Archive for the ‘Stern Says’ Category

“Both teams played hard and the calendar is not our friend.”David Stern, evoking the best Rasheed Wallace quote ever

In today’s post-Xbox world of microprocessors, optical flash memory and fiber optics, realism in video games is of the utmost importance. Unless you are NBA Jam, then it’s kind of whatever. But most of the time, you want games to be as realistic as possible. Every detail, every tiny facet of the game and every little thing that can be added should be added, just so it feels like you are part of the game. That is the only way to truly plug in and become pure energy.

It is that quest for realism that has led 2K Sports to add a hilarious Easter Egg for all the draftniks out there. From the 2K12 Facebook page (kind of a spoiler if you’re super nerdy about sports games):

Once you continue past the Mock Draft, the NBA Draft will finally commence. Herein lies the first surprise that I’ve been dying to tell everyone about for a long time. Through our great partnership with the NBA, I’m extremely proud to announce that were able to get Mr. David Stern into the studio to record all necessary audio required to have him announce the entire 1st round of the draft (Association Spoiler: Our great partnership also allowed us to secure Deputy Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver. When the 2nd Round of the draft rolls around, Mr. Silver will walk onto the stage and call out the remainder of the draft. Now seriously, how many other sports games out there would go to this level of detail to bring you what you truly want? Answer: None).

That’s right. When you create virtual Phillip Adler in My Player mode, David Stern will announce him as a first round draft pick. And if he kind of sucks, then Adam Silver will do it instead, presumably with that sense of jubilation and wonderment that Silver has because he is not a cruel, calculating commissioner yet. That is a pretty great addition, especially if you give your player a hilarious name and make David Stern say something stupid like “Ihavea Badbeard.” Just workshopping here, but there are a lot of options.

Now all they have to do is allow you to throw bounce passes when you want to and it’ll be just like a real NBA game. Well, that and make it so you can’t turn the game on until January. Add those two things and we’re set.

(via Kotaku/BDL)

For most of us basketball fans, Eddy Curry has been a joke for a long time. A once-promising giant of a man, he eventually just became a giant man, gaining weight at an incredible rate, getting hurt in simple drills and failing to get on the court, even for horrible teams. If you needed a fat guy to finish off your NBA quip, Eddy was your man. When that earthquake hit earlier this week, the zings started flowing.

That’s been the case for a few years now, at least for us common folk. But apparently, even the most aristocratic among us are using Curry as their go-to tag line. From the Washington Post:

“When we had Tariq Abdul-Wahad, he didn’t seem to want to train, didn’t really want to practice — he really was interested in a lot of things besides basketball,” [Mark Cuban] said, according to three participants who attended the meeting, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

Cuban added Abdul-Wahad, the former player whose physical ailments sidelined him for a full two seasons while with the Mavericks, had a guaranteed contract of six years, $40 million. “And I’m stuck with that,” he said, the participants remembered.

A lawyer for the players’ union then shot back that J.J. Barea, an emerging spark off the bench for the Mavericks en route to their first NBA championship, was making a pittance of $1 million for his considerable talent. “How about that? You’re getting a bargain in a guy like J.J. Barea.”

Finally, NBA Commissioner David Stern could not take it anymore.

“All right, you want to go tit for tat, I’ll go tit for tat,” Stern said, according to the participants. “I’ll see you J.J. Barea and raise you Eddy Curry.”

That’s cold, David Stern. Eddy’s been losing weight, man. Almost 50 pounds, and you have to remind everyone that he’s been the biggest waste of a contract ever? Harsh. Plus, Stern threw in a subliminal boobs joke, just to drive the point home. The man’s ruthless.

I’m guessing that shut the room up pretty quick. It’s hard to argue that any bargain the owners have had is better than how bad Eddy Curry’s monstrous contract was. Stern wins again, flawless victory.

It’s like they say: “Don’t bring a J.J. Barea to an Eddy Curry fight.”

(via SB Nation)

This whole lockout has been a bad news festival, with article after post after tweet confirming what we already know — the two sides are far apart with no plans of getting anything figured out any time soon. The longer the lockout lasts, the more desperate the situation has seemed.

So, I guess, this counts as good news. From the Boston Globe:

“I would say that we have very smart players who recognize that this system is very good to them,” he said. “You’ve got 13 players on a roster averaging $5 million apiece, that’s $65 million and what the owners have said is, ’we’re going to try very hard as we reset this thing to keep you as close to that number as we can.’ [...]

“I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive,” he said. “It’s destructive of $2 billion worth of player salaries and it’s destructive most important to our fans of the game. And if it spirals badly everyone gets hurt. But in some ways I worry because the players have more to lose, especially those in the later stages of their career. So we’re going to do everything we can when the rhetoric slows down to get this thing back on track.”

You guys, David Stern expects to make a deal that will save at least part of the season. That is the least amount of encouraging that is possible, while still being technically encouraging. It’s better than Billy Hunter saying he expects the season to be canceled, that’s for sure. In a summer full of downers, this tiny, tiny bit of good news is much appreciated.

Of course, there are still some subtle zingers in here, so let’s not get too excited. The players and owners are still far apart, they’re canceling meetings and then fighting about whether or not they canceled meetings. No one’s in a hurry to end the work stoppage, but at least David Stern expects it to end eventually. If he’s anticipating something will get done, that should give us a bit of hope that we’ll have an NBA next season. Really hope he’s right.

