NBA PM: David Stern Leaving Big Shoes To Fill
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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NBA commissioner David Stern officially announced Thursday that he will be retiring on Feb. 1, 2014, ending what will be a 30-year stint as the figurehead of the NBA. Stern is now 70 years old, will be 71 by the time he officially steps away and feels the time is right.
“I don’t know what else to say other than to recite what I told the owners yesterday in the executive session,” Stern said at a news conference. “I told them it’s been a great run. It will continue for another 15 months, that the league is in, I think, terrific condition.”
The league unanimously approved deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who has held the deputy position for the past six years, to succeed Stern.
“What an honor to be in this position,” Silver said. “I’m honored, thrilled and will do my absolute best to grow this league.
Stern has not always been the most popular commissioner, but that comes with the position. He had to make tough, sometimes harsh decisions, but always operated with the betterment of the league as a whole in mind. Despite the two lockouts and referee scandal that happened during his tenure, he’ll be remembered forever as an integral part of the growth of the game and one of the best commissioners ever in professional sports.
The NBA was in rough shape when he took over in 1984. There were serious long-term concerns about how it would survive, but 30 years later it could not be stronger and Stern is a big reason why. The game’s global popularity is at an all-time high, revenues are projected to be in the $5 billion range, player salaries remain amongst the highest of any professional athletes and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place through at least the 2016-17 season, but it could potentially stay in place through 2020-21.
Stern will remain involved with the game and help it grow in a smaller capacity, but as of February 2014 Silver will officially take over. While Stern will leave the bar set pretty high, he’s also laid out a clear blueprint for how things should be done. Silver is taking over at a time in which no major changes are necessary. The game is in a good place and all he simply has to do is keep things going on the path Stern has put them on. Silver has been groomed for this position for six years now, so he’s well aware of what’s expected of him and has been thoroughly prepared, as he will continue to be over the next 15 months.
West Fires Back: For the second time in two weeks Dallas Mavericks guard Delonte West was suspended by the team for detrimental conduct. West’s battle with the bipolar disorder is well documented and typically when behavior incidents like this occur they are looked at as a byproduct of the disorder. However, West took to his official twitter account to say otherwise and express his frustration and confusion:
- I’m gonna just pray for um!!!…perception is not reality!!!… real is real.. in any language, culture… and what’s wrong is what’s wrong!!
- All my family friends fans…who been right der wit me this uphill battle over the last 4 years to get to this point…already know
- That my name showing up in any fashion in a negative light is the worst thing that can happen.everything Ive worked towards out d window
- Just asking u to talk with me…I’m a grown man…that’s not above logic and reason…Before u go to the papers with false information.
- If I’m not what u lookin 4 …That’s fine…just don’t kick me in my (expletive) on the way out the door…I didn’t do anything to deserve that…
- I love the city of Dallas…I love playin in the NBA…no I’m not off my meds…no I aint on no bipolar trip…this real people lives..
- And it just ain’t right..imma leave it at that..no ill will towards no one…I’m just sittin here across from the arena wit tear in my eyes.
Andrew Wiggins Reclassifies: The 2013 recruiting class just received a major addition as Andrew Wiggins, a 6’8 small forward who attends Huntington West Virginia Prep and plays for CIA Bounce in AAU, has reclassified in order to graduate a year earlier. Wiggins was originally slated to graduate in 2014 and was almost unanimously ranked as the top recruit by all scouting services in that class. However, he was ahead of schedule enough academically to graduate early.
“It’s time,” Mitchell Wiggins, Andrew’s father, said to USA Today Sports. “It’s time for him [to show] that he is the best in college right now. I think he is ready for the next step. Academically-wise he is doing great. Maturity-wise he is doing great. He has a lot of talent. He is ready for the next step, and everybody knows it is time. It is Andrew’s time. Next year is coming soon and he is ready.”
Wiggins has been billed by many as a future superstar at the next level, the kind of talent who can change a NBA franchise’s fortune completely. The main reason behind this move is to get him in the NBA one year earlier as he’s almost undoubtedly the kind of player who will be a one-and-done in college.
First things first, though, he has to choose which college he is going to attend. As you would expect, Wiggins is drawing interest from the typical powerhouses like North Carolina, Syracuse, Ohio State, Kansas and Kentucky. Florida State is also in the mix as his parents are alumni there, but Kentucky appears to be in the lead right now and the reasons are clear.
Since taking over at big blue nation, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has turned the program into the premiere destination for aspiring NBA draft picks. Not only does he help them achieve their goals and embrace their departure when the right opportunity presents itself, he makes them better every day while he has them most importantly.
Coach Cal, who is coming off of his first national championship, is putting together what could be his best class ever in 2013. He landed the Harrison twins, two of the best guards in the country, in September and followed that up with another commitment from a dynamic guard in Marcus Lee.
While Florida State may hold some sentimental value for Wiggins and his family, Kentucky far and away has the most to offer and they could be impossible to beat in his recruitment. No timetable has been set yet for Wiggins to announce his decision. His dad said he will make his decision when he is comfortable.