"I'm looking forward to an interesting period," Arison said.
"We have a lot of opportunities obviously for the league and a lot
of challenges, and I look forward to working with the league office
to help in any way I can."
Colangelo, who served two two-year terms as chairman, will
continue to serve as the Suns' representative on the board and as a
member of committees for finance, long-range planning, collective
bargaining and player relations. He voluntarily stepped down as
chairman to give someone else a chance at the job.
Arison is the chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation, the
cruise ship company. He took control of the Heat in 1995 and has
overseen moves such as the hiring of Pat Riley and the acquisition
of Shaquille O'Neal, helping Miami grow into a team considered one
of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference this season.
"It's great when you have somebody like Micky as a sounding
board for the decisions, the directions and the processes,"
commissioner David Stern said. "There's television negotiations
that will be coming up, there's global expansion, there are
technology decisions that need to be addressed.
"These ultimately will be decisions for the most part for the
whole board, but as you get them ready it's great to have a
chairman who both is available as a sounding board and brings the
business acumen that Micky brings."
Arison's election came on the final day of the board's two-day
meetings. On Monday, deputy commissioner Russ Granik told the board
he would retire at the end of the season, his 30th in the league.
One name mentioned as a possible replacement is Adam Silver, the
43-year-old president of NBA Entertainment. Stern said Granik's
successor would be announced by the All-Star weekend in February.