Friday, December 16, 2011

Weasel of the Week: David Stern

The NBA Commissioner certainly deserves weasel ears, and maybe a tail, too, for manipulating the course of events that sent All-Star Chris Paul from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier this week.

The pundits will tell you that Stern was afraid that the Clippers' co-tenants at the Staples Center, the almighty Lakers, would become the West Coast answer to the Miami Heat by stockpiling superstar players. Apparently, Stern wasn't paying attention in June when the Heat choked away a 2-0 lead in games to Dallas, as the Mavericks collected a receipt on Miami for a similar result going the other way 5 years earlier. He hasn't paid attention to the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, whose title aspirations are on life support after free agent pickup Vince Young declared them to be a "dream team". In essence, the Eagles and baseball's Phillies were trying to copy the Heat's formula. All have failed when it has really mattered up to this point.

Where Stern has gone wrong is having the league as a de facto owner for the Hornets, while taking forever and a week to find new ownership. Hey, it could be worse. Stern could always contact his baseball counterpart, used car salesman Allan "Bud" Selig for advice. Lord only knows if he actually did, considering Selig hasn't exactly been the smartest of executives since he took office.

As long as the Hornets remain under league stewardship, shall we say, they're going to repeatedly get screwed over until Stern finds someone to buy the team. If you think the NBA has a black eye now, just wait. They may be facing the equivalent of a standing 8 count in boxing before this is over, and they only have themselves to blame.

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