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News » Stern continues to project revenue drop

Stern continues to project revenue drop

Stern continues to project revenue drop London ? NBA commissioner David Stern said Tuesday that the league continues to project a drop in revenue of between 21/2 percent to 5 percent that could lead to a dramatic dip in the league's salary cap and luxury tax figures for the 2010-11 season.

"As far as we can tell from our preseason numbers, that's exactly where it's going to come in," Stern said after a news conference before the Jazz -Bulls preseason game.

The league alerted teams to the possibility of such a drop in Basketball-related income, to which the salary cap and luxury tax figures are linked, in a July memo. But Stern said Tuesday there was no reason for a more optimistic projection now three months later.

"I would love to get it closer to 21/2 percent," Stern said, "but I don't think we're going to because our teams have cut their ticket prices or frozen them, so as a result, even if we have good attendance, we'll be taking in less revenue at the gate, and that's an important component. And that's OK. We're responding to our fans."

Such a drop would have widespread implications. Several teams have been clearing cap space in advance of the 2010 free-agent class while other teams are trying to stay under the tax threshold, which they must pay a dollar-for-dollar penalty for exceeding.

The Jazz are in line to be luxury tax payers for the first time in franchise history this season and already have $50 million committed to just four players -- Andrei Kirilenko, Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap -- for the 2010-11 season.

Asked about the small-market Jazz projecting to be some $12 million over the tax threshold this season, Stern did not express concern.

"If you're a small-market team and someone decides they're going to try to poach," Stern said, evidently referencing Portland's offer sheet to Millsap, "you do what you have to do to protect it and that's the statement that was made."

Stern also addressed the Jazz's transition in the months since owner Larry Miller's death, with wife Gail Miller now the designated owner and son Greg Miller working as chief executive.

"Seamless is an overused word," Stern said, "but the transition has been seamless because Larry was a person who gathered his family around him and shared with them what it was that he wanted."

Stern said no progress had been made in talks with the league's referees, that the NBA has been "stealth hiring" even with the recession and that he hopes to bring a regular-season game to London ahead of the 2012 Olympics.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 8, 2009


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