What an arbitrary compliment, "top 2 or 3 all-time commissioner'.
In 25 years any list of the top commisioners will in include Stern at the very top. Probably second behind Pete Rozelle.
He's been a great commisioner.
And overall the NBA is in very good shape right now.
The fact is that Indy as good a b-ball town as there is in the U.S. can't compete with cities 5-6 0r even 10 times its size. Is this Stern's fault? I think there is plenty of fault to go around. The NBA is like much of American business. It gets too big to sustain itself and it has to shrink to survive.
Salaries definitely have to shrink and franchises like NO have to disappear. Putting the nba in cities that have the NFL and/or MLB is problematical if the nba team is to sustain itself. Even a prosperous city like Seattle couldn't support three major league sports.
Overall Stern was a good commissioner or these hard nose owners would have gotten rid of him years ago. You just don't push around mega millionaires and get away with it if you're not very good.
If the NBA locks out, and I really think there is a good chance they will, I fear the NBA will lose a large number of their "casual" fans.
The die hards will always come back, but no lockout is ever good. I do not care how you twist it, who you blame, the bottom line is no basketball gets people to go find other hobbies to spend their money on, and question if the price of games is worth the price of admission.
As for Stern, I do not know enough about him to comment on. I know I hated how he handled the brawl, but in hindsight I had a bigger problem with him coming off as a jackass then I did with the end result(s).
As far as the state of the NBA, IMO things will get very, very ugly if we have another lockout.
There have been 2 other lockouts that did not disrupt the NBA regular season, so chances are that that is what happens this time around.
The overall popularity of the NBA right is without question the highest it has been since Michael Jordan retired 13 years ago. Just because things are not so great in Indianapolis, doesn't mean it is down across the country
Wow, I wish I shared the same optimism. I personally think we see a lockout, and I would not be surprised at all to see it last into the regular season.
The NBA is doing very well right now, though looking at Verizon center right now you could have fooled me
It's amazing that people don't understand the amount of good Stern has done for the league and for the sport as a whole.
Stern took over a league that showed the FINALS on tape delay. In the next ten years, basketball will surpass baseball as the second most popular sport in the US. Internationally, it's second only to soccer and growing. This is due, almost completely, to the efforts of the league under the direction of Stern.
What's equally amazing is this fallacy that the league's business structure is unstable. Ever notice how right before a new CBA is negotiated, the owners start crying about how poor they are? If the league is so untenable then why exactly do such supposedly smart businessmen keep buying teams? Because owning an NBA team is insanely valuable. Losing a couple million dollars in the short term is nothing compared to the potential profits of the world's first global league, which is where we're headed.
Anyone who gives all the credit to Magic, Bird, Michael, Gatorade and Nike just doesn't know the history of the league.
Demographically, technologically and financially I'd bet on basketball over baseball in the long term.
Ah, I gotcha. I actually researched a little and found some pretty interesting articles in which the author agrees with you. I definitely wouldn't be surprised (although I would be saddened) if baseball loses popularity soon.
Stern had the good fortune to be commissioner when Bird and Magic came along... and for Michael Jordan to come along and help bridge the gap as their time faded. IMHO it would've been harder for him to screw it up than to do OK in that period of time. Of course regardless of what he did then, exactly what has he gotten right lately?
We're teetering dangerously on the precipice of a league of half a dozen "super teams" while the other 24 franchises flounder in perpetual mediocrity, some to the point of contraction.
The new CBA will be CRITICAL for owners and small markets. The inmates are currently running the asylum.
FTR, here's what I'd like to see from the new CBA:
- Hard salary cap
- Non-guaranteed contracts
- Franchise tags
Similar to the NFL's system which, IMO, is the best one out there right now.
If not a hard cap, how about changing the luxury tax?
You could go from what it is now, dollar for dollar, to perhaps two or even three dollars per dollar spent over the tax limit.
I highly doubt it happens, but the thought here is that teams can still buy more talent if they really want to and can afford to, but the non tax teams get a much larger reward for being responsible. Otherwise, it would probably scare off some teams that currently do go over the tax, which would essentially be like having a hard cap.
It's not just Indianapolis. It's Detroit (they fill to the same capacity as us). It's Philly. It's Sacramento, Memphis, Atlanta, Minnesota, Washington, etc etc etc.
The NBA is in great shape if you're looking at the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Knicks, Heat, Mavericks etc. Unfortunately, there are 30 teams in the league, many of whom are struggling. The NBA is a very top-heavy league. Yes, the NBA has a good mix of old and young stars who are very popular right now along with some very exciting elite teams, and yes, things are gravy if you're one of the fortunate ones. But there are too many teams in the NBA and way too many cellar dwellers who have no fan interest in the places they play in.
I've said this a million times - the playoffs have consisted of 16 teams forever but we have added a ton of teams in the last 25 or so years. Since the number of playoff teams stays the same, all you're doing is guaranteeing that there are going to be more bottom feeding teams in the league. Even if the expansion team you create is successful, that success is at another team's expense.
It's like Starbucks. Starbucks is a popular place, but the company got greedy and built waaaaaaaaaaay too many stores, guaranteeing that there would be an excess of under-performing stores. One store's success inevitably would come at another's expense. They paid the price.
Stern over-expanded and now the league is paying the price. There was no reason to expand to this many teams. We didn't need the Canadian teams 15 years ago (one of which had to move after a mere 6 years - if that doesn't scream "FAILURE" then I don't know what does..). We didn't have to give Charlotte a team just two years after the previous team left.
The automakers have found this out the hard way. GM, Ford, and Chrysler have cut down the number of dealers they have. It's better to have the best dealers. You want the best sales staff, the best service/parts department, the best detail department, etc. You don't want the weak representing your product. That's what they had and that's what the NBA has. There are not enough great players to warrant this man NBA teams.