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MavKikiNYC
05-03-2006, 09:32 AM
May 2, 2006
Stern Admits NBA Officials Missing Calls

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 10:12 p.m. ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- While saying he was happy with the way the officials are handling the playoffs, commissioner David Stern (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/david_stern/index.html?inline=nyt-per) acknowledged on Tuesday that NBA referees are missing about 5 percent of the calls.

''Is the question do I think the officials miss a play? Absolutely!'' Stern said during an impromptu news conference before the New Jersey Nets (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newjerseynets/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and Indiana Pacers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/indianapacers/index.html?inline=nyt-org) met in Game 5 of their first-round series.

''It happens at least probably 5 percent of the time,'' Stern added.

There have been increasing complaints about the officials in the playoffs this season. Jermaine O'Neal of the Pacers was fined $15,000 for comments about them after Game 2, and Miami's Shaquille O'Neal (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/o/shaquille_oneal/index.html?inline=nyt-per) was fined $25,000 for his public criticisms.
The Heat (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/miamiheat/index.html?inline=nyt-org) complained after Chicago had a 31-5 advantage on free throws in Game 4 of that series.

The Suns (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/phoenixsuns/index.html?inline=nyt-org) groused after MVP Steve Nash could not get a call late in a loss to the Lakers (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/losangeleslakers/index.html?inline=nyt-org) on Sunday. And it looked like LeBron James (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/j/lebron_james/index.html?inline=nyt-per) of Cleveland may have traveled before a game-winning shot against Washington on Friday night.

''Our goal is to make the officiating perfect, at 100 percent,'' Stern said. ''We have not and we never will achieve that result. But I think we have the best officials, the best-monitored officials, the best-developed officials in all of sports.''

Stern would not say whether the officials had been instructed to call tighter games in the playoffs, but he said they have always clamped down when teams get more physical.

''We think that our players are the most talented athletes in the world and people come to watch them play, not to fight, bump and knock each other down,'' Stern said.
Stern had no sympathy for anyone fined for complaining about the officials.

''I don't think we are tough enough. Play the game, stop complaining, and if you don't like it, get a job someplace else,'' Stern said. ''That's my rule. OK. That's the system and if they don't like, go to some other system. We have a great league here.''

The escalating noise level in arenas and the excessive time it takes to play the final minutes of a game are a growing concern for Stern.

He said the league is monitoring noise levels and fining teams for exceeding it.
''It makes us the big regulators in the sky, you know, what you wear and how you play and what you do. It's got to be the worst part of the job. But we will continue to do it,'' Stern said.

The league plans to examine the numbers of timeouts at the end of the game, adding there already are limits.

''Usually I come into the office and say, 'Will someone please time the last three minutes of this game that took 22 minutes and tell me why?''' Stern said. ''I'm not sure that we're showing our fans our best basketball.''

Stern said there are commercial realities that stretch the end of a game, but he added the excess time is good for commercials, not basketball.

On other matters, Stern expects the Nets' move from East Rutherford to Brooklyn, N.Y. to be completed. He was not sure whether the team's goal to be there by 2009 was possible.

The commissioner said no league-wide expansion was planned. He also said the league would never limit the number of international players.

MavKikiNYC
05-09-2006, 09:23 AM
May 9, 2006
N.B.A. Roundup
Stern Admits Scheduling Error

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
PHOENIX, May 8 (AP) N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/david_stern/index.html?inline=nyt-per) acknowledged that it was a mistake to schedule the San Antonio Spurs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/sanantoniospurs/index.html?inline=nyt-org) to open the Western Conference semifinals with an early game on Sunday.
"If we had it to do over again, we wouldn't have acceded to the network's request on that one," Stern said Monday night.
San Antonio wrapped up its first-round series in Sacramento so late on Friday night that it was after midnight in Texas. The Spurs spent the night in Sacramento and did not arrive back in San Antonio until about 3 p.m. on Saturday.
They tipped off their series with Dallas at noon, local time, on Sunday because ABC wanted to show the Cleveland-Detroit game in the more attractive later time slot.
"We could lay it off on the network, but that's our responsibility and we have the ability to say no," Stern said. "And we should have."
Despite the short turnaround, San Antonio won the game, 87-85.
Stern also said the N.B.A. would probably change its playoff seeding format.
"I think we're just talking about taking the four teams in each conference with the best records and seeding them one through four," he said.
Under the current format, the three division champions earn the top three seedings, followed by the remaining team with the best record. That's why San Antonio and Dallas are meeting in the second round, even though they have the two best records in the West.

