David Stern threw some shade at the NBA's last-place team earlier this week.
The former NBA commissioner spoke with Newsday's Neil Best and gave his take on a number of topics going on within the league, including what's going on with the Knicks, who are 1-7 entering Friday's game with the Mavericks.
Stern, who held the position for 30 years from 1984-2014 and was born in New York, was asked if "the Knicks would ever be good again." And he said this: "I do. I do. I tell everyone they're only one player away, and someone yelled out to me, 'Who?' And I said, 'Michael Jordan in his prime."
Stern spoke to Newsday before appearing at the SeventySix Capital Sports Innovation Conference at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and also had a lot to say about the state of the new wave of sports betting sweeping the nation--13 states have now made it legal.
"When I stepped away [in 2014] and Adam Silver came out in favor of sports betting, I agreed," Stern said. "...The end was in sight once fantasy [sports] got started. I fail to see a difference."
Stern envisions new types of viewers joining the NBA's audience numbers as sports betting continues to grow across the country.
"They'll be able to attract new viewers, which historically you can't, because they're not really viewers, they're bettors," Stern said. "But they're going to count. And it will cause others to stay longer [watching games], which is good for ratings. So, there you go."
No matter the viewership, the game itself certainly changed over Stern's 30 year career, and has changed even more over the last five years in his absence.
"I love it," Stern said on the current state of the game. "The exploitation of the three-point shot, for example, is incredible to me, because it just demonstrates how skilled our players have become. The three-point line is no longer a challenge."
Despite the Knicks sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just one win in eight games played, they currently rank 15th in the league in three-point field goal percentage (35.2 percent). However, they're 29th in both points per game (99.9) and field goal percentage (42.5 percent).