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Old 04-20-06, 01:20 PM
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ESPN Chat with the Commissioner

Matt (Seattle, WA): Why did you say that "Seattle doesn't seem to want the NBA"? I found that remark to be almost antagonistic, as if you are trying to lay the groundwork for a potential relocation by blaming the city...I just find it odd that a sport that has increased revenues fifteen-fold since your induction as commish needs municipalities to subsidize its presence (which is what the Sonics seem to want). Can you please explain your reasoning behind your statement? Thank you.

David Stern: (1:50 PM ET ) I was not referring to the fans of Seattle, but rather to the mayor who was busy invisioning a successful Seattle center without the Sonics as a tenant. I thought that was antagonistic to both the Sonics AND the NBA. I did not mean to suggest that the fans of the Sonics and the citizens of Seattle have not been supportive of our team.


Matt(Seattle, WA): What do you think of Ray Allen breaking the record for 3's in a season?

David Stern: (1:51 PM ET ) He may be one of the best pure shooters ever to play our game. It's a pleasure to watch his shot and the confidence he demonstrates every time he takes it. He is a great All-Star and his career in the NBA has been great, not just for him, but for all NBA fans and the NBA itself.


Hidro (Houston, TX): Give me your top first round playoff matchups in the West and the East.

David Stern: (1:53 PM ET ) I'm looking forward to the Lakers at Phoenix and Washington at Cleveland. I think that 4 vs. 5 is always in the case of Washington-Cleveland will be very interesting. In the case of LA-Phoenix, I think there are two clubs that are continually evolving, and it will be interesting to see what they look like when they take the court for the playoffs.


Mat (Scottsdale, AZ): Commissioner Stern, *bowing*, thanks for taking the time to chat. Why the aversion to tights? Sure they look goofy, but if they help prevent injury whats the harm?

David Stern: (1:54 PM ET ) I agree, they do look goofy. And there is no proof that they prevent injury. The word 'uniform' usually implies all people wearing it dressed alike. Tights are becoming something of an art form. But I'm not sure that we need that kind of performance art in the NBA.


Evan, Livingston NJ: Commissioner: If a team (management, coaching staff, players) decide that they don't want to play star players once they've solidified a playoff position, isn't that rightfully their prerogative to do so? Can the league really force a coaching staff to put certain players on the floor when this could hurt their ability to compete in the real season, the playoffs?

David Stern: (1:56 PM ET ) It's a difficult question for which there will never be a good answer. One the one hand, I saw NFL teams hold out there starting QBs in the final game. We're asking fans to pay full value for tickets to game involving star players. My opinion is that they should get to see those stars if only for a limited period of time, but this is nothing we've sought to legislate.


Matt (Tempe, AZ): With the creation (and now expansion) of the D-League, is there any discussion to expand the draft another couple of rounds? It seems like it would be advantageous to struggling teams to have the priority of selecting a couple of extra players that are D-League material, rather than competing with the rest of the league for those players as free agents.

David Stern: (1:59 PM ET ) We have agreed with the players' association as part of CBA that the draft will be only two rounds, so that would require a change to the CBA. On the merits, I'm not sure I agree with your point of view. Since players who now don't last through training camps are eligible to sign with the D-League and can then be picked up by any NBA team. At least a dozen of those players made it up to the NBA this year. Indeed, I think that players would prefer to be able to go to any team that could use them, rather than being the property of one NBA team that didn't even have a roster spot for them. As the system now works, NBA teams can only assign 'roster' players, meaning the player must be one of the 15 players they are able to keep on their active and inactive rosters.


Martin (Oberlin, OH): Hey Mr. Stern, why so much time between games in the playoffs? 2 days off makes sense when the teams have to travel, but between consecutive home games? That's a bit much isn't it? There should be one day off when the teams aren't traveling. It would keep the fans happier, especially the ones who want to watch their teams play every single night.

