Sports Comm Students Make Headlines at Interview with
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern
New York City (Dec. 9, 2016) – Marist Sports Communication students helped make headlines this week when one of their questions asked of former NBA Commissioner David Stern during an interview session at The Players' Tribune offices here prompted a response that shed further light on his controversial decision in a 2011 proposed player trade.
The question – and Stern's headline-making response – came as the Marist students had the special opportunity to hear from and ask questions of Stern, who built the league into a global sports and media powerhouse. Stern was interviewed by Sports Business Radio host Brian Berger.
After Berger wrapped up his interview, several Marist students had the chance to directly ask Stern questions. Junior Sports Communication major Marco Schaden took the opportunity to ask him about his decision to cancel the proposed blockbuster trade, which would have sent star point guard Chris Paul from New Orleans to the Lakers.
"What cancellation?" Stern replied, arguing that there was never a formal deal to cancel because it was initiated by a general manager not authorized to do so. "There was nothing to 'void.' It just never got made."
Center for Sports Communication Director Keith Strudler brought the group of his students to New York City on Dec. 6. The Center is also the official academic partner of the Sports PR Summit, which Berger founded and where he serves as CEO.
In addition to hearing from one of the most influential executives in the history of professional sports, students also got to see how the production of the interview for the podcast came together.
The Sports Business Radio Roadshow presented by Boingo Wireless program was conducted in Studio B of The Players' Tribune, former Yankee Derek Jeter's media company, located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.
"We are grateful to Brian Berger and Sports Business Radio for giving our sports communication students the chance to interact with one of the most influential people in the history of professional sports," said Strudler. "Events like this give our students unique insight into the worlds of sports and sports media where many of them will be making their careers," he continued. "With Mr. Stern's response to their questions, it also gave them a taste of what it's like to make sports news, not just cover it."
Stern, who continues to work with the NBA as a senior adviser to his successor, Adam Silver, also talked about the future of the league, as well as the broader sports and entertainment industries. No sentimentalist, Stern said that the public's love of any and all kinds of competition means that there's a future for everything from eSports to drone racing. He also said it's time to legalize sports betting.
Stern is also an adviser to businesses investing in ways to bring technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence more squarely into the NBA and other pro sports leagues. Still, he seemed to distinguish between Stern the businessman and Stern the fan, saying, "There's nothing like being at the game."