades to establish itself as America's luxury credit card. For an annual fee, AmEx offers access to premier services, traveling deals and a complicated 4-digit card verification code proudly displayed on the front of the card, which is much classier than Visa and Mastercard's 3-digit codes hidden on the back. This branding effort has attracted the rich and wanna-be rich, and gives the card a cool appeal that distinguishes it from its competitors. And where does this cool credit card company and its exclusive clientele want to see and be seen? NBA games, of course.  The New York Times reports that American Express is back as the official charge card of the NBA, after five years away from the game, striking a partnership with the league and related entities like the WNBA and the D-League.
“We’ll provide access to largely hard-to-get tickets,” said Courtney Kelso, the vice president for global media and sponsorship marketing at American Express.
Kelso said that a significant jump in requests from cardholders for tickets prompted American Express to seek a sponsorship with the league. American Express will advertise on NBA TV. The company is considering a separate N.B.A.-themed marketing campaign.
Any major sponsorship is a good sign for the league and commissioner David Stern, but one that can help sell and/or redistribute tickets is a golden goose. With attendance numbers varying vastly from market to market, this is a nice pickup for the league.  As a footnote, if I'm one of the owners entering negotiations with the players, I'm pushing hard for a tweak to the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement that would allow me to put all of my luxury tax payments on my AmEx. If you have to pay double for a guy like Hedo Turkoglu or Luke Walton, you should at least be able to recoup a few hundred trips for two to Tahiti, don't you think?
Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:37 pm

The Game Changer: Dirk downs Portland

The Mavericks put away the Blazers, the Celtics escape the Knicks, Nate Robinson stumbles, the Suns are elated, the Denver television reporter that blew the Carmelo Anthony story 'fesses up, and plenty more. Posted by Ben Golliver

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer. 


On Wednesday, after the Celtics were done breaking the Knicks' heart, the Dallas Mavericks stepped onto the ESPN stage and staked their claim to the title, "legit title contender."  The Mavericks are among the league leaders in stability, we've been watching this game core group for at least 46 years now, and, in related news, they are near the top of the leaderboard in, "Well, that was bound to happen," moments for their opposition. Wednesday night was just another one to tack onto that track record. Championship-quality teams pull out wins on their off nights, and that's exactly what happened in Texas, as the Mavericks staved off a Portland rally in the fourth quarter. A struggling Dirk Nowitzki proved for the 12,000th time that he is essentially unguardable down the stretch, scoring eight of his 21 points on an array of post moves in the final 2:24, overcoming a season-best performance from Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with 35 points and 10 rebounds. The Mavs caught some breaks,  a crucial no-call on Jason Terry during an Andre Miller drive swung momentum late and some poor clock management and slow fouling from the Blazers made the endgame easier for Dallas.  Another key against the Blazers, and a major x-factor in assessing the Mavericks' legitimacy as a title contender, was the play of Caron Butler. He was very effective, especially going to the basket, and his solid all-around night -- 23 points, seven rebonds and four assists -- helped provide the winning margin. His production on the year is still below his career numbers, but the total output is less important than the fit. If Dallas has things clicking and Butler is able to provide an auxiliary offensive threat alongside Nowitzki, this team will be an extremely tough out come playoff time.  The Mavericks are 20-5 on the season, and NBA.com notes that is the second best 25-game stretch in franchise history. The Western Conference -- with Dallas, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers all off to solid starts -- is shaping up to be a familiar three horse race.


Paul Pierce: 32 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a game-winner in 41 minutes in a Boston Celtics road win over the New York Knicks. Amar'e Stoudemire: 39 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks in 42 minutes in a New York Knicks home loss to the Boston Celtics. Carlos Boozer: 34 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block in 26 minutes in a Chicago Bulls road win over the Toronto Raptors. Blake Griffin: 20 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block in 39 minutes in a Los Angeles Clippers road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Steve Nash: 11 points, 19 assists, two rebounds in 31 minutes in a Phoenix Suns home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.



The Phoenix Suns survived a crazy game with the Minnesota Timberwolves in Arizona on Wednesday night, cashing in 15 three-pointers on their way to a 128-122 victory. Check out this great shot of guard Jared Dudley, who nailed three treys himself, making it rain cheers. jared-dudley


The Denver television station that reported on Tuesday night Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony had been traded to the New Jersey Nets ridiculously "stood by its story" Wednesday, prompting CBSSports.com's Ken Berger to set them straight.  On Wednesday night, the station's sports reporter Lionel Bienvenu admitted on Twitter that the station hadn't gotten it right. "We jumped the gun with a tweet that wasn't worded correctly. we never reported the trade was done. just the tweet," Bienvenu tweeted.  As any media professional should know, a good chunk of NBA breaking news is, in fact, reported on Twitter. That imaginary barrier was crossed years ago. To attempt to distinguish between a report on television and a report on Twitter is ridiculous. At this point, we should expect nothing less.  


Via Twitter superstar Jose3030 and SB Nation, comes this hypnotizing graphic of Boston Celtics guard Nate Robinson celebrating Paul Pierce's game-winner. Robinson leaps in the air not once but twice, and then comes crashing back to Earth in painful fashion. nate-rob


In case you missed it, there was an epic finish in New York between the Knicks and Celtics. Paul Pierce didn't hit the only game-winner Wednesday night, as San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili took a break from seeing UFOs to down the Milwaukee Bucks.  But did he travel? Watch the video from letreeman on YouTube and decide for yourself. Rob Mahoney investigates the "Was it a travel?" question here.


The Miami Heat won again, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-95 on Wednesday, to extend their winning streak to 10 consecutive games. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 65 points, 23 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and a block. Good lord.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 11:55 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:37 pm

David Stern: Decertification is 'nuclear option'

NBA commissioner David Stern calls decertification of the National Basketball Players Association a "nuclear option." Posted by Ben Golliverdavid-stern

Every time there's been a round of posturing during the league's ongoing labor negotiations, you can count on one thing: NBA commissioner David Stern will kick his rhetoric up a notch.  On Monday, we noted talk that the players union was considering decertification , a process which could help avoid a lockout but could lead to a maze of legal issues.  On Tuesday, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter said that such talk was "pretty far off" and that a league-wide voting process would need to be completed prior to any move in that direction. On Wednesday, the Associated Press reports, Stern responded to the decertification talk with his typical bluster, painting the process as a radical negotiating tool and warning that it could backfire on the players.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday before the Charlotte Bobcats-Memphis Grizzlies game, Stern said if the union decertifies it wouldn't just mean the end of the NBA players association, it would nullify the labor contract as well.
That would allow players to challenge antitrust laws, the commissioner said, an opportunity they don't have with the collective bargaining agreement in place. But, he said, decertification is risky because there are $4 billion in guaranteed player contracts in effect for next season. "It's a nuclear option," Stern said, "but I'm not sure whether it isn't the nuclear option that falls on the party that launches it."
Stern is right to be skeptical that the players will, when push comes to shove, sacrifice guaranteed money. No one, least of all newly-minted, young millionaires, will do that without thinking twice. But Stern surely realizes that the players are equally skeptical of the owners' current hard-line proposals, and are being put in a desperate spot where radical measures need to be considered.  As we noted earlier this week, only time (and the voting process) will tell how serious the players are about decertification. At this point, it still seems like a last resort, a method for the players to indirectly assert their feelings regarding the owners hard-line proposals and to evoke a bit of fear about what a negotiation without compromises from the owners might devolve into.  Even if the nuclear option backfires, after all, the fallout will affect everyone.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com