Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:49 PM
NEW YORK — David Stern hasn't left the NBA far behind. Just a few blocks, actually.
His office these days is located in a building near the one he had as commissioner, the job he left in 2014 after 30 years in which he helped turn a struggling league into a $5 billion annual behemoth.
For the most part, he likes the direction of the league the last three years.
"In addition to the talent, I'm in awe of the shooting skills of Steph Curry, of Klay Thompson, of a (Russell) Westbrook and a (James) Harden, et cetera," Stern told The Associated Press by phone. "But I'm also in awe of the potential the league has both digitally and globally. So the game is strong, the attendance is at a record, the future is extraordinary internationally and the league is a leader under Adam (Silver) in the digital sphere.
"So it's really a wonderful opportunity for the owners, for the players, and for my former colleagues at the team and league level."
Stern, as would be expected, is keenly aware that it hasn't been smooth sailing for Silver and the league. The NBA is still searching for solutions to some problems that were vexing under Stern, such as tanking and healthy players sitting out games.
He talks with Silver, but won't comment on their discussions about those issues or anything else.
Stern, 74, is more businessman than sportsman now, advising venture capital firms from his position atop DJS Global Advisors and investing in a number of startups, some of them in sports technology. He still watches plenty of games, and the viewing process helps guide his investment strategies.
The league that once begged for a television presence — the NBA Finals that were sometimes shown on tape delay into the early 1980s — now has national TV deals that are worth more than $2.6 billion annually. But fans aren't just watching games on TV anymore and Stern believes their viewing habits will change even more in the coming years.
"The fans are going to want to see be able to see what they want to see, when they want to see it and on any device they want to see it on," he said.
Stern believes viewers will favor streaming services and virtual reality, with output from wearable technology to provide statistical data to augment what they're watching. So this week he and a group of partners that includes Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim announced the launch of SportsCastr.Live , a streaming platform that allows users to be color commentators and to select which sportscaster they wish to have call, recap or make predictions on a game.
That adds to previous investments that include ShotTracker, in which sensors send real-time data to coaches' smart devices, and LiveLike, a virtual reality platform to watch sports.
The businessman doesn't miss being basketball's biggest decision maker, a job he held from Feb. 1, 1984 — a few months before Magic Johnson and Larry Bird first met in the NBA Finals and Michael Jordan was drafted — until Silver, his former assistant — took over. But when he stepped down as commissioner, he refused to let staffers call his departure a "retirement" as he prepared to move out of his former home just off Fifth Avenue.
Stern still takes some trips overseas on the NBA's behalf.
CLEVELAND — Offensive lineman Alvin Bailey has been released by the Cleveland Browns after one season.
Bailey made five starts — two at right guard, three at left guard — and appeared in 14 games for Cleveland last season. He also served a 2-game NFL suspension following his arrest and conviction for operating a motor vehicle impaired in September.
Bailey signed as a free agent with Cleveland before last season after spending three years with Seattle. He started for the Seahawks in the Super Bowl in 2014.
The team also waived defensive backs Tracy Howard and Trae Elston.
Howard played in 15 games, mostly on special teams, and made three starts at free safety after being signed as an undrafted rookie from the University of Miami.
Elston was inactive for two games and spent the final two weeks of the 2016 season on the Browns' practice squad.
CINCINNATI — Police say boxer Adrien Broner was stopped in a bullet-riddled car then arrested on an outstanding warrant in Kentucky.
The 28-year-old boxer from Cincinnati was stopped Thursday after reports of shots fired. Broner had crossed into Kentucky and told police an unknown person fired several rounds at his vehicle.
Broner wasn't hurt, but police arrested him on a warrant for failing to appear for a 2014 court case in Covington, Kentucky, on charges of alcohol intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct.
He was released from Kenton County jail in Covington after posting bond.
His attorney William Welsh said Thursday he hadn't heard from him.
Last year, Broner served jail time after being tardy for his trial on charges of assault and robbery that were later dismissed.
BOSTON — Boston College has hired Martin Jarmond as its new athletic director.
Jarmond was the deputy AD at Ohio State and chief of staff for Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith. He succeeds Brad Bates, who is leaving to become a consultant.
Jarmond was a member of the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Advisory Group and the Rose Bowl Advisory Committee. The native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, had previously worked at Michigan State.
The Ohio State athletic program included around 1,100 athletes in 36 Division I sports, with a budget of $170 million. Jarmond was the Buckeyes sport administrator for football, men's basketball, baseball, and men's and women's golf.
Boston College has 750 athletes in 31 varsity sports.