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SBD/Issue 64/Leagues & Governing Bodies
David Stern Calls Legalized Betting On NBA Games A "Possibility"
Published December 14, 2009
|Stern Says Legalized Betting On NBA
Games "May Be A Huge Opportunity"
CURIOUS TIMING: In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence wrote for Stern to “even broach the subject now is ridiculous,” and he “made a mistake, at the very least.” Lawrence: “He’s not clear of the Donaghy mess, just because he shook up his officiating hierarchy and hired a former U.S. prosecutor to look into the way the refs go about their business.” However, it is possible Stern made the comments “to send up a trial balloon and see what kind of reaction he’d get” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/13). SPORTINGNEWS.com’s Bethlehem Shoals wrote the fact Stern is even thinking of the idea of accepting legalized betting on NBA games is “pretty remarkable.” Shoals: “This might be the worst thing to talk about in the wake of Tim Donaghy’s recent media blitz, or in some crazy way the best possible form of damage control" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/11). Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, Don Walker wrote Stern's "candor is remarkable," as there are not "many commissioners in professional sports who would be willing to talk about gambling" (JSONLINE.com, 12/11).
STERN ON OTHER TOPICS: The NBA’s CBA expires after the ’11-12 season, and Stern in the SI.com interview noted the NFL, NHL and MLB also face labor negotiations during the same general time frame. Stern: “The potential expiration of all four leagues at the same time should send shudders up the spine of lots of people involved with our industries. Everyone has a different set of relationships, and some require opt-outs and whatever. But that would be the apocalyptic scenario." He said all the leagues are “worried” about what multiple work stoppages would mean to the leagues' television partners. Stern: “We're all working -- in our own ways, unrelated to the others -- to see whether we can make a deal this time." Meanwhile, SI.com’s Thomsen noted Stern “did not come across as a commissioner looking forward to retirement.” Stern: “I just read that [MLB Commissioner Bud Selig] is going out. He’s 75 now; he’ll be going out at 78. I’m a kid. I’m 67” (SI.com, 12/11).