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BASN Classic BlackBox: NBA Commissioner David Stern’s Revealing Interview
Last Updated: January 18, 2007 NBA COMMISSIONER DAVID STERN’S REVEALING INTERVIEW IS NBA PREPARING MAJOR EXPANSION
HOW ABOUT CHINA ??
David Stern recently made himself
available to the Wall Street Journal
since BASN did not ask him
for an exclusive interview
most likely but …..
Our readers are going to benefit anyway. Since we do subscribe to the world’s leading financial newspaper. And buried among all the chatter is the most revealing comment of all from the NBA Commissioner which everyone except us has seemed to miss. Why the Box is required reading !
So here we go ….
WSJ: It’s often been said that when brawls break out on the court in the NBA, everybody makes a big deal out of it, even though other sports frequently have fights among players. Why?
Mr. Stern: My own take is the burden of the fans being so close to the stands. Because of the spectacular view of our game from courtside — which is the closest to the action of any game, and it’s replicated by a camera, and increasingly by high-def, the prospect of players, in any shape or form, crossing the barrier between them and the fans — that’s a problem that we have and no one else has.
WSJ: Do you believe it also might have something to do with racial attitudes in this country, that the NBA is judged more harshly for that reason?
Stern: Well, I choose not to dwell on it, but you may be on to something.
We were the first sport to be identified as black. And, despite the fact that the starters in other sports like football could be equally, percentage-wise, black, our guys are [visible] out there. We can see them, they don’t come encumbered by hat, helmet, long sleeves and pants. You just touched on the global conversation, which is the role of race, and certainly, I would not be fully honest if I didn’t say it’s always there, in some shape or form.
Well isn’t that nice Mr. Stern. Admitting NBA basketball is a BLACK sport. He forgot to include far more on the Court than off. You might think that the BLACK NBA would have more than one BLACK owner among its 30 teams. That is if you did not know better. And that there would be even more BLACK coaches and BLACK broadcasters. Etc., etc. …..
Back to Mr. Stern …..
WSJ: It seems like the league’s relationship with the players’ union has gotten testier during the last few seasons. Is that the case?
Stern: Our relationship’s pretty good with them. This became a great issue for them, the ball, so let them run with it. They were on weaker ground with “respect for the game” rules where we began enforcing a more stringent code to stop complaining to the referees. If you wanted to be Machiavellian, you could tie the two together. We don’t want our players viewed as a bunch of complainers. It isn’t good for their health or ours.
WSJ: What can you say about Las Vegas as a potential NBA city?
Stern: The best hotel stock. The best shows. The best restaurants. The best shopping. Just one little problem — it has sports betting. And we told Mayor Oscar Goodman, our close personal friend, also a lawyer, that if he took the game off the line that we would consider Las Vegas for All Star weekend. We also told him that if they’ll take the NBA off the line that we’ll consider Las Vegas for an NBA team.
And on and on and on. In fact it really was not all that good an interview. It was rather fluffy with a few exceptions. Not that we would expect more from a BUSINESS publication. As the NBA is a very successful business.
The one truly valuable comment that made the entire largely forgettable interview worthwhile and allowed us to label it REVEALING in the headline without feeling we were compromised is this …..
WSJ: You’ve been more aggressive than any other league marketing the NBA internationally, particularly in China. Talk about your progress.
Mr. Stern: NBA is by far the No. 1 searched sports term on Chinese search engine Baidu.com, according to Baidu.
WSJ: Do you envision involvement in a Chinese league?
Mr. Stern: Yes. It’s our plan to address China with a separate enterprise called NBA China. We’ll have some investors that may be outside of the NBA that may be strategic investors, and that will have the RIGHT to start a league in China.
THAT’S IT !!
Commissioner Stern just let the cat out of the bag and onto the hardwood. No longer is the NBA looking at a lengthy expansion of the NBA internationally by slowly adding a franchise here then a franchise here.
NO. Beginning with the largest market on earth the NBA intends to create a local “version” of the NBA countrywide controlled by the NBA and its local partner.
Which means ….
Literally “overnight” in country after country beginning with China the NBA will come in and DOMINATE basketball in country after country preempting and preventing any independent leagues from gaining traction for the future.
It will be interesting to see if China and other countries like India and surely many European and South American countries as well are going to allow the NBA to “colonize” an increasingly popular sport in lots of countries.
For the NBA if they can follow through on this obviously new strategy they may well develop world domination of the sport only second to soccer in popularity worldwide. And while soccer is organized around a global rule making body FIFA it is nothing like the NBA a unified profit making privately held corporation headquartered here in the US of A.
It is a dramatic admission by Stern
never before has the NBA
publicly stated their goal
of Basketball and it is
certain that Domination will
not have a BLACK face
even if Stern calls
this BLACK sport
Thank you WSJ
And one final question for Commissioner Stern ….
WSJ: How do you compete with a global sport like soccer overseas?
Mr. Stern: We have 215 countries covered in 41 languages.
And all we need is a couple of more kids out of every hundred bouncing the ball rather than kicking it on an annual basis.
Time to bring the troops home and
send the NBA to Iraq if Bush
wants to subjugate the Iraqis
or as we say in the Box ….
with due credit to
military strategist extraordinare
Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz
” Sports is a continuation of WAR by other means ”
( in our 21st century world anyway )
Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NEXT CHINA ???