Heisler: Unexpectedly, the NBA finds itself in a golden age

first_img On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory That was 69 years ago, long enough for MLB commissioners to clean up the practice … a task made more difficult as the union gained power.The NBA, on the other hand, has long promoted the notion of a partnership between management and labor, which is back in a good place after years of strife with business-like Chris Paul as union president, backed by his close friend, James, who was VP until last season.The NBA endured worse crises than baseball’s current one – an actual officiating scandal with referee Tim Donaghy declaring that he threw games, charging that the league ordered him to and other referees did, too, but Stern quickly got past it, re-establishing the league’s credibility.Baseball’s current predicament is so unseemly, James offered advice, tweeting, “Listen here baseball commissioner … you need to fix this for the sake of Sports!”Unlike China, that was safe ground for LeBron, with baseball fans already upset, as Shaquille O’Neal once said, “to the highest point of upsetivity.”So it’s an unexpectedly happy day in the NBA, if not everywhere. Or, in other words, Ka-ching!If Houston GM Daryl Morey was standing up for principle, tweeting his support of Hong Kong protesters, NBA people were accustomed to speaking out without having to pay up … as when LeBron James called Pres. Donald Trump “a bum,” which prompted no outcry from the league’s leftward-tilting audience.At a projected loss of $750 million per season, the NBA isn’t as idealistic about China. The league’s most outspoken people like James and Golden State coach Steve Kerr now say, as if all together in a chorus, they don’t know enough about China to comment.“Yes, we do have freedom of speech,” James said last fall, chiding Morey about the dangers of social media – in a tweet. “(But there) can be a lot of negative that comes with it.”Indeed, that’s why defending it is important.Showing who they really were, NBA players were anxious to get back to work … understandable as it was in a game they can only play in their youth, in a league where an undrafted rookie on a one-year deal gets at least $898,310.Silver just celebrated his fifth year in office succeeding the feisty David Stern, who routed the union in the 2011 lockout and signed for 10 years of labor peace, retiring in 2014 with the stage set for a new $24 billion TV deal and a time of prosperity they had never known.Showing a deft marketing touch that he learned from Stern, Silver is now wooing the Chinese with the promise of more preseason exhibitions and a high-visibility tour by the U.S. team before this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.“The NBA fundamentals are still strong and the league is extremely well managed,” Sal Galatioto, a leading marketing executive told Forbes. “It has hit a couple of bumps, but it is still very powerful media content and the greatest international sport after soccer.”To show what “well-managed” entails, compare what the NBA has gone through with baseball’s crisis over the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal that seemed to grow daily, like the Blob in the old sci-fi movie, as even players as soft-spoken as the Angels’ Mike Trout, bashing the Astros for cheating.MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, holding one press conference after another, enraged everyone anew by dismissing the World Series champion’s Commissioner’s Trophy that he declined to take back from the Astros as a “piece of metal.”Said the Dodgers’ Justin Turner: “The only thing devaluing that trophy is that it says ‘Commissioner’ on it.”Not that it’s easy being Manfred in a game dominated by the union since it showed its power during the 1994 strike, forcing the owners to cancel a World Series, with the players jealously guarding their power ever since.The style of governing in the two leagues is explained by their history.Baseball is used to a light hand after decades of entitlement as “the national pastime,” with commissioners now acting at the pleasure of a dominant players’ union.Meanwhile, the NBA emerged from the bushes with its standing precarious, obliging its commissioners to rise to challenges.Sign stealing in baseball is hardly new. Repeating an old adage, players like the Cubs’ Mark Grace in the 1990s, and the White Sox’s Yasmani Grandal said last winter, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”In the most famous example, several members of the 1951 New York Giants later acknowledged stealing catchers’ signs with a telescope from their distant center field dressing room and triggering a buzzer system … which might or might not have helped Bobby Thompson hit one of the most famous home runs in baseball history to end their three-game playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers.Related Articles At last week’s All-Star Game, Commissioner Adam Silver projected the lost Chinese revenues at about $400 million, but he didn’t sound too upset, noting the league has clung to its values while the Chinese get over it.In other words, the NBA was successful in backing down gracefully, appearing to stand for freedom of expression … as its people signaled that they understood this can’t happen again.China?Sorry. I’ve never heard of it.“It’s substantial, I don’t want to run from that,” Silver said of the lost revenue. “We were taken off the air in China for a period of time … But I don’t have any sense that there’s any permanent damage to our business there.”center_img Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Welcome to the NBA’s Golden Age.No, really.Unimaginable as it seemed last fall in NBA’s standoff with China, the league is in the midst of its greatest boom with Forbes projecting it will set an all-time record of $9.5 billion in revenue this season, up from last season’s record $8.8 billion.The NBA has since gotten back to business… which has never been better, with prosperity more widespread than in what was considered the NBA’s zenith in the 1990s when Michael Jordan, the game’s matinee idol, led the Bulls to six titles, drawing record TV ratings… an era now eclipsed, at least financially, by this one. Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates last_img read more

Thurston EDC Hosts 2012 Economic Update on June 27

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Thurston Economic Development Council will present its 2012 Economic Update luncheon on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at Saint Martin University’s Worthington Center in Lacey, WA. The focus of this year’s economic update is to highlight factors influencing today’s economic recovery, and to discuss ways businesses can maintain their resilience in an ever-changing market.The keynote speaker for this year’s Update is Jim Oster, Senior Vice President and International and Foreign Exchange Manager for Key Bank. Oster will discuss the hot economic topic of the Euro; its reason for coming into being; and how the crisis in the Euro zone may have future impact on the global, U.S., and Washington state economies.In addition to an analysis of the international economy, the Economic Update will host a panel that will discuss strategies necessary to ensure business resiliency in an ever-changing economic environment. Members of the panel include Jeanne Carras of Bonaventure, Lisa Janicki of Janicki Industries, and Perry Shea of Shea Carr Jewell.“We chose as panelists, representatives of different sectors of the economy- a locally-focused business, a business with more regional reach, and a company that has a national, even international reach,” says Renée Sunde, Thurston EDC’s Marketing & Business Development Director. “Each one of these businesses has employed business resiliency strategies – innovation, flexibility and a creative approach to providing top-notch service, which has really allowed them to flourish during the recession and beyond. We hope to share their successes with other business owners so they will be able to thrive as well.”To pre-register for the 2012 Economic Update, please click here. Check-in and registration for the luncheon will begin at 11:00 am, and the program is from 11:30 – 1:30. The cost per person is $45, and tables of eight are $350. In addition, sponsorships for the event are still available. Please contact Renée Sunde at 360.754.6320 or rsunde@thurstonedc.com for more details.last_img read more