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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION MEDIA CONFERENCE


May 21, 2013


Adam Silver

David Stern


COMMISSIONER STERN:¬† We've been speaking to Clay Bennett on a regular basis.¬† Today, we and our Players Association donated $1 million to the relief effort, and then you can go to NBA.com to see where any help can be given to the various non‑governmental organizations that are helping with the relief effort.¬† It's just terrible.
After that, let me just say that this is the beginning of our annual right of renewal, so sort of a spring right.  The lottery into the draft into free agency, and those are sort of the ways together with trades that our teams get ready for the season.
If you look at the teams that are remaining, the four teams, you can see that they were all put together in different ways.¬† But it makes the point that these are teams that have the ability to compete and be profitable.¬† That was our mantra coming out of the collective bargaining, and we're delighted that we had‑‑ we're in the midst of a great playoff series, a very high regard for our teams.¬† A bunch of new sort of youngsters that are stepping up and getting some well‑deserved recognition.¬† We're looking forward to a great conference finals and a great finals.
We're open for questions.

Q.  This is another draft maybe that could have been a high school player as a number one pick if not for the draft age limit.  I know the union would like to discuss changes.  You've talked about moving it up to 20 years old.  Did you ever get a chance to talk about that after the lockout was settled?
ADAM SILVER:  No, there haven't been any additional discussions with the union since the lockout was settled, and we seem to be in a holding pattern with the union right now waiting for them to appoint a new executive director.

Q.  Is that something that you'd like to discuss whenever they finally get someone you can discuss with?
ADAM SILVER:¬† Yes, that is on the so‑called B‑list of issues that both sides agreed we should continue to discuss after the principal issues had been agreed upon.

Q.  Three of the four teams that are in the playoffs are probably from your smallest markets; is that of concern when it comes to your TV partners, ratings, et cetera?
COMMISSIONER STERN:  Not the least.  I asked Heather Cox, how do you define small?

Q.  Well, it's not Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago.
COMMISSIONER STERN:  Is it the lower half of the league?  Will that do it?

Q.  I think pocket TV markets.
COMMISSIONER STERN:  Well, lower half?  Good, thank you.  We have four teams in the lower half of our TV households.  It's not three of the four; it's four of four.  Miami is 16.
It just goes to show you that if you have good teams, people want to watch, and they're interesting teams.  Miami wasn't the big market defined by the media as a big market until it attracted players and then it suddenly became a big market.

Q.  I meant an international market that goes beyond perhaps the size?
COMMISSIONER STERN:  Really?  You should go back and look at some of the numbers.  Sorry, it doesn't hold.  And the answer is we're delighted that the best teams are having a great run, and our TV partners are also happy.

Q.  Major League Baseball is going through some stuff with their instant replay rules.  Are you happy with instant replay use in basketball?  If not, would you like to see any kind of changes to it?
COMMISSIONER STERN:  You know us; we're never happy.  We've added a little bit each year to see how we can improve it, and that, I'm sure, will be an item on the agenda of the January 12th Competition Committee.  We do it incrementally.  We do it weighing the stoppage and the lengthening of the game unnecessarily.  But I think we now have something in the neighborhood of 13 or 14 instances where we do have replay and we're continually reviewing it and updating it.
ADAM SILVER:  I think you said January.
COMMISSIONER STERN:¬† I'm sorry, June 12th.¬† I misspoke.¬† And there is a July 17th‑‑ no, there is a July 18th meeting of the Board of Governors, so anything that the Competition Committee chooses to have voted on for next year will be voted upon in July.

Q.  You started by saying this is a time of renewal.  But for you, this is your last lottery, your last playoff.
COMMISSIONER STERN:  That's what I said.  It's a time of renewal, absolutely.

Q.¬† As you sit here though‑‑
COMMISSIONER STERN:  I couldn't be more energized.  And one of the reasons for my energy is that one of the things I've always thought about with this job is the best thing a CEO could do is have a successor, and to be able to turn the reins over after 30 years as Commissioner, really 36 years as an NBA employee and 48 years of having done work for the NBA, is to turn the reigns over to somebody who will have worked closely with me for 22 years and be a seasoned, terrific executive like Adam Silver is, I couldn't make me happier.
Adam has promised to send me to-far-away places for weeks at a time instead of weekends, okay.  So that is the deal.  But I have lots of other things that I'm very, very interested in.  Stay tuned.  I will not be inactive.

Q.¬† Are there any‑‑ I don't want to say ‑‑ regrets?¬† You've prospered, but I mean you still have kids who are teenagers coming and playing in the league.¬† Seattle has lost a franchise.¬† You've had a couple of lockouts.
COMMISSIONER STERN:  Yes, I wish every incident had a happy ending, but usually there are some unhappy endings and somewhere one party is happy and another isn't.
But I was thinking about this.¬† There have been plenty of things I wish I had a do‑over on.¬† We started out the WNBA owned all by NBA teams.¬† Mistake.¬† We've gradually moved to a different model.¬† We started out with our development league, which is chugging along as well.¬† All eight teams owned by the NBA in markets in which we no longer are.¬† You know, we opened up offices all over the world a long time ago until my finance guy said that isn't sustainable, so we shut them.¬† Now that we reopened them, I said, see, I was right.¬† But I was wrong.¬† I was right when I was wrong.
But those are the things that happen all the time, and I feel very good about the 30 years.  I think I have a great job, and it's been a great run.  I'm turning over a league in good shape to Adam who is going to take it to new heights.

Q.¬† You did us all a favor at All‑Star in telling us that the next All‑Star Game would be in New York and Brooklyn.¬† So I wondered if you would give us another piece of news tonight and reveal some of the names of the people that you're considering to be your Deputy Commissioner?
ADAM SILVER:  There hasn't been any consideration of that yet.  David, although he's talking a lot about retirement or stepping down, I'm sorry, today, he still has another almost nine months in office.  And I'm sure David will consult with me as part of that process, but we're a long way off from making any determinations on changes in senior management at the league.

Q.  How many people would you say have the qualifications that you would deem necessary right now to be a wise choice for the Deputy Commissioner after you step down?
COMMISSIONER STERN:  I'm only focusing on the Commissionership, and there is only one.

Q.¬† I'll lighten the mood for you, David.¬† You've called a lot of first round drafts.¬† I want to know‑‑ and it's fashion night in the NBA also.¬† Who do you remember as wearing the most outlandish sort of clothing at the NBA Draft?
COMMISSIONER STERN:  I will not mention Jalen Rose's name here.  I'm not going to do it.  Actually, I think if we had a camera, would you stand up so everyone can see your red shirt?

Q.  I was actually inspired by Jalen Rose.
COMMISSIONER STERN:  I think that's it.  You were practically color coded.

Q.  But I don't have the red pants.
COMMISSIONER STERN:  Though, I must tell you that I do get a kick out of the fact that you're just as likely to read about NBA players in Vanity Fair and GQ and other publications than in the sports pages as well.  Our guys have stepped up.  They've become role models across a wide area of ways, including their community involvement and their charitable activities, and that is a very meaningful development to all of us at the NBA.  Thank you very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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