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David Stern

David Stern stepped down as NBA commissioner three and a half years ago. Since then, he has been semi-retired, not starting a full-time job, but not exiting the sports world.

Stern, who has a Columbia law degree and 30 years of experience running the NBA, turned to investing.

One of his ventures is SportsCastr.Live, a live-streaming platform that allows fans to serve as their own play-by-play announcers. This is designed to complement a live broadcast by giving fans the option to hear friends and influencers deliver their opinions on the action. Stern is part of a high-profile group of investors, which includes Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, NFL tight end Vernon Davis and former NBA star Steve Smith.

Stern is also an investor in Overtime, which focuses on high school basketball highlights. In June at the Hashtag Sports conference, Stern spoke on the "Redefining Sports Viewership" panel with Overtime CEO Dan Porter and Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal. Afterward, he discussed the world of live streaming with ThePostGame.

ThePostGame: In terms of Sportscastr.Live, why get involved in something like this? Why not retire and go off into the sunset?
DAVID STERN: Oh, because staying engaging and learning is what keeps life really interesting. For me, learning about venture capital, learning about investment banking, learning about advisory work, it's great. I used to say the NBA is a learning organization, and I take it personally. I'm a person who loves to learn on a daily basis, and I'm doing it through venture.

TPG: There's a certain irony considering all the TV deals that were done when you were the commissioner and now you're talking about live streaming and doing things that directly compete with the TV deals.
STERN: I don't think so. I think they're all additive to what the NBA does. The NBA is now streaming. The Sportscastr.Live would be based on the NBA games and enhance them, all of the things, shottracker, key motion. Over time, these are all a place where we're reinforcing the importance of basketball and reinforcing the NBA brand.

TPG: How do you think people will consume sports in three years, specifically the NBA?
STERN: The great majority will continue to watch traditional games, but as the younger audiences come in, they're going to be looking to Snapchat stories, they're going to be looking to Facebook feeds, they're going to be looking to Twitter feeds, but it's all going to accretive to the basic product and bring them in as fans.

TPG: How would you change live streaming if you could go back, say, five years?
STERN: I think it's actually emerging beautifully. We were doing live stream, I'm guessing it was 10 years ago. I don't remember exactly when NBA League Pass began. We were streaming that to League Pass International. We really have embraced that and it just continues to grow. And you can't control these developments. They're so organic, it's amazing.

TPG: How do you watch the NBA?
STERN: I watch games.

STERN: On TV. I don't stream. I don't watch it on live stream. I do it on live TV. It's very urgent.

TPG: Do you use social media? Do you check it out?
STERN: I check it out, but you can't find it there because there are too many false David Sterns.

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