Tag Archives: David Stern

Keep The Change Ya Filthy Animal

Christmas season is in full swing now, so you have no excuse to have not watched Home Alone recently. Quite frankly, there have been a lot of Angels with Filthy Souls (coincidentally, two of them now play for team of that very name) over the course of the last week. Each day there’s been a new story, and each has a greedy bastard behind it. Allow me to run down the list….

Albert Pujols – Did anyone really ever doubt he would bolt St Louis for the biggest paycheck? Players can say what they want, but at the end of the day, they’re people like us. If we had to choose between a handful of companies, assuming the job was the same, we’d all pick the highest salary. We might take a couple bucks less to be in a city more to our liking, but that’s it. It’s an ego thing. You want the highest number you can get. Say what you want, Dierdre Pujols, but that’s what happened here. You can say you were insulted by St Louis’s offer, but at the end of the day, the reason is still because they didn’t offer as much money. Same thing. Pujols in an Angel uniform will enhance my disdain for them, but not nearly as much as…

CJ Wilson – He and the Angels are a match made in douchebag heaven. I started out liking Wilson because he made the transition from closer to starter effectively, and that’s admirable. But once you go and say Oakland fans suck, that’s where it ends. The reason the stands aren’t full is because the owners are selling us a AAA team with the clear understanding that they’re making no efforts to win any time soon. Texas fans wouldn’t show up for that, neither would Angel fans. Anyway, Wilson is coming off a career year, and Anaheim is always willing to pay. Wilson is a Southern California native, but far more of an Orange County guy, not Dodger material. I look forward to seeing how this contract plays out. He carries a 1-5 postseason record, with a 4.82 ERA.

David Stern – I really like what Stern is doing with this whole Chris Paul debacle. I like it because I don’t like it. Anything the commissioner does to draw more scrutiny in his direction is a welcomed move in my book. I’m so sick of this guy ruining my favorite sport that it’s gotten to the point where I just have to sit back until he runs it all the way into the ground. It reminds me of former A’s manager, Bob Geren. Ultimately, you just had to root for failure in hopes that it will bring change.

 

 

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David Stern “Locked Out” Rap

The radio station 95.7 in the Bay Area is a station I’ve listened to quite a bit since they were created. Plus, they are the only station that actually incorporates the A’s into their discussions, and they actually talk about the Raiders quite a bit too. The afternoon hosts were talking about this video they made with Stern rapping. I had to check it out, and have to think you’ll enjoy it too!


Stern’s Tarnished Legacy

I’ve never been a big fan of David Stern, and the recent lockout just gave me more reasons to dislike the man who fixes games, covers up referee scandals, and fines/suspends players for dumb reasons. Did he expand the game globally? Yes, in a ton of ways he did, but if there’s a good prospect somewhere, teams will find said player one way or another in the ever shrinking youtube filled world. Why should I care if a bunch of people in Europe or Asia are watching NBA games? Truth is, I don’t give a rats ass! What has Stern done for me as an American NBA fan? Looking back, not a whole lot. Did he give us Jordan, Bird, or Magic? Nope, those guys would’ve been around whether he held his position or not. Did he ever fix the referee problem? No, he still has the same 90-year-old dudes out there calling a game that is faster than a video game. Did he over-expand the league? Yes. Did he allow crappy human beings to buy the teams when other possible owners would have been better for the league? Yes. Has he had two work stoppages during the past 15 years? Yes, and for the record even baseball hasn’t seen that happen. I guess we’ll see if the NBA has a finals or not, but this could be more damaging than the MLB’s 94-95 missed WS…

Over 10 years in the league and Kahn still looks confused.

