Jerry Reinsdorf has become owner for one of the most successful teams in the NBA, but he took a long path to get there.
The 77-year-old Reinsdorf spoke with the Sports Business Journal about his (at times) shaky past with commissioner David Stern and how he has been far less hands-on with his NBA work than he is with the MLB's White Sox because of how Stern does business.
“He does it all by himself,” Reinsdorf told SBJ. “I never really enjoy being part of the industry in basketball, because I had no influence. Nothing to say about anything. You go to NBA meetings and David Stern tells you what to do.”
Reinsdorf cited past occurrences with Stern, notably the 1988 labor talks that Stern by-in large got done by himself without much input from the owners, as well as Reinsdorf taking Stern to court in 1990 over his ability to air games on WGN, which did not have NBA broadcast rights at the time. Reinsdorf did admit the impressive job Stern has done in turning around a league left for dead, and he did say he and Stern have patched up their differences over the years.
“David and I patched things up,” Reinsdorf said. “We get along real well now. But I act sort of irreverent to him. I think I’m the only guy who busts his balls from time to time.”
Stern will step down as commissioner in 2014, but until then he'll deal with Jerry's son, Michael, who is expected to take over for his father with the Bulls--the family is expected to sell the White Sox.
You can read the SBJ's entire subscription piece with Reinsdorf and Stern here.