Just yesterday, we found out David Stern makes a whole bunch of money for being the NBA’s commissioner. Makes sense, since that’s a tough job and executive salaries have been skyrocketing for a decade. But even though it makes sense that he’d make tons of money for doing his job, Spencer Hawes got a bit salty about it. According to his very justified thinking, if Stern is asking the players to take a paycut, shouldn’t he do the same?

Well, this might make him a little happier. From ESPN:

NBA commissioner David Stern will not collect on his eight-figure salary during the ongoing lockout, according to sources with knowledge of Stern’s pay status. [...]

Stern has given no indication that he will agree to lower his salary when the sides ultimately do hammer out a new labor agreement that is expected to be far more restrictive for players. Yet sources confirmed Tuesday that, during the work stoppage, Stern will indeed pass on collecting a salary that, based on a New York Daily News report in February, has been estimated as high as $23 million annually.

Although he has not publicly addressed the matter since the lockout commenced July 1, Stern said during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles that he would not be paid.

There you go, Spencer Hawes. At least David Stern isn’t counting stacks while he’s helping owners prevent players from playing. It is not him lowering his salary, but it’s something. That’s one of those “good faith” bargaining techniques that are all the rage right now.

And hey, considering this happened back in February and it was kept secret, I suppose there’s a chance Stern could take a lower strategy without anyone knowing. Maybe he will realize that Spencer Hawes has a point and that if the players are taking a paycut (because they will be taking a paycut), then he should take one as well. That might smooth things over a little bit.

Of course, as Tom Ziller points out, that doesn’t seem to be something Stern is concerned with, so never mind. He might not give himself a raise, but he’s certainly not in a hurry to give back any money. Sounds familiar.

I hope you enjoy the draft tonight — which, by the way, Scott Carefoot will be live blogging on this very site — because it’s the last basketball-related anything for a long time, since we’re a week away from a lockout. You might think that a week is enough time to get everything figured out, but listen to these quotes then reconsider. From CBS Sports’ Ken Berger’s excellent account of negotiating gone bad:

“Their demand is gargantuan and we just can’t meet it,” [NBA Players Association executive director Billy] Hunter told reporters at the Manhattan hotel where players are staying for crucial meetings and draft-related activities this week.

That sounds promising. There’s more.

Hunter and [players union president Derek] Fisher also clarified a point that was lost after Tuesday’s bargaining session: As part of their proposal to guarantee the players $2 billion in salary and benefits per year during their 10-year proposal, owners are seeking to keep the $160 million in escrow money withheld from players’ paychecks for the 2010-11 season. Eight percent of player salaries is withheld under the current agreement and returned each August to ensure that players ultimately wind up with 57 percent of basketball-related income (BRI).

“That’s money that players have already earned, worked for this past season,” Fisher said. “That’s off the table, as far as we’re concerned. To me, it speaks to the arrogance that they feel in approaching us with their proposal, to be able to go back and reach for those dollars.”

Oh good, now Derek Fisher is calling the owners arrogant. That is sure to help the situation.

As you can imagine, David Stern took it pretty well.

In response to the union’s complaints, Stern said Wednesday night: “Players have benefited from the current system more than the teams. For them it has been a much better partnership. We are sorry that the players’ union feels that way since it doesn’t seem designed to get us to the agreement that is so important to the teams, and we had hoped, the players.”

Just great. David Stern pulls the classic “We’re sorry you feel that way” non-apology. This is all farts right now.

The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Friday, which should be the last meeting before the lockout vote, which will likely occur on June 30. Savor tonight. DVR it, if you want. Anything you can do to make the NBA last just a little bit longer is a good idea. I’ll be taping my eyelids open so I don’t miss a second of tonight’s draft. I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

As if the potential for a lockout wasn’t jarring enough for NBA fans, David Stern revealed the next stage in his plan to increase the influence of international basketball on the NBA in this radio interview with 790 “The Ticket” in Miami:

“Well I’m going to urge the owners — and it’s not very radical but we were talking about it for awhile — to adopt the international rule on basket interference. That is to say, once the ball hits the rim it’s in play. Because I think that it’s too hard to call. I think that we don’t want to stop the game every time to see if it’s the right call, but the camera that looks down on the basket can tell the story if the refs have gotten it right. And it’s just impossible to call to make whether the ball’s touching the rim, on the rim, off the rim or the like.  And I think that would make the game faster, better, and less controversial.”

I don’t know about y’all, but I personally feel like this idea is, how you say, “pour les chiens.” Basketball may have been invented by a Canadian but the good ol’ U-S-of-A perfected it and I don’t cotton to Mr. Stern’s un-American machinations. I suspect that if this rule passes, he’ll then start pushing for the NBA to implement that weird trapezoid key and that goofy multi-colored ball. Next thing you know, you’ll see bidets instead of urinals in the washrooms of NBA arenas and Hedo Turkoglu will start chain-smoking unfiltered cigarettes on the Orlando bench.

On the other hand, I suppose the upside to this rule is that it would drastically increase Hasheem Thabeet’s odds of having a viable NBA career. Bummer of a silver lining.