Stern on board with solidifying Wolves' future

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 6, 2013 - 11:45 PM

The NBA commissioner will meet with city officials about significant arena upgrades.

hide

NBA commissioner David Stern.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

David Stern came to Minneapolis Wednesday likely for his final time as NBA commissioner. On the two-day visit, he will meet Thursday with Mayor R.T. Rybak about a $100 million-plus Target Center refurbishment he said will bring the arena "into the 21st century" and ensure the Timberwolves' presence in Minnesota long after owner Glen Taylor sells the team.

The city, team and arena management company AEG Facilities remain in negotiations to finalize details of how much and who pays for what in a project approved as part of the Vikings stadium bill.

Stern compared the refurbishment to updates done over time to Detroit's Palace at Auburn Hills, Phoenix's U.S. Airways Arena and New York City's Madison Square Garden that have kept those arenas viable while the Sacramento Kings' owners recently submitted to the NBA an agreement to sell their franchise to a Seattle group after the California city failed to finalize a new arena.

"I don't think fans have to worry about that at all," Stern said when asked about the Timberwolves' long-term future in Minnesota.

Taylor has prepared the Wolves for sale, a process he once hoped would be completed before this season but now has an indefinite timetable. He has said he'd like to sell minority interest in the team as part of a multi-year plan for him to eventually sell all or most of it.

Stern said he is "pretty involved" in that process which says Taylor is pursuing in a "very thoughtful and prudent way."

"I think eventually it will happen," Stern said. "Glen is not what you'd call an anxious seller. Sometimes I think he may have seller's remorse even though he hasn't sold it because he loves the team and he loves what it does for the community."

Stern will retire next February, 30 years after he was promoted to league commissioner.

In that time, the NBA has grown from an afterthought of a pro sports league that previously had trouble getting its championship series broadcast in prime time into a tremendous international money-maker.

In that time, Stern has severely punished Taylor and the Wolves for their illegal signing of free-agent Joe Smith in 1999 and in recent years has embraced Taylor as one of his most trusted owners who just recently completed a term as chairman of the NBA's Board of Governors.

"The team did what it did at that time and I did what I had to do as commissioner," said Stern, who ultimately heavily fined the team, suspended Taylor and executive Kevin McHale and stripped away three first-round draft picks. "But that didn't stop me from respecting Glen as a businessman and as a person, and I'd say we have become very good friends and work closely together. I have enormous respect not only for his business acumen, but for his very, very serious concern for this team and its future in the Twin Cities.

"He wants it to stay here and all discussions of sale revolve around finding the person or persons who will commit to keep it a first-class franchise in the Twin Cities."

Stern spoke at a media gathering on a number of other topics, including:

• The possibility of the NBA All-Star Game returning to Target Center for the first time since 1994: He said Target Center isn't "currently configured" for that, but "after the refurbishment, I'll tell (incoming commissioner) Adam Silver that he definitely should open the envelope on the Minnesota All-Star bid application."

• The Sacramento-Seattle situation: He said the NBA has received a signed agreement for the Kings to be sold to a group that will move them to Seattle. The league will consider that agreement at its Board of Governors meeting in April, when it also could receive an offer from a Sacramento group offering to keep the team there in a new city-subsidized arena.

• Testing for human-growth hormone: Stern said it could begin, with the players association's approval, by next season.

• Corporate logos on players' uniforms: Stern said that day is coming even if he doesn't like the idea, but it won't come this season or next before he retires. "When it does happen, I would like you to send me a postcard because I really want to keep track of it," he said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 5:00 PM
Rutgers
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
George Mason
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 6:00 PM
Ohio State
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 10 1st Half 11:11
Georgia Southern 14
Niagara 4 1st Half 12:42
Saint Peters 7
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
FIU
Southern Miss 5:00 PM
Marshall
Georgia State 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 5:15 PM
Troy
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
(17) Duke
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
(24) Oklahoma 6:00 PM
(14) Texas
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Towson 6:00 PM
Delaware
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Florida 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close