David Stern likes the current state of Jazz, NBA

Published: Thursday, April 5 2012 1:00 a.m. MDT

Surprised by Jazz's success?: "I'll never forget Red (Auerbach) being annoyed because the Jazz had drafted (Darrell) Griffith and he got stuck with Kevin McHale, so I don't even bother to make predictions about what's going to happen in our league. I will say that the Jazz came out of the trade with New Jersey as well as Denver came out of the trade with New York, and they're both fighting for a playoff spot. And the Knicks are fighting for a playoff spot and New Jersey might be but for the injuries they had, so maybe it was a good trade for all parties."

More on the CBA: "Not only were we able to honor all of our players' contracts and not reduce any of them, which has been the result after other lockouts, but (we were) able to continue forward with those contracts in place at robust of 50 percent revenues to players but at same time reducing our payment to players by 12 percent. That's a big reduction in any business and make our business more profitable and desirable."

Sacramento's arena situation: "I'm very hopeful it gets on track because the owners have a respect for the Maloofs (Kings owners) and enormous respect for what Sacramento has done over the years in supporting an NBA franchise. It's always been our first preference to keep a team where a team is if they're playing in a good facility."

On NBA finding an owner for New Orleans: "Soon. We're having intense negotiations with three different groups. It remains my hopes to tell the owners next week (at owners meetings) that we're very close or at the verge of or maybe just have made a deal for New Orleans that will keep the team in New Orleans that will have a very favorable lease, important capital improvements, intense tax benefits and a new TV deal, to boot, that allows the team to be neither a revenue-sharing recipient nor a revenue-sharing payer. That's our goal."

Email: jody@desnews.com

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