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View Full Version : Stern frustrated by long playoffs, will fix for '05



TheSauceMaster
05-14-2004, 10:39 AM
Link to Story Here (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2004/news/story?id=1801217)

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- Like most NBA fans, David Stern doesn't like the long wait between games this postseason. As the league's commissioner, he's going to do something about it.

"I can assure you it's going to be tighter next year," he said Thursday.

Stern said he reviewed a workup of the 2005 playoff schedule during his flight to San Antonio for Game 5 of the Spurs-Lakers series. It includes 14 days for a full series, down from as many as 17 this year, and less waiting time between rounds.

Because many NBA teams share arenas with NHL teams, there's the chance for conflict with the hockey playoffs.

"I don't envy our scheduling department," Stern said.

Another scheduling issue that personally affects Stern is the late hour that Western games finish for fans in the Eastern time zone, such as Minnesota's overtime victory in Sacramento on Monday night that ended about 2 a.m. in the East.

Stern said he was OK with it because moving up the 7:30 p.m. local start time "wouldn't be fair to their fans." He also noted that the ratings haven't suffered.

"All you can do is focus on who is watching when," he said. "The best judge is the ratings."

Among other topics, Stern said he believes NBA players will be safe at the Athens Olympics and if some players bow out for security concerns or any other reasons, he's confident there are enough other players capable of taking their places.

Stern also said the league and the players association met again this week to discuss the collective bargaining agreement. More meetings are being set up in hopes of reworking the existing deal.

"Both sides are determined to talk this through," he said. "If we had our druthers, we'd have a new deal this summer. It's going to be hard, but both sides seem committed to getting it done."