Stern criticizes Cuban over Bryant remark

NBA commissioner David Stern criticized Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban yesterday after Cuban said the league would benefit financially from the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case.

"Any suggestion that there will be some economic or promotional benefit to the NBA arising from the charge pending against Kobe Bryant is both misinformed and unseemly," Stern said in a statement issued by the league office.

"That idea does not reflect the views of the NBA, NBA owners generally, or others associated with our sport," Stern said.

Cuban, the most outspoken of the league's 29 owners, has said the NBA is bound to get an economic boost when Bryant returns to the court for the Los Angeles Lakers because it will draw the interest of casual fans and non-fans.

Cuban appeared on the television show Access Hollywood on Monday night and said of the case: "From a business perspective, it's great for the NBA. It's reality television, people love train wreck television and you hate to admit it, but that is the truth, that's the reality today."

  • BUCKS: Terry Porter, a native of Milwaukee who played 17 seasons in the NBA, has been hired to coach the Bucks, according to a league source.

    The Bucks called a news conference for 4 p.m. today to introduce their new coach. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it will be Porter.

    Porter, who was an assistant with the Sacramento Kings last season, didn't immediately return a phone message, and Bucks general manager Larry Harris, who hasn't spoken publicly since the firing of George Karl on July 20, wasn't available.

  • PACERS: Indiana is nearing a deal to re-sign free agent Reggie Miller, team CEO Donnie Walsh said.

    "He's still not signed, but I'm optimistic he will be," Walsh said. "We're working with his agent [Arn Tellem]."

  • TRADE: The Sacramento Kings traded center Keon Clark and two second-round draft picks to the Utah Jazz for a second-round choice.

    The Kings made the move strictly for financial reasons. Sacramento's payroll is one of the NBA's highest, and owners Joe and Gavin Maloof apparently had second thoughts about the stiff luxury-tax bill they probably will pay after acquiring All-Star center Brad Miller two weeks ago.

  • 76ERS: Derrick Coleman has re-signed with Philadelphia, a team source said.

    The signing will be announced at an 11 a.m. news conference this morning, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. Coleman reportedly is getting a three-year contract worth up to $13.5 million.

  • NUGGETS: Micheal Ray Richardson has returned to the NBA as a community ambassador for Denver, 17 years after he was banned from the league for drug use.

  • TIMBERWOLVES: Kevin Garnett signed a lifetime endorsement contract with Adidas, the world's second-largest athletic shoe manufacturer. Adidas and Andy Miller, the agent for Garnett, declined to disclose financial terms.

  • SUPERSONICS: Point guard Luke Ridnour, the 14th pick in the draft, will undergo surgery today to repair a severely pulled abdominal muscle but should be ready for the start of training camp in September.

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