Posted on: February 25, 2012 8:56 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. – David Stern proclaimed Saturday night what has long been assumed but never confirmed: He will recommend deputy commissioner Adam Silver to succeed him as commissioner when he retires.
“One of the things that a good CEO does -- and I try to be a good CEO -- is provide his board with a spectacular choice for his successor,” Stern said during his annual All-Star news conference. “And I have done that. And that's Adam.”
Stern, 69, reiterated what he said after the collective bargaining agreement saving a 66-game season after a 149-day lockout was finalized: He will not be commissioner when both sides have the opportunity to opt out of the deal in 2017. Beyond that, he placed no timetable on his departure, but said he would have the discussion with owners “very soon.”
Silver has been deputy commissioner and chief operating office since 2006 after serving for more than eight years as president and COO of NBA Entertainment. He has played a key role in negotiating the league’s last two broadcast rights agreements and the last four collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association – and also created NBA China as a stand-alone entity. Silver, who also played a key role in delivering the league’s public message to the media during the lockout, was asked during Stern’s news conference how prepared he is for the job. He smiled and slid the microphone in front of Stern.
“He’s a first-rate, top-of-the-class executive,” Stern said.
Stern's recommendation of Silver would have to be approved by the league's Board of Governors.
Among the other news Stern made Saturday night:
• Negotiations in Orlando involving the league, city of Sacramento and the Maloof family on achieving a funding plan for a new arena before a March 1 deadline has “several remaining points that may or not be bridged,” Stern said. The talks will continue Sunday, and Stern said the issue is coming up with additional funding necessary to pay for the project. “Life is a negotiation,” he said. “… It’s getting there, but it’s just not there yet. And we’re looking for other ways, imaginative ways, to bridge the gap.”
• He confirmed that there is a leading candidate to purchase the New Orleans Hornets and that the league is “optimistic that we will make a deal” in the next “week or 10 days.” There is a second group that is “in sort of second place,” Stern said, “waiting to see how we do with group one.” Both groups would keep the team in New Orleans, where the city is continuing to negotiate an arena lease extension upon which the ownership deal is contingent.
• Stern confirmed that he has spoken with Seattle investor Chris Hansen, who is spearheading support for an arena to attract a team and replace the Supersonics, who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. “It sounded OK to us,” Stern said of Hansen’s plan. “Go for it. That’s all.” But Stern acknowledged that the plan would require that “we have a team that we could put there.” As arena funding talks with Sacramento and the Malodors continue, one might view Stern’s enthusiasm about the prospect of a return to Seattle as a leverage point in that negotiation.
• Stern alluded to increased attendance, TV ratings and sales, but didn’t give specifics. National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said earlier in the day that Stern has told him attendance and merchandise sales are up, and that Silver told him in a recent meeting that league revenues are expected to increase more than pre-lockout projections. “Everything is good,” Stern said.
• Asked whether the NBA would consider aiding teams that lose superstars to free agency, such as host city Orlando is facing with Dwight Howard, Stern said, and “No. Why should we? … We have a system that has a draft that basically tells a player where he’s going to play in this league when he’s drafted, and a further system that has a huge advantage to the team that has him. Our players could play for seven years for a team they didn’t choose. And we think that’s a system, but not a prison. ... I'm sure Dwight will make a good and wise decision for him."
• Stern shot down the notion of adding expansion teams in North America (as if there aren’t too many teams already). But he wouldn’t rule out overseas expansion in the next 10 years, deferring the topic to silver, who said, “We’ll see.”
• Stern took issue when asked to evaluate his decision, when acting in his capacity as the owner of the Hornets, to disallow the trade that would’ve sent Chris Paul to the Lakers. “There’s no superstar that gets traded in this league unless the owner says, ‘Go ahead with it.’ And in the case of New Orleans, the representative of the owner said, ‘That’s not a trade we’re going to make.’” “But that representative was you?” Stern was asked. “Correct,” he said. “And was that the right move to make?” “Buy a ticket and see,” Stern said. “We’ll see how it works out.”
• Asked about reports that shoe companies are trying to steer their star clients to bigger markets – a reference to Adidas’ relationship with Howard – Silver said the league does not have jurisdiction over shoe companies. “But we have looked into it, and we have been assured by the two major shoe companies in the league that the incentives they build into contracts are based on winning as opposed to market size,” Silver said.
• On Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American whose sudden emergence with the Knicks has spawned intense global interest, Stern said, “I just think it’s the universal story of the underdog stepping forward.”
Tags: Adam Silver, Adidas, All-Star, All-Star Game, All-Star Weekend, Billy Hunter, Chris Paul, Clippers, David Stern, Dwight Howard, Hornets, Jeremy Lin, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, National Basketball Players Association, NBPA, Nike, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Sacramento, Seattle, SuperSonics, Thunder
Posted on: December 16, 2008 1:45 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2008 1:48 pm
Sports Business Journal's annual list of the 50 most influential people in sports is out, and NBA Commissioner David Stern is third -- first among major pro sports commissioners.
Stern received credit for steering the league through the potentially devastating officiating scandal, expanding the league's global footprint, and partnering with the NCAA to clean up youth basketball.
Full disclosure: Sean McManus, the president of CBS Sports and CBS News, is eighth -- up one spot from 2007.
The rest of the NBA-related titans who made the list:
11. Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of AEG. Serves on the board of the Los Angeles Lakers, overseeing Philip Anschutz's 30 percent stake in the team and Staples Center.
14. Charlie Denson, president, Nike Brand.
15. Herbert Hainer, chairman and CEO, Adidas.
16. David Levy, president, Turner Sports. The Atlanta-based media company has added control of the NBA's digital media business to its TNT coverage of the league.
23. Jeffrey Kessler, attorney. Outside counsel to both NBA and NFL players.
24. Adam Silver, deputy NBA commissioner. The force behind Stern's global initiative, Silver also spearheaded the recent deal allowing NBA teams to control their local digital rights to stream games live on their Web sites.
27. Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO, Wasserman Media Group. Primarily through agents Arn Tellem and Warren LeGarie, WMG represents a cross-section of top players and coaches in the league. You know Wasserman is influential when he's listed ahead of No. 28, Hal Steinbrenner.
34. Kevin Plank, CEO and founder, Under Armour. Long a boutique to Nike's behemoth, Under Armour is making inroads in the basketball apparel market.
35. Mark Cuban, owner, Dallas Mavericks. How Cuban rebounds from insider trading charges will affect his image and influence.
38. Peter Moore, president, EA Sports. NBA Live, enough said.
44. Billy Hunter, executive director, NBA Players Association. Good news: Hunter has gotten his players the highest average salary in major American sports. Bad news: Owners are feeling the pinch, and negotiations on extending the agreement beyond 2011 will be contentious -- so much so that Hunter said recently he's preparing for another lockout.
46. Rick Dudley, president and CEO, Octagon. Agency represents numerous NBA players, including Chris Paul.
48. Michael Levine, co-head, CAA Sports. Stable of agents includes super-agent Leon Rose, who represents LeBron James.
Tags: Adam Silver, Adidas, Arn Tellem, Billy Hunter, CAA Sports, Casey Wasserman, CBS Sports, Charlie Denson, Dallas Mavericks, David Levy, David Stern, EA Sports, Hal Steinbrenner, Herbert Hainer, Jeffrey Kessler, Kevin Plank, LeBron James, Leon Rose, Mark Cuban, Michael Levine, NBA Players Association, Nike, Octagon, Peter Moore, Rick Dudley, Sean McManus, Tim Leiweke, Turner Sports, Under Armour, Warren LeGarie