NBA Commissioner David Stern Announces Retirement

Adam Silver says it’s critical to the NBA that the Bucks remain in Milwaukee

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Adam Silver will replace David Stern as NBA commissioner in February, and when he said recently that the Bradley Center in Milwaukee was “unfit for the NBA,” many saw it as a veiled threat that the Bucks would be opened for discussions of relocation if plans for a state-of-the-art facility weren’t in the works in the very near future.

Silver didn’t discuss the arena in a recent interview with Jim Paschke of Bucks.com, which can be viewed here in its entirety. But he did give a vote of confidence of sorts to the NBA’s desire to keep its partnership with Milwaukee alive for the foreseeable future.

From Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“It’s critical to us that the team remains here and remains successful here,” Silver said.

Silver said he was pleased the Bucks’ front office was focused on the future. Asked if small-market Milwaukee can be a successful franchise, Silver pointed to other successful and smaller NBA cities: San Antonio, Memphis and Oklahoma City. Franchises can be successful when they are well managed and have the right culture, Silver said.

Silver did not go into detail about the league’s desire to get a new arena in Milwaukee, but said such buildings must create an environment that attracts people. He likened arenas to town halls and referred to them as the “center of the community.”

With the NBA wanting to keep its franchise in Milwaukee, an arena deal will in all likelihood get done there in the next few years. If the city were to put up some kind of fight, however, then Silver would have no choice but to backtrack on these comments, and open up to the possibility of moving the franchise to a more lucrative market.

But as we saw over the past couple of years in Sacramento, that’s an extremely complicated process, and it’s probably one that the league wants to avoid if at all possible.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.

PBT Podcast: NBA All-Star Weekend talk, predictions with Sean Highkin

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NBA All-Star weekend descends upon frigid Toronto starting Friday, with everything from the Rookie/Sophomore… er, Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, the Dunk Contest/Three-Point Contest on Saturday, and the main event on Sunday.

Kurt Helin and Sean Highkin of NBC’s ProBasketballTalk break it all down, from Pau Gasol replacing Jimmy Butler to predictions on the Dunk Contest and if anyone can knock off Zach LaVine. Plus, there is plenty of “why Sting?” talk.

PBT will be in Toronto with reports from the event all weekend, so come back early and often for all the latest (plus trade talk, as all the GMs get together in one city where it’s too cold for them to go outside).

As always, you can listen to the podcast below, or listen and subscribe via iTunesdownload it directly here, or you can check out our new PBT Podcast homepage, which has the most recent episodes available. If you have the Stitcher app, you can listen there as well.

Pistons retire Chauncey Billups’ jersey at halftime (VIDEO)

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Moments before his jersey went up to the rafters, Chauncey Billups spoke to the crowd about the night the Detroit Pistons wrapped up the 2004 NBA title by routing the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the Finals.

“We had one motivation,” he said. “We wanted to win it here at home.”

Billups was the most valuable player in the Finals that year, and he had his No. 1 jersey retired by the Pistons on Wednesday night at halftime of their game against Denver.

He was the second player from that 2004 team honored by the Pistons this year. The Pistons retired Ben Wallace’s jersey last month at a similar ceremony – in front of a packed house on a night Detroit beat Golden State.

There were some empty seats in the upper level Wednesday, but Billups wanted to be honored while the Pistons were playing the Nuggets. Billups is a Denver native and played for the Nuggets for two stints during his career.

“This was by design, only because there’s a lot of people that contributed to my success as a player and as a man, in Denver, my hometown,” Billups said before the game. “There were several dates that I could have chosen. This one obviously stuck out.”

Billups does have a mild regret about his run of success with the Pistons. He figures they could have won more titles.

“I felt like, two and maybe three championships – we were that good,” he said.

Ben Wallace was on hand Wednesday, and so were Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince from the 2004 champions. Pistons great Isiah Thomas was also at the Palace for the ceremony.

“This is what tradition looks like,” Thomas told the crowd. “This is what it feels like.”