8.19.2010

Stern Will Recommend a 2-3-2 Format

1984 NBA Finals

NBA Comr. David Stern met the press before last night's Celtics-Lakers championship bout.

He addressed three issues:

1. A two-year, $20-million agreement between the league and Ted Turner's WTBS cable network has been finalized. Reports of the agreement had been circulating for several days. Stern said WTBS will carry 55 regular-season and 20 playoff games in the next two seasons.

2. The league will consider, and Stern will recommend, a 2-3-2 home-and- away format for its championship series. A 2-3-2 format would eliminate the prospect of Boston and LA (for instance) flying coast to coast four times in the next seven days.

3. The San Diego Clippers violated NBA rules by moving to LA without permission. Stern said the Clippers were denied permission the day before they moved. Clippers executives Donald Sterling and Alan Rothenberg will appear before a special league committee in Dallas on June 11.

Like the rest of the Celtics' party, Celtics triowner Alan Cohen thinks the media is making too much of LA's supremacy. "I hope the Lakers are reading all their press," he said. "Maybe the press will win it for us." . . . Red Auerbach chuckled when it was mentioned that Chicago coach and CBS analyst Kevin Loughery said the Lakers "can rate with the best teams ever." "If they beat us, they'll be the best this year," said Auerbach . . . Meanwhile, Robert Parish was quoted in an LA paper as saying, "All the Boston media has written us off. They are all for us when we are going well but leave us when things are going bad. We only have ourselves to depend on, which is all we really need anyway." . . . Cohen said the Celtics plan to sign free agents Cedric Maxwell and Gerald Henderson. "We're committed to signing them. There are no conversations going on now, but we've had conversations, and I don't think there's much question that they'll be back," Cohen said before the game. Asked how he and fellow owners Don F. Gaston and Paul DuPee feel about their purchase of the team, Cohen said, "If at the beginning of the year you told me we'd be in the NBA finals, I'd have said, Hooray and great.' But, obviously, to make it complete, we need to win the whole thing."

Nine of the last 11 NBA championships were won by visiting teams. The '82 Lakers and '77 Trail Blazers were the two exceptions . . . The Lakers are shooting .546 from the field in the final series. No NBA team has ever shot better than 50 percent in a final series that lasted longer than four games . . . Toscanini's of Cambridge shipped ice cream to the Celtics while the team was out West . . . The Go-Go's performed the anthem last night. Everyone agreed that it was a lot like Bo and Bill Winaker's version in Boston.

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