David Stern talks end of Sacramento Kings saga, Adam Silver’s challenges as next commissioner

David Stern addresses media at All-Star Weekend in Houston. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Fans in Sacramento and Seattle will know “definitively” by early May if the Kings or Sonics will be playing in the NBA next season.  David Stern outlined that timetable in his comments following last week’s Board of Governors’ meetings in New York and reiterated that schedule again yesterday.

The NBA commissioner joined ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd on his nationally syndicated show for an approximately 12-minute conversation on a wide range of topics, including the future of the Kings.

We have a complex set of constitutional situation on our hands.  We have to have the committee meet, they have to decide, they have to issue a report, it has to sit with the other governors for seven full business days and then there has to be a meeting of the board of governors.

I said ‘what idiot decided on this?’ and I was reminded I think it was me when I was general counsel.  So it’s ‘oh that idiot’, you know.

Stern was also asked about what challenges his successor, Adam Silver, may face in his role as next commissioner.  He cited navigating a deal on the league’s next television contract as one.  Stern also emphasized the importance of globalization as another.

Well, I think the management challenge of dealing with the global opportunity is really very difficult.  The world out there is – you know, we’ve got to open the newspaper today (and) in the New York Times and there’s an article on air in Beijing.  And we need to send people there.  We have 150 people in Beijing and we’re trying to send equal numbers of Chinese nationals and some good number of ex-pats to really do what we’re going to do.

We’ve got an office of Mumbai, we have an office Rio, we have an office in Johannesburg.  These are serious, both opportunities, but serious, serious management challenges that we have to stay on top of.

Stern also noted how important it will be for Silver to continue following the changing trends in social media.

And the whole issue of how we stay on top of social media because it changes every three hours, but our players are like magnets.  So the number of friends and followers and likes and the like that NBA players, teams in the league have are really up there with the leaders.  And that’s an area of Adam’s particular expertise, so he’s up on social media.

He understands network television as well as anyone does.  He’s been taking the report of international for quite a long time.  So he’s gonna be continually challenged because those are changing areas.  You just read the newspaper each day.  You see the enormous changes posed and challenges by everything from Netflix, to (Aerio), to other litigation to legislation.  There are a lot of challenges that are on the horizon.

If you’d like to hear the entire interview, you can listen to it here.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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