Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• David Stern broke the huddle with the Saints in New Orleans. We’re not making that up, he did. See the proof to the right (via the Saints twitter). It’s good to be the king.
• The Timberwolves holiday message is the best thing ever. Especially Nikola Pekovic.
• You heard LeBron James was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. But did you read the profile of LeBron by Lee Jenkins? You should, it’s fantastic. If you think LeBron is physically gifted but doesn’t get the game well mentally you should read this. He is a true student of the game.
• The name Pelican — which may be the new name for the Hornets in a couple of years — has come in for a lot of mocking online. A lot. But the people in New Orleans kind of like it and will defend it.
• Anderson Varejao’s name keeps coming up in trade rumors (such as there are rumors this time of year) but here is the case for the Cavaliers to keep him. And it’s a good one.
• The Lakers are not shopping Pau Gasol right now. They are not going to for a while, if ever. They want to see Steve Nash and Gasol and the entire team together before they make that move. But if they do, here are some potential trade scenarios.
• The death of college coaching legend Rick Majerus has hit Nuggets coach George Karl hard.
• The Lakers Jordan Hill is frustrated he isn’t getting more burn this season. That’s what happens when you back up Dwight Howard.
• Lakers backup point guard Steve Blake had his abdominal surgery Wednesday. You’ll see him in 6-8 weeks.
• Russell Westbrook talks about his favorite Air Jordans and more. He is wearing the new Air Jordan XX8 on Wednesday night.
• Chris Kaman says Clippers owner Donald Sterling used to be cheap, but that has changed.
• Watch Allen Iverson drop 37 in an exhibition in China.
• Maccabi Tel Aviv has suspended its captain Guy Pnini for calling a player on the other team a Nazi. Good for them, that crosses the line (and people throw around the “he/she is a Nazi” thing far to casually).
Mark Cuban sticking up for David Stern. Maybe the Mayans were right, the end of the world might be nigh.
That said, Cuban will be quick to remind you that the NBA is a business. And the first rule of business is “the customer is always right.” When Gregg Popovich sat Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili against the Miami Heat in a nationally televised game on Thursday, he was doing what was best for his team (resting older players in what was their fourth game in five nights).
But he disappointed a lot of customers — people who bought tickets and a national television audience. And David Stern came down hard on the Spurs because of those fans (for the most part, he was also sending a message to other teams).
Cuban told NBA.com he thinks Stern made the right move because you have to protect the television interest, the NBA’s “money train.”
“If he would have done the same thing the next night, it’d be a completely different conversation,” Cuban said. “Common sense. Recognize who pays your check.”
“Look, I respect the Spurs,” Cuban said. “Pop is the best coach in the league. I understand why he did it. I might even take the fine if it was us, but I understand why the league [fined the Spurs]. It maybe should have even been higher, because the amount at stake is enormous.”
But this is Cuban, you didn’t think he was going to let Stern completely off the hook, did you?
“It’s just as stupid to put a team in their fourth game in five nights on national television,” Cuban said. “That’s just as dumb. You’re not going to get as good of a performance, and that’s what you want to show. So I guess you can make the counter-argument that even though the Spurs did what they did. The league was just as guilty for putting them in that position, which was pretty stupid.”
During the NBA lockout, we all got frustrated watching the owners and argue over how to divide up $4 billion in revenue. Billion. With a “B.”
Now, make that $5 billion.
That is what NBA Commissioner David Stern said speaking Tuesday at Beyond Sport United conference in New York, according to the Associated Press.
The $5 billion figure is considerably higher than the $4.3 billion estimated that would come in under the BRI this season (via NBA CBA FAQ from the brilliant Larry Coon).
The owners will get a higher share of that revenue — under the old CBA the players were guaranteed 57 percent of the league’s revenue, that falls to 50 percent this year under the new CBA. Hopefully now, somehow, these poor men can find a way to turn a meager profit (*cough*).
The increase in revenues shows fans and sponsors did not leave the league during the lockout. It shows that local television deals are up, as is the spread of the NBA brand globally. You can also chalk some of this up to an economy starting to find it’s footing and turn around (we hope).
In case you’re curious, the NFL has revenues of around $9 billion and MLB around $7.5 billion.