Tag: David Stern

NBA Commissioner Stern participates in a panel session at The Cable Show in Boston

David Stern focused on some serious NBA rule changes


There was a time — all the way back to last year — when if David Stern wanted to get an NBA rule changed, he had to convince a majority of NBA general managers to go along with him.

So Stern changed the rules. There is a new NBA Competition Committee, handpicked by Stern, which includes a couple owners, a couple coaches and some GMs. A smaller group more likely to make big changes.

And when Stern met with reporters before the NBA Draft Lottery, he was thinking big changes. Like eliminating basket interference. From Henry Abbott at TrueHoop:

“I happen to be a fan of the elimination of basket interference,” he says of the rule that prohibits offensive players from touching the ball while it is in the area above the rim. “I think it’s one of those plays that if you look at it, and if you watch the number of times that players either do or don’t touch the ball, it really puts the referees in a very uncomfortable position, because even on replay, I’m not sure you can get it right

You’ll see this at the Olympics this summer because it’s an international rule — once a shot touches the rim you can just go up and grab it off. Can you imagine what guys like JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard and others can do if they can knock shots off the rim?

Stern also wants to attack flopping, something that has ballooned as a public issue during the playoffs. From the AP:

“I think we are going to approach something that many tell me is impossible, which is deciding whether someone was acting or was actually, and thereby tending, intending to trick the fans, and the referees; or, whether there was a legitimate reason for that particular person to go sprawling,” Stern said. “And then the question is, what to do in that case, and that’s the kind of discussion that I look forward to having with the committee.”

Two other changes Stern discussed. One is to give referees more review options, particularly in the case of flagrant fouls. Rather than often having the league office upgrade/downgrade a foul, he wants the referees to review more.

Also, Stern again talked about wanting the Olympic basketball tournament in future years to be an under-23 tournament, as is done with soccer. That would make the World Championships the bigger stage (something FIBA likes as well).

Video: Warriors owner Joe Lacob talks move to San Francisco

Joe Lacob, David Stern, Ed Lee, Peter Guber

The Golden State Warriors pulled out the dog and pony for a show on what they hope will be the new home of their team in five years — Piers 30/32 in San Francisco. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was there, David Stern was there, the wind off the bay was there as always. The goal was to kick of the development plan on the site.

It’s a long way from reality — major urban developments are fraught with challenges, put it on the California coast and you might as well double the issues (state and environmental restrictions). But they are trying. Above is Warriors owner Joe Lacob speaking about the project. If you want more, check out the full story from Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com. Here is his quote from David Stern.

“There is an ownership group in place that is both emotionally connected to sports and understands the impact that sports has on the community,” Stern said. “I often talk about the same theme that Peter [Guber] echoed, that arenas are the place where 20,000 people come together, with perhaps 19,000 perfect strangers to share in the collective exercise of rooting the home team on to victory. And that’s reflected on our court as well — where it doesn’t matter where you came from, if you’ve got game, you’re going to be on the team.”

Warriors to make plans for San Francisco move formal

Warriors logo

Everyone has known for a year that the Golden State Warriors new ownership wanted to move the team out of Oakland to a new arena in San Francisco. It was no surprise when word leaked over the weekend that a plan was well along in the works.

At a press conference Tuesday the Warriors will make formal their plans to build a new arena at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco. NBA Commissioner David Stern and the San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be on hand to back the idea.

Golden State’s goal would be to move there in the fall of 2017 (when their lease is up in Oakland) but that may not be a realistic timeframe.

The site is right on the water not far from AT&T Park where baseball’s Giant’s play, next to the Bay Bridge. It is a stunning location. While officials in Oakland are fighting to keep the team on their side of the bridge, it seems a lost cause.

But don’t expect things to go quickly for this building. Even though it is reportedly going to be all privately financed.

As someone who in a previous life wrote about plenty of urban infill development efforts, know that this project has a lot of hurdles. First, any coastal development in California comes with an added layer of state bureaucracy (the Coastal Commission). There are tough environmental laws. Plus, there are residents in that area and those who would lose their views of the Bay Bridge will fight the plan (business in the area may as well).

There are also rumors this project is severely under-parked, always a major development hurdle. (The developer will say “people will take mass transit” but reality is always different.)

But the Warriors new ownership seems committed to the plan and if they have the money that goes a long way to making it a reality. Just don’t expect it to move quickly.

Documentary released profiling grassroots effort to keep Kings in Sacramento

take my life

I called it ‘watching your own funeral,’ but instead of a eulogy there was Fan Appreciation Night. Instead of a pall-bearer, there stood Kobe Bryant.

You could’ve written the story of Sacramento’s fight to keep their team with a scalpel, but in this open-heart surgery there would be no anesthetic. The Lakers were in town, and with virtually every report pointing toward the imminent relocation of the team to Anaheim, there was only one more game to go for creaky, old Arco Arena (now metaphorically named after a company that can’t pay its bills).

For their part, the Lakers provided no quarter as they prepped for the postseason, jumping out to a 20-point lead at one point before halftime. Cutting through the anxious silence of one of the NBA’s loudest crowds – the sweet sounds of advertising – as the Maloofs continued to pitch based on the premise that they were staying.

By the time they honored lifelong season ticket holders at halftime, for their commitment to the team no less, I wandered to the gift shop to look for Anaheim Royals jerseys.

By the time the third quarter had started, Joe and Gavin Maloof left their courtside seats early and were replaced by Lakers fans. Adrienne Maloof’s reality TV cameras paced the sidelines so The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills could monetize the tears. Lakers fans could smell the desperation in the air and stopped giving Kings fans the business.

I began to wonder if the prisoner wanted to say a word.

But true to form, neither the team nor its fans were ready to quit. David roared back to force a Goliath overtime, and as life imitated art, Kings fans roared as thousands stayed and refused to leave their seats for over an hour after the game.

They chanted “Here we stay.”

Unlike SonicsGate, another must-watch documentary for any NBA fan, this flick isn’t an expose.  This is the uplifting tale of Sacramento’s effort to keep their team, an effort that David Stern called “extraordinary.”

It is called, “Small Market, Big Heart” and it’s focused on what the last couple of years have been like for Kings fans.

David Stern talks flopping, doesn’t really say much

David Stern

David Stern has the politician’s gift of being able to talk about something without really saying anything.

So it was when he got asked about the flopping by ABC’s Lisa Salters during Game 1 between the Heat and Pacers Sunday. Flopping was an issue in this series because Pacers coach Frank Vogel started working the refs saying the Heat flopped even before Game 1, for which he was promptly fined. Stern said (via ESPN):

“(Vogel) didn’t have a beef; he was just manipulating the refereeing or trying to,” Stern said. “I would have fined him much more than our office did.”

As for the bigger issue of flopping in the NBA… start the tap dance music:

“I think it’s time to look at (flopping) in a more serious way,” Stern said, “because it’s only designed to fool the referee. It’s not a legitimate play in my judgment. I recognize if there’s contact (you) move a little bit, but some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies….

“Some years ago I told the competition committee that we were going to start fining people for flopping, and then suspending. And I think they almost threw me out of the room (saying), ‘No, let it be.’ “

The problem with crackdowns on flopping is you are asking referees to judge intent of the players — that usually goes about as well as trying to legislate morality. Sometimes watching slow motion at our homes it is obvious, but it doesn’t look that way at full speed. It’s hard enough to call charging/blocking at the NBA level, now you want to referees to focus on intent?

It would be nice to see the referees call out some of the more obvious flops and penalize a player, which every owner probably will say is a good idea until it happens to their team a couple times.

Look for this to be an issue over the summer when the owners talk about rule changes.