Mar 4, 2011, 10:16 AM EST
Every time — I mean every time — NBA Commissioner David Stern says publically now it is about the collective bargaining agreement negotiations. If he orders lasagna in an Italian restaurant it will somehow turn into a sharp blast at the mid-level exception.
So when Dave Krieger of the Denver Post spoke to him about a favorite topic in Denver — the migration of superstars from small markets to large — you knew where it was going to end up.
But first, Stern made a point — this is not some new issue. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pushed his way from Milwaukee to Los Angeles back in the day. There are countless other examples over time. And each time not only has the league survived, it has thrived.
So stop freaking out.
“It has been my view that a player who’s played for a team for seven or eight years has the right under our agreement to say, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be re-signing at the end of my contract and as a result do with me as you will, but I’m going to keep my options open,’ ” Stern said….
“In terms of the apocalyptic predictions for small markets, I think that the Stockton-Malone, Robinson-Duncan, Westbrook-Durant model is sitting there as well,” he said, referring to stars of this generation or the last one in Utah, San Antonio and Oklahoma City, respectively. “Or I see a Chicago, where they draft Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose and then they add Carlos Boozer. So I don’t see a pattern at all.”
The point is valid — well managed small market teams do keep their superstars and thrive. Now, you have to luck into the right superstar in the draft, but it can happen.
Now, Stern, isn’t it time you tied this into the CBA?
“If there is a problem, the problem arises from the fact that most of the teams that go deep in the playoffs are luxury tax payers, which suggests that the revenues generated and the financial ability to pay are maybe too much of a factor,” Stern said. “As a result, we should look to move away from a tax system and more to a system where all 30 teams have a better chance to compete.”
Of course, might that not be more an issue of revenue sharing among the owners rather than putting the onus on the players and their salaries by installing in a hard cap? (Or at least a less permeable cap?)
- PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant is back, doesn’t have much time to get it right 0
- It’s official, Clippers agree to terms with Stephen Jackson 1
- PBT NBA Power Rankings: At the quarter pole Portland takes the lead 12
- Paul Pierce practiced Monday, could return vs. Celtics Tuesday 2
- Report: Kings not done trading, Jason Thompson next on block 4
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (65)
- Dwight Howard frustrated with Rockets’ effort in recent losses (52)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (47)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (43)
- Durant tells “60 Minutes Sports” he’s still tired of being No. 2 (35)