The news from Friday's Board of Governor's meeting was mostly about the Kings. Whether they'll move to Seattle or not, David Stern said, should be known within the next few weeks. But Stern also addressed a range of other topics with big implications:
Good business. Gate receipts and sponsorships, Stern says, are at record levels.
Referees and homers. There was referee talk, and evidently it was heated. Stern: "I'd say we had a frank and open dialogue with our owners. It was an interesting welcome by ownership to Mike Bantom, the new head of officiating. And I would say that we'll have another lively discussion on that subject in July as well." Stern also says he has to explain to owners that a lot of local broadcast teams are making referees look bad. "Basically," says Stern "we explained what a homer is. And we weren't talking about baseball. And that that sells and that's what some of the networks are telling their announcers, and that has in its collectivity, built a certain impression. But we're all over it, and we're working on it."
Changing game. Owners learned that 3-pointers are more common than ever, which Stern says is no problem at all: "The game looks great. And this is just a phenomenon that's occurring because our teams have migrated to the 3-point shot. But there was like, okay, that's interesting, let's see how the coaches deal with that."
Tweaks to come. The competition committee will be considering only small changes to the game on the court. Instant replay could expand, the clear path rule could change, and the league is interested in speeding up the game.
Thinking of Boston. The league, Stern says, will honor Boston's tragic week with a donation to the One Fund Boston.
No expansion now. But later? The league appears to be in need of a 31st team, to honor solid team offers from both Sacramento and Seattle. But Stern and company have long made clear expansion won't get the league out of this particular jam. However, might there be expansion down the road? Here Stern softened somewhat, saying once a new TV deal was in place, in a few years, such a thing could happen. "I don't want to say [expansion is] a complete non-starter" explained Stern. But he did make clear if it happens it'll be after he has retired.
HGH testing soon. Stern says the league is still on track to have human growth hormone testing next season, but he stopped short of promising such, only because such a thing must be worked out with the union, which doesn't even have an executive director at present. "Right now we hope that we're going to have HGH testing for next season," says Stern. "And we don't see any reason why we won't."