On the day of the Early Bird Rights hearing in New York, NBA commissioner David Stern went on ESPN New York 98.7 FM to talk about the NBA playoffs -- but he was obviously asked about the league's case against the players' association.
Stern hinted that the union, meaning the Knicks as well, will not win its appeal, which is attempting to secure Early Bird Rights for players with the team that acquired them during the season. In the Knicks' situation, those two players are Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak.
"The reality here is that it doesn't really affect the Knicks as against Jeremy Lin," Stern said. "It just means that the union is trying to say, 'We want to win this, even though the words of the agreement don't support it, because we'd like the Knicks to have some more money to spend on players.' And that's always been a contention between the NBA and the players. We try to spend what we agreed to spend, and the union says, 'Yeah, but we think you agreed to spend more,' and then we litigate about it.'"
Stern said he doesn't see why the Knicks would need more salary-cap space for another key acquisition, when, in his opinion, they're already stacked.
"I mean, on top of Jeremy and on top of Amare [Stoudemire] and on top of Carmelo [Anthony] and on top of [Tyson] Chandler and on top of [Iman] Shumpert and on top of ...," he said. "I mean, the Knicks are loaded."
Regarding Lin, Stern said he expects him to be a "really good" player for the Knicks.
"Clearly, I have never in all of my number of years seen a phenomena like Jeremy Lin, which I thought was spectacular for Jeremy and for the Knicks and for the league," Stern said. "And he was playing at an extraordinary high level, one that I think most NBA teams didn't expect him to do it. Hopefully he's healthy again -- I saw him recently and he said he is -- and so the Knicks are going to have a high-performing point guard. That's great. That's great for the league and it's great for the Knicks."
For the full interview, where Stern dishes on the playoffs and more, click here.
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