Business, entertainment and the birth of the modern NBA

Business, entertainment and the birth of the modern NBA

Extract of From Hang Time to Prime Time: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-day NBA, published December 1, 2020 by Atria Books.

You can buy this book here.

Spring 1978, New York City

“You can’t do that in the NBA!”

David Stern craved the life of a loved one. There was little reason for CBS Sports to show mercy.

Since its deal with CBS Sports, the NBA had failed to deliver on its promise as a 1970s sport. President Bob Wussler and Larry O’Brien had shaken hands over an overtime, but “we kinda agreed. reluctantly, ”said Neal Pilson, then director of business affairs for CBS Sports. “It was not a substantial agreement.” The NBA ratings weren’t great, but there was a story. On the heels of badly paying tennis players’ money …

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