David Stern is nearing the end of his highly successful run as NBA commissioner, but his final press conference in London proved that he's still on top of the key questions facing the league he helped build.
Oh, and he also reminded everyone that he's still a complete boss. Nobody has mastered the sneering, pleasantly condescending tone like him. The best part is, he knows his reputation now and plays up to it for the enjoyment of the media.
Following his inimitable greeting, Stern moved on to the issues. First on the list: the unlikelihood of exhibition NBA games in other European cities:
On the broader topic of international expansion, Stern's heir to the throne spoke up:
While taking the NBA global is a long way down the road, domestic expansion is something that continues to interest the league more immediately:
It's going to take some time to heal the wounds caused by tearing the Sonics away from Seattle, but a new team could sure help the process.
Of course, one of the hottest topics in the NBA took center stage. Stern addressed the tanking issue, as well as the related call for lottery reform that has been gaining volume this season:
Sounds promising, right?
And Silver fielded questions about the league's current schedule, something many pundits are blaming for the rash of high-profile injuries. From the sound of it, Silver isn't convinced there's a link between season length and injuries:
Finally, Stern tossed in a parting quip worthy of his legacy as a dry humorist:
The commish has grown a little stodgy in his final years, but everybody is going to miss the innovative, calculating thinker who grew the NBA into what it is today—if only for his legendary swagger in press conferences.
Silver has plenty to live up to—in more ways than one.