David Stern Berates British Basketball Funding Cut

January 18, 2013 11:31 am 6 comments

by Sam Neter

David Stern Adam Silver British Basketball Funding CutUK Sport has come under further criticism for its funding cut to British Basketball, this time from NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.

Despite the record funding for Olympic and Paralympic athletes that was announced on December 18th in the run up to 2016, British Basketball was left in the dark, seeing their funding cut to zero, a decision Stern has labelled “stunning.”

“Philosophically, it is rather stunning to me,” said Stern, talking about the cut to The Times earlier this week. “I guess they are going to give it to water polo, pony polo or maybe golf.”

“The next Andy Murray of basketball is some place, but he needs a little help. If the Government doesn’t lead in some way it becomes an issue.”

Meanwhile, Silver was asked why it is that basketball in the UK lacks behind its European counterparts.

“I’d say it’s a lack of support from the Government,” he responded. “Basketball has a team of 12 players but only yields one medal, so it’s not an efficient investment from a medal standpoint, but the societal benefits from team sports are enormous. Skills translate into business and life skills. Governments as far apart as China and India have gotten behind the sport because of the cultural benefits.

“A national team does matter. People follow their Government’s expressed interest in particular sports, so we think it’s very important to the development of the sport for Team GB to be successful.”

Stern didn’t retract his comments in the NBA London Detroit Pistons-New York Knicks pre-game press conference either.

“I think I’m in trouble already for my remarks yesterday to The Times,” he said. “But I just think that I believe in the aspects of our game that we talk about because other governments talk about it. They talk about exercise, health, fitness, discipline, teamwork as great attributes, especially in a world that’s dealing with obesity and diabetes.

“And they also talk about the fact that our game is welcoming, inclusive, progressive, and very diverse, and if I were an enterprise deciding where to invest, I would think that basketball, especially in a country that originally focused prior to the Olympics on the fact that basketball was a sport being played in the neighborhoods and especially for a country that’s been bemoaning the fact that it’s shut down playing fields and gymnasiums and they wanted to get kids out to be more active, the decision confounds me.”

Asked about British basketball’s planned appeal to the decision, he said he was more than happy to talk about the benefits of basketball.

“We’ve said our piece, and let’s see how they do it. If somebody wants to ask me about the attributes of basketball and why it’s a solid investment for the youth of any country I would be happy to talk to that.”

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Georgio January 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

A real businessman, promoted his sport but not a word about the performance of the GB team, their management, nor the BBL. He just wants bums on sits for his games and selling his product.


Trevor Gauntlett January 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm

He didn’t have to say any of that. We should all say thank you.


neil w January 19, 2013 at 1:07 am

I agree with with Geirgio – He only wants basketball to succeed in the UK so the NBA succeeds in the UK.

If he was really interested in helping hoops in this country why not let the BBL hold the BBL trophy or BBl cup as a double header to help promote the UK scene??

Wasn’t at the game but I bet there wasn’t any promotion material form the BBL, EBLor GB teams/programs anywhere within greenwich on Thursday night!


Fan January 19, 2013 at 1:08 am

It will not make one iota of difference – unfortunately


London2012 January 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

Stern has zero respect for British basketball, in Manchester the GB game versus USA was a 100% NBA promotion. Actually, it was even disrespectful at times as it was all about them.


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