SBD/September 12, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

No NBA Teams Currently On Market After League Saw Spate Of Sales In Recent Years

Silver's personality is seen as "smoother and less acerbic" than Stern's
NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver on Tuesday at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit said that no teams in the league currently "are for sale," according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. Several teams including the T'Wolves "have been pulled off the market recently." The Bucks and Raptors also had been "rumored to be available." This is a "significant departure from the last three-plus years, when teams were selling both cheaply and quickly as nine franchises sold, many at reduced values." Meanwhile, Silver said that for the "first time there will be a committee of owners formed to oversee the TV contract talks." It is "believed to be the start of a new era in the NBA where the commissioner will be more open to input from owners on league-wide deals than was previously the case" with NBA Commissioner David Stern running the league. Silver: "There's probably calls for more owner involvement than we've had historically. There's a new generation of owners who've become involved in the league. There's more a sense of activist owners ... these days led by [Mavericks Owner] Mark Cuban and others there are more full-time owners. It's a recognition that even for very wealthy people, it's a much larger percentage of their portfolio" (ESPN.com, 9/10). BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK's Ira Boudway wrote Silver "presents a smoother and less acerbic personality" than Stern. Silver also "brings a softer approach to his most important constituents -- the NBA’s 30 team owners." Where Stern has handed out more than $1.8M in fines to Cuban over the last 13 years, Silver "name-checked him today as part of a new generation of more active, savvy ownership." Silver added, "It’s a different time. Owners are more sophisticated about the business of sports than they were years ago." He said that as franchise values have climbed, owners have "focused more on day-to-day operations" (BUSINESSWEEK.com, 9/10).

STILL IN PLAY: Silver on Sunday said that former NBA Kings bidder Chris Hansen's "secret contribution to a group opposed to a new arena in Sacramento will not hurt the billionaire’s efforts to deliver an NBA team to Seattle." Silver: "I would say it won’t affect Seattle’s chances. I haven’t talked to Chris since those allegations came out. I think as he said, he got caught up in the moment." Hansen and his two political consultants on Monday "agreed to pay a $50,000 fine" in California "for failing to disclose a donation to a group hired to help in an attempt to block a new Sacramento sports arena" (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/12).

CONCERN OVER COLLINS? SI's Phil Taylor notes free agent C Jason Collins "is still unemployed" with NBA training camps opening in less than three weeks and many teams' rosters "all but set." A "number of reasons have been quietly offered by NBA personnel people." Those include him being "too old," and "too expensive." But being an "aging, low-scoring center didn't stop Collins from being signed last year, or the year before that." There is "only one thing teams know about him now that they haven't always known -- that he's gay." Is that why he is "still working out at home" in L.A., "waiting for the phone to ring?" It is "impossible to know for sure, but it's also impossible to ignore the obvious question" (SI, 9/16 issue).
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