David Stern: (2:01 PM ET ) Two things, Martin: First, we really do have television scheduling and building issues (remember that the NHL shares buildings with many of our teams) and that we have to feed ESPN, TNT, NBATV and ABC with appropriate games. Second, it is fun to see teams have time to prepare for each other, and to have some time to build up for the next game as we try to present the best basketball to the broadest number of fans.


Nick (DC): Commissioner, last night during the Mavs - Clippers game, Mark Cuban mentioned that he had been fined several times by the NBA this year, but that the NBA had chosen not to make those fines or their causes public. Why not?

David Stern: (2:03 PM ET ) Sitting here in Bristol, CT at ESPN headquarters, I don't remember how many times we have fined Mark or whether we have publicized them. Some of the fines, I think, related to either game presentation or perceived interference with the game crew (scorer's table, not referees) and that those may have been publicized to the other teams, but there was no need to make a big public deal about them to the media.

David Stern: (2:04 PM ET ) If Mark wants us to issue written press releases and video news releases next time, we would be happy to accomodate him. ()


Ryan (Boston, MA): David, after the way the playoff seeding panned out this year (Nuggets / Clips) (Dallas / Griz), are you considering altering it in the future?

David Stern: (2:05 PM ET ) Yes, we are, Ryan. The competition committee will discuss the possibility of taking the three division winners and the next team with the best record and seeding them 1-4 based on the best record. That would mean Dallas would be seeded second under the new scenario, under consideration by the competition committee.


Nick (Sioux Falls): Is Cuban Presently the biggest thorn in your side among owners

David Stern: (2:07 PM ET ) Mark Cuban is a great addition to the NBA. He inspires hope in the fans of Dallas; he makes game presentations a terrific entertainment experience. He has many very good ideas relating to technology and he has many OTHER ideas on how the league should be run. I have always welcomed his ideas, but we have some minor disagreements on the forum on how they are expressed. As you might guess, I would prefer that he express them more privately than he currently does, but he has demonstrated a willingness to pay for the publicity.


Jeff- Gresham, OR: How is the NBA going to assist the Terry Porter investment group with the potential purchase of the Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Garden Arena as a package deal? With the threat of bankruptcy, (it's been done before! How quickly does a deal get done and what are your feelings if Paul Allen were to file bankruptcy on the Blazers?

David Stern: (2:09 PM ET ) I have actually met with Terry Porter on this subject and encouraged him to become involved. However, I believe that there are other very solid and successful groups already interested if the team and building become available as a unit, and I don't want to play favorites at this time.


Chris (Reno, NV): Do you ever see a team in Las Vegas and, if so, what concessions would the city have to make?

David Stern: (2:11 PM ET ) The only issue that currently stands between the NBA and Las Vegas as a potential site for a franchise is betting on NBA games, period. If that were eliminated (as it has been with the All-Star Game, which was awarded to Las Vegas), then it would be all systems go.


Steve (Ithaca): Who is the best hugger in Draft history?

David Stern: (2:12 PM ET ) I can't remember. I would have to go back and review the tapes, since I have been the recipient of a good number of bear hugs over the years.

David Stern: (2:13 PM ET ) I do remember the best (most dramatic) suit, and that clearly belonged to Jalen Rose, who gets his red suit replayed to him wherever he goes. Draft night is a great fashion show!


Patrick, Oklahoma City: After the amazing (and unexpected) support for the Hornets this past season, is it on the NBA's agenda to make Oklahoma City a permanant home for an NBA franchise, like New Orleans, Portland or Seattle. If so, how many years should Oklahoma City fans expect to wait until they can truly cheer for their own team.

David Stern: (2:15 PM ET ) I think the answer to that question depends upon some franchise issues that are beyond my control or ability to predict. However, given the continued uncertainty about arena situations in multiple NBA cities, it is possible that Oklahoma City would be a consideration by the end of the decade, if not before.

David Stern: (2:16 PM ET ) There were many questions that I didn't get the time to answer, but I want to thank everyone for their interest in the NBA and their very knowledgable questions. Now if we could just raise Chris Sheridan's knowledge, then we'd have something to talk about (just kidding, he's standing over me).


