David Stern Can’t Figure Out Why People Would Question His Obviously Totally Above Board Operation
If anyone on this earth should expect to be questioned, especially right now, it’s NBA Commissioner David Stern. But for whatever reason, when he appeared on Jim Rome’s show this morning and Rome asked him the question that was on many fans’ minds it got uglier than a Wizards-Bobcats game. Stern immediately became defensive when Rome asked him “whether the fix was in” on the draft this year.The same draft where the New Orleans Hornets just happened to get the #1 pick with an estimated 13.7% chance of doing so going in and after the league sold the team to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson which could suggest there was a deliberate move to make that happen.
That situation alone may not be enough to question things but given the Chris Paul trade fiasco, the underhanded tone of the lockout and the fact that he told player reps he knows “where the bodies are buried” a fan has a right to wonder. The officiating this season has also contributed to questions about whether or not there was a plan to get Miami into the finals, for example.
I’m not saying I believe the NBA is fixed, but I AM saying if you would have asked me whether an NBA official would be implicated in a scandal that involved betting on NBA games he officiated I wouldn’t have believed that either. Fixing outcomes in sports, especially as the ability to bet on those outcomes has become an obsession, isn’t an unbelievable thing. And it’s absolutely something Stern should be concerned about even if he’s not the perpetrator himself.
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There’s not a ‘stand alone’ thing that makes the NBA look like it’s not above board. It’s many things, including the Commissioner’s how-dare-you-ask-me-anything responses to questions. When Rome asked Stern if the lottery was fixed, it was a perfect time for Stern to say that he understand this season has been tumultuous but he is committed to keeping the NBA fair and above board. To apologize for putting the fans though a lockout and to promise that he will look to continue to improve everything in the league from flopping to officiating. But in a league where Stern has reigned supreme for decades, he doesn’t even have the decency to lie.
And I find it really odd that fans don’t hold the Commissioner to the same standard as athletes. If athletes acted like this during an interview fans would call them spoiled and entitled and in desperate need of “media training.” But when Stern acts like this he’s defending himself against a question he shouldn’t have been asked? I don’t understand that line of thinking.