Where does the NBA stand on overseas expansion?
DS: Nothing on the agenda as we speak. Period. Certainly nothing domestically, and internationally it's just fun to talk about because it always gets attention.
What would be the big stumbling block? Travel?
DS: No. We have to not take ourselves and our growth too seriously. We're more popular than some other sports, and we're more popular than we used to be. But that doesn't mean that we're popular enough to sustain the right business model, which requires selling 41 games at high prices, having great sponsorship and television arrangements, having enough arenas and having deep-pocketed owners who want to jump into the pool with us. So it's a long-term process.
What about contraction? Has that been discussed?
DS: Any conversation about increased revenue sharing—which is what we're doing and what there will be more of when we conclude our collective bargaining agreement [which expires in 2011]—necessarily involves the hypothetical of, What if rather than paying more to certain teams, we contracted? But that doesn't seem to be a realistic option.
Have you read the excerpts from disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy's book [which was canceled just before it went to publication]?
DS: I have read the excerpts that were on Deadspin.
What jumped out at you?
DS: The only thing that jumps out at me is that any suggestion that the league itself is responsible for directing that scores be altered in some way, shape or form—which would itself be the commission of a crime—is simply not true.