09 December 2011
Just caught this...from Bill Simmons Article Today in Grantland
If you want to know the truth, Stern started losing control of the league during the middle of last decade, when a new generation of wealthy billionaires started paying full boat for franchises. The days of Abe Pollin and Bill Davidson were long gone — family guys who bought in early, stuck with their investments and watched their league flourish into something much bigger than they ever expected. Stern's favorite owner was Larry Miller, a dynamic Salt Lake City businessman and philanthropist who bought the Jazz in 1985, then ran the franchise with his family for the next 24 years. A year after diabetes claimed Miller in May of 2009, Stern met the press before a playoff game and spoke earnestly about his affection for Miller. Someone asked the commissioner about Jerry Sloan's longevity. At the time, Sloan was still coaching the Jazz at 67 years old, six months older than Stern.
"We're a dying breed," Stern admitted. "It's not happening anymore. But it sure is reassuring to look there and expect to see him, and darn, he's there. It's kind of neat."
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