MavKikiNYC
05-09-2006, 09:24 AM
There are some pure idiots in the NBA office if they think that a Detroit/Cleveland matchup is in any way more appealing than Dallas/SA.

sixeightmkw
05-09-2006, 09:25 AM
Stern just can't seem to get anything right lately.

MavKikiNYC
05-09-2006, 10:49 AM
He's slipping.

The bad news: I read that Stu Jackson was a likely candidate to succeed him. Talk about a product down the toilet.

dude1394
05-09-2006, 11:09 AM
I think the scheduling is right and the networks are right. 3 hours doesn't make any difference to the spurs and the cleveland/detroit is going to draw more.

Stern is wrong again, networks right.

MavKikiNYC
05-09-2006, 11:22 AM
There are two axes to consider: 1) ratings potential; and 2) competitive equity.

From the first perspective, the only way the Detroit/Cleveland series draws more interest is if the Nike promo machine goes into overdrive and turbohypes Bronbron into the more "attractive" broadcast slots. I, for one, didn't watch the Detroit/Cleveland game. In fact, I don't think I've seen an entire Cleveland game yet because they LeBron hype is too damned sickening. He's a very good young player, but the hype and the slobber over his game is way out of proportion.

The Dallas/SA series on the other hand is what the NBA should be promoting--two excellent teams, built around two superstars at the top of their games. Hugely competitive series, with hard-fought, high-quality basketball. IMO, the whole series should be prime time vieiwng.


As for the equity point, 3 hours might not have made that much of a difference, but a 7:30 PM start WOULD have made a difference for the Spurs. I think the Mavericks would play better with the later start too.

It's a shame to let misguided broadcast considerations affect the game like that. They really risk compromising the quality of their product. Stern should be more active in quality control.

dude1394
05-09-2006, 12:04 PM
You are in the minority then kiki... I also don't watch bron-bron but to be honest I didn't like watching the jordan-rules or the shaq-rules either.

But there is no doubt imo that cleveland/detroit (northeast) is a bigger and better market than dallas/san antonio.

The only real issue I have with the scheduling is 12:00 sunday at all. Lot's of folks go to church and have to miss it. 2:00 makes a lot more sense then all of this is done. But of course that cuts primetime.

I WOULD have liked to have seen the spurs/mavs later so church folks wouldn't have had to choose, but ratings wise, I'm sure it was no contest.

If the teams and players want to get later start times they can return some dollars to the networks, other than that, they got no gripe.

u2sarajevo
05-09-2006, 01:14 PM
Church folks?

My wife loves noon Sunday games because that is the only way I will get up early enough to go to early service.

sixeightmkw
05-09-2006, 01:15 PM
I just leave church early. What, you think God is there? He is watching the Mavs too.

dalmations202
05-09-2006, 01:18 PM
Church folks?

My wife loves noon Sunday games because that is the only way I will get up early enough to go to early service.


LOL, we built a new church, and eliminated the early service. I still miss it.

dalmations202
05-09-2006, 03:59 PM
Stern Acknowledges Officiating Shortcomings

And yet he is unwilling to make changes to correct the problem. He knows that $$$ run the NBA and not the players or their play. He won't stop the cash cow.

MFFL
05-09-2006, 08:37 PM
Stern also said the N.B.A. would probably change its playoff seeding format.
"I think we're just talking about taking the four teams in each conference with the best records and seeding them one through four," he said.
Under the current format, the three division champions earn the top three seedings, followed by the remaining team with the best record. That's why San Antonio and Dallas are meeting in the second round, even though they have the two best records in the West.

So under the proposed new system we would have been the #2 seed, Phoenix #3, Memphis #4, then bump Denver to #5 (last division winner not already ranked in the top 4).

Perfect.