David Stern, Anthony Davis, and Other NBA All-Star Friday Stories

By:
Published: February 14, 2014
Anthony+Davis+David+Stern+2012+NBA+Draft+JAtoRc9MVAjl[1]

We’ll be covering New Orleans’ second NBA All-Star game (2008 was the first), and I’ll do my best to keep a focus on the New Orleans and New Orleans Pelicans stories.

Picking the lead here was tough, but I decided on . . .

David Stern has been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the first five members of the Class of 2014. These specific categories were directly elected by distinguished committees focused on preserving all areas from the game of basketball. These direct-elects include Bob Leonard voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Nat Clifton from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Sarunas Marciulionis from the International Committee, Guy Rodgers from the Veterans Committee and David Stern from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.

On direct election committees:

These five new committees were established in 2011 to directly elect one nominee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. This change was made to ensure that the Hall of Fame maintains a strong focus on presenting accurate historical information while utilizing voters who are intimately familiar with the special category they have been assigned to evaluate. These five individuals have officially been directly elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in August.

And on David Stern himself:

Stern served as NBA Commissioner from 1984 until 2014, was Executive Vice-President of the NBA from 1980-84 and was part of the NBA General Counsel from 1978-80. Stern oversaw more than 30 years of NBA development and expansion across all fields – financially, exposure, image and more. During his tenure, the league expanded from 23 to 30 teams and television revenue increased from $10 million per year to approximately $900 million per year. Stern implemented several rule changes to improve the game, instituted the age limit for NBA Draft entries, the NBA Draft Lottery and managed the relocation of six franchises. He oversaw the launch of the NBA Developmental League, NBA/WNBA Cares and Basketball Without Borders. Stern has made himself known as a huge force in making the NBA one of the most popular sports leagues in the world.

It is fitting not only that David Stern be elected to the Hall of Fame nearly immediately upon his retirement (like him or not, and imperfect as he is, his mark on the sport is indelible and deep), but also that he was elected in New Orleans. He saw the Jazz leave town while he was working with the NBA prior to becoming Commissioner, he saw the Hornets come, go, come again, nearly go again, then he bought and sold the team, all while trading away the team’s superstar, reshaping the franchise, and growing the business base of the franchise during a lockout. Finally, Stern’s final NBA Draft was the first for the Pelicans, the new name for the new era of the NBA in New Orleans.

Whew!

Commissioner Adam Silver’s take on Stern’s take on New Orleans as an NBA city:

So much credit goes to David Stern and his vision,” Silver said. “I think always throughout his commissionership he said cities that are loyal to the NBA deserve the NBA’s loyalty in return. And New Orleans was one of those cities. It’s been a great experience here for the NBA. We had some rocky times here but the Benson family stepped up to keep the team here, and it means so much to us. It’s a core point of this league to be in New Orleans, to have a team here. We’re excited about the new name of the franchise, and the new ownership is doing a fantastic job.

Which brings us to the franchise . . . both the Pelicans and Anthony Davis.

Mason transcribed a radio interview with Davis.

Anthony Davis is a part of the Rising Stars Challenge and the NBA All-Star Game, being selected to replace the injured Kobe Bryant. Commisioner Silver on the selection:

It happened to be that the most deserving player out there happened to be a Pelicans player,” Silver said. “So it worked out really well.

Davis’ reaction to the selection was a little surprising:

I just went straight to sleep.

Here is Anthony Davis talking to Bill Simmons (thanks to kidner for the link):

There’s way more at these links. Hopefully, I’ve enticed you to click on them.

Circling back to the All-Star Media Day, there were more Hall of Fame announcements:

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend, eight elite players, coaches and one team as finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2014. Hall of Fame finalist recognition is a career highlight for many in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes six first-time finalists: three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and 1994 Naismith, NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, two-time NCAA National Championship coach Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s. Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, six-time AAU National Champion Coach Harley Redin and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond. The Class of 2014 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.

As you can see, that list is not devoid of intersections with the history of this franchise.

And other awards:

Famed sportswriter Joe Gilmartin and broadcaster of more than 30 years John Andariese are the 2014 Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients. The two will be acknowledged for their contribution to basketball during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement events in August in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Player, Coach, Executive, Alvin Attles has been selected to receive the 2014 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, announced today at NBA All-Star weekend.

We’ll have more from the weekend here and on twitter (@BourbonStShots).

On a more personal note, we’re having some fun with some writers in town. I gave a couple of guys rides from the airport and took them to Crabby Jack’s. They were more than thrilled (of course). Even during All-Star Weekend, basketball isn’t the only thing on people’s minds when they are in New Orleans.

Readers, if you are at events or around town and see people starting into space, offer then directions, restaurant suggestions, or whatever they need. Hospitality starts with us, and those little things can go a looong way in furthering the reputation of the city as a world class destination and host city. Plus, it’s nice to be nice.