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  #2  
Old 04-20-06, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
David Stern: (2:05 PM ET ) Yes, we are, Ryan. The competition committee will discuss the possibility of taking the three division winners and the next team with the best record and seeding them 1-4 based on the best record. That would mean Dallas would be seeded second under the new scenario, under consideration by the competition committee.
This is an improvement, but what if, for example, SA, Dallas, and Houston have the three best records in the conference? The third best team in the conference would be slotted to the 5th seed, have to play the fourth best team in the conference, instead of the 3-6 matchup. I understand how he's trying to preserve some of the regional ties and the cache of winning a division, but it's stupid and it diminishes the value of the regular season (which is already too freaking long).

The league would be so much better off either seeding them 1-8, or even better, going to a completely balanced schedule for both conferences and lining up the top 16 teams in the entire league for a playoff. With this day and age of chartered flghts, there's no reason to have a such a regional view.
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Old 04-20-06, 03:09 PM
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I always like reading what Stern has to say about Cuban....
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Old 04-20-06, 03:09 PM
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Let's see David Stern is looking forward to the Lakers v. Suns and the Cavs v. Wizards! Ironiclly the two games ABC has chosen to broadcast over the two best teams in the league. I don't think they get it!!!
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Old 04-20-06, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rapsuhdee
Matt (Seattle, WA): Why did you say that "Seattle doesn't seem to want the NBA"? I found that remark to be almost antagonistic, as if you are trying to lay the groundwork for a potential relocation by blaming the city...I just find it odd that a sport that has increased revenues fifteen-fold since your induction as commish needs municipalities to subsidize its presence (which is what the Sonics seem to want). Can you please explain your reasoning behind your statement? Thank you.

David Stern: (1:50 PM ET ) I was not referring to the fans of Seattle, but rather to the mayor who was busy invisioning a successful Seattle center without the Sonics as a tenant. I thought that was antagonistic to both the Sonics AND the NBA. I did not mean to suggest that the fans of the Sonics and the citizens of Seattle have not been supportive of our team.
The commish is, gangsta, he does not hold his punches. I always enjoy his interviews.
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Old 04-20-06, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
David Stern: (2:04 PM ET ) If Mark wants us to issue written press releases and video news releases next time, we would be happy to accomodate him.
Great quote!
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Old 04-20-06, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTD
Let's see David Stern is looking forward to the Lakers v. Suns and the Cavs v. Wizards! Ironiclly the two games ABC has chosen to broadcast over the two best teams in the league. I don't think they get it!!!
a lot of people think those contests will be contested. those are better to watch for casual fans.
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Old 04-20-06, 06:34 PM
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[those are better to watch for casual fans.[/quote]

The casual fan was sort of my point. The league and networks will whine when the ratings of the finals are low. Instead of promoting the best teams, they promote the popular players. (and yes I know they have been doing that for years) of course the most popular players use to play for the best teams! If they cram Detroit and San Antonio down the throats of those fans, then maybe the casual fan will care about these teams instead of saying, the league doesn't care about the Spurs and Pistons, so why should I. Come on, this has more to do with Kobe and Lebron than it does these games being competitive. Both of these teams have a chance to be eliminated in the 1st round. Then what for the league and the network. (insert Shaq) The Spurs and Lakers would probably not have been much of a contest, but had the Lakers been the 8th seed, the Spurs would be on ABC. We all know who's probably going to be in the finals, and it isn't Kobe and Lebron!

How do you think the Cowboys became "America's Team". They were crammed down America's throat! I would be more upset if I were a Piston's fan. As Spurs fans, we sort of expect the disrespect!!
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Old 04-20-06, 07:31 PM
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Someone should have asked him why the only one able to evaluate and hold the game referees accountable is an entity with an obvious conflict of interest involved in terms of money, marketing, merchandising, TV contracts, etc.

The NBA head office ought to base its evaluations of the officials on a consensus based on detailed rating reports on each official from each team's FO and a neutral moderator with no conflicts of interest involving $$$ and marketability.
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