Stern became the commish in 1984, then four short years later expanded the league by adding the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat. A year later he added the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic. Then in a stroke of genius, six years later (95′) he added the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors in a meager attempt to get Canadians to like hoops like they love hockey. That’s like getting Europeans to watch the NFL over soccer, just won’t ever happen. Then last but not least, he added the Bobcats in 2004. Two teams in Charlotte sin’t a typo, it’s a reality that he doesn’t know where a worthy place to start a franchise is. What do all these teams have in common? Two distinct things. One, they nearly all are run by the “hardline” owners we keep hearing about in our current stalemate of a CBA negotiation. Two, all these teams were put in cities that have little means of supporting a team when that said team sucks. Lets be real, if any of these teams are run like the Clippers or Knicks were over the last decade there’s noway they would turn a profit in the cities they’re currently in. Which is the point, don’t we want owners to be motivated to make their teams better? I suffered through years of Chris Cohan leading the Warriors to losing seasons, and because we were in a big market that still filled the building, nothing dramatically changed within the organization, because Cohan was still making money. Wouldn’t it be better for the league if owners like Kahn and Jordan actually had to try and build a good team to get fans in their arena? They talk about competitive balance all the time, but why don’t they ever talk about teams that don’t even attempt to be competitive? I feel like there should be some kind of push for contraction of teams that have a losing record for more than a decade. How much more excitement would that season bring having a team on the brink of contraction? Remember the save our Sonics season? That sure got a lot of fans in the building, for different reasons, but still. Bringing in these teams has done nothing to help the league “grow”. Miami isn’t even a “true” big market, yet they are one of the only teams that has done well financially. Maybe it was having two of the best players in the league playing half their games there. Even with that, they can’t even fill the building regularly, and sell out more of their road games than their home games.

Which brings us to the lockouts on Sterns’ watch.  The good ol’ asterisk season of 98-99. We got 50 games due to a lockout shortened season, and saw a lot of fat out of shape players. Maybe if they got a deal done before January, those guys wouldn’t have been so out of shape after getting their holiday grub on. Either way, I see it as a major failure that Stern couldn’t find a way to get the owners and players on the same page. They saw the popularity of the NBA dramatically decline in ticket sales, and viewers, how is that a good thing for owners? Sure, this last season was stronger than any season in recent memory with a plethora of young stars on the rise, but that all means nothing if they lose a season. Even my grandpa was into it last year, and he hated basketball for the longest time! I have a hard time seeing him coming back to basketball if the lockout makes for a missed full season.

What are you the commissioner of if you don’t actually have a league? Now, were in our second lockout under Sterns watch as a commissioner, and I’ve yet to see how he’s helped out with getting the games going again in any fashion. Instead Stern is passing the time by throwing out threats, and trying to pull one over on the players while he treats them like kids. Am I on the players side? Not so much, but I’m not into what Stern did with his ultimatums and consistently undercutting the players, which may have pushed them to not accept a deal when they were really close to agreeing to it. It’s no secret the players don’t like Stern, but he isn’t helping the players desire to accept a deal. I get it, he’s there for the owners, but at some point you have to try to show the owners that the players have some rights too, and instead of giving ultimatums and threats give them a sense of what is in the deal, and why it’s good for them. In any negotiation, nobody wants to get told what to do. Maybe we need Rodger Goodell to be the NFL and NBA commissioner. At least he can make it so both sides feel like they get a win. All along Stern knew they were going to miss games, all along he never really tried to get a decent deal for the players. All along I’ve despised every move Stern he’s made, and yesterday was just another sad example of a guy who doesn’t seem to have the agenda of the best interests of the league. Stern isn’t the only one to blame in all of this, but I feel if they (Stern and owners) showed the urgency they had over the last month by sending numerous proposals to the players during the summer we wouldn’t be in the “nuclear winter” state. Stern and the owners played the waiting game, and now he is paying for it with another HUGE black mark on his record as commissioner. When we got to see how swift and competent the NFL was in their lockout this summer, you can’t help but wonder, what the hell was the commish thinking!?!


What Would Stern Do? – MLB Edition

Uh oh, the Yankees are on the brink of elimination tonight. To make matters worse, they’re sending AJ Burnett to the mound. Fortunately Major League Baseball is the least corrupt of the professional sports leagues. I can’t help but wonder, though, if NBA Commissioner David Stern was running MLB. First, they wouldn’t even be in this predicament in the first place. Why? Because the Red Sox would be in the playoffs right now. Remember that wild, amazing 162nd night of baseball we all had last Wednesday night? It never would’ve happened in the NBA since Stern would have made sure all the dollar signs associated with the Red Sox got in rather than the one dollar sign next to the Tampa Bay Rays. However, put in the position MLB is now, with the Yankees on the brink of elimination, and I know the NBA front office would be going crazy. We’d be in store for some of the worst umpiring ever witnessed tonight (we still may be). Here are some measures I would put in place tonight if I were David Stern (besides jumping in front of a train for the greater good of humanity)….

  • AJ Burnet suspended for insert prior incident here – This is quite simple. Dig up some prior incident on Burnett’s criminal record – surely he has one – and have someone close to the situation go public with it. There has to be an ex-girlfriend out there who can re-hash an old domestic altercation. Suspend Burnