Saturday, October 27, 2012
Bettman Moving To NBA??
1) Our ultra inside sources exclusively have told Fauxrumors that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman intends to announce he us stepping aside once the current NHL season is completed. No, Gary isn't going to quietly retire to Florida, but instead take the job he has coveted for more than 25 years; the NBA commissioners post. For those who haven't yet heard NBA commissioner David Stern announced recently that he was going to step aside early in 2014 david-stern-retire-nba-commissioner-2014.
2) We are told when Gary found out last month from his old buddy David he was immediately interested in returning to the NBA as the top dog. We are told its Gary's job if he wants it, despite what Stern may have said about his successor, Mr. Silver. The only issue is the wording of his current deal with the NHL which he recently extended in March 2011 for 5 additional years at nearly 10 million/year including perks/bennys. Its unknown if he has an 'out clause' in the deal which would allow him to jump leagues if given the chance. Folks who know Bettman say its highly probable the Queens NY native made such an allotment within the contract so would be free from the final 2 years of the deal should the NBA Board of Governors agree to take him on.
3) Stern is set to step down on 2/1/14. Ironically Bettman started with the NHL on 2/1/93 and would possibly be starting back at his old haunt on 2/1/14, 21 years to the day after he left the NBA to guide the NHL. For review: Bettman joined the NBA back in 1981, only 4 years removed from his NYU Law degree. He served mainly in the marketing and legal departments. Bettman rose to 'third in command' of the NBA, spending many years as the league's general counsel and senior vice president.. Bettman played a key role in the development of the "soft salary cap system implemented and agreed by the NBA in 1983, a system it more or less continues to use today.
4) Folks who know Bettman privately tell that Gary has never been a real hockey fan despite being the head of the league for over 20 years. He knew little about hockey before hand and to this day only has a passing knowledge of the sport he heads. Basketball on the other hand is Bettman's true love. He we're told, can recite players and stats of players going back to the 1960's. He was a frequent attendee of Knicks games growing up and has retained his love of the sport throughout his NHL tenure. Even watching NBA playoff games in private when his own league's Stanley Cup playoffs were underway. So few of his inner circle will be surprised to see Gary return to his real roots, NBA basketball, and truer still VERY few NHL fans will be sad to see he and his 3 lockouts, and probably 2 lost seasons go!