Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Stern warning

Contributed by Auggie
You’ve gotta love the NBA! No, really you do - or David Stern might have you killed. His latest act is enough to bring Auggie out of hibernation and go on a rant. (And then immediately enter the witness protection program).

Stern, the commissioner of the NBA, recently announced he would retire on February 1, 2014, 30 years after taking charge of the league. That’s not soon enough. While Stern did a great job of taking a league on the brink of irrelevance and turning it into a globally popular entity, he has since tarnished that legacy and deservedly so. In recent years he is more known as a power-hungry, arrogant, tyrannical leader than a commissioner, and apparently he is intent on cementing that new-found legacy between now and retirement.

In case you didn’t hear, Stern just fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for resting four of its starters during a (nationally televised) game at Miami. Great, so now the commissioner is qualified, and has the power to tell a coach what is best for his team. That seems like a slippery slope to me. Stern says the Spurs did the fans a disservice by resting its “star” players, namely Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. But stars according to whom . . . . Stern? I’m a fan and here is what I say. I can’t stand Manu Ginobili. He is one of the biggest whining, floppers in the NBA and it wouldn’t disturb me if I never saw him play again. He is one of the reasons the NBA just instituted an anti-flopping penalty. Tim Duncan was great once but he is well past his prime, now he’s just another guy. As for Tony Parker; the guy cheated on Eva Longoria. Need I say more?

What’s worse, the NBA scheduled the Spurs for 6 road games in an 8-day span. That’s unheard of. The NBA season is grueling for older players like Duncan and it make strategic sense to rest those players, for example in the second of back-to-back games, or the final game of a 6-game road stand. But to do so and then they get fined for it? Wow. The robber barons of the late 19th century would be proud of Stern for his shameless abuse of power. Frankly, I don’t even know how it’s legal.

Finally, the game in question was an exciting and interesting game. The Spurs actually had the lead with 22 seconds left before Ray Allen hit a 3-pointer and lead the world-champion Heat to a victory. What is the problem?

I think Stern and Goodell have a little side competition going, and Stern just took the lead.