Last week, NBA commissioner David Stern took our attention away from the remarkable success of his league’s shortened season and exciting playoffs when he nailed Jim Rome with a loaded question when asked if the NBA was fixed. “I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy,” asked Rome. “Was the fix in for the lottery?” Responded Stern, “I have two answers for that. The simple easy one, no, the second, a statement, shame on you for asking.”
Stern could have stopped there, but he pressed the issue by asking Rome, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” And mouth-breathers everywhere, not knowing what a loaded question is, were like, “LOLWUT? Jim Rome beats his wife???” Of course he doesn’t, and once again the diabolical Oz hid behind the curtain.
So was Stern a little more behaved when Michael Wilbon asked a similar question during halftime of last night’s exciting Game 3 of the NBA Finals? Of course he was.
“It makes for good copy. It makes for good questions. And, you know, bring it on… But I think the people that know the NBA and know me don’t take our responsibilities lightly. We do it with responsibility and we do it with transparency.”
And then he goes on to explain that each team with a lottery ball has a representative in the room, there are 4 media members present, and the Ernst and Young guys are doing their thing, too. But what does that mean to the common fans who still wonder: A) Does the league fix the Draft Lottery for specific teams based on circumstances? And B) Are small market owners that play by Stern’s dark shadow rules rewarded for their loyalty? I think if a growing number of fans – and allegedly team executives – believe that your league is fixed because only the major market teams win championships or because teams that lose their stars miraculously get top draft picks, then you have an obligation to respectfully show them that it’s a stupid idea.
Stern doesn’t want to do that. Instead, he invites the conspiracies by mouth-farting, “Bring it on” because he’s a such a badass, you see, and then striking down guys like Rome for asking the question that we all want an answer to. But hey, at least Stern can take the time out to remove a few ribs and blow himself to remind us all how awesome his league is. And, damn it, we keep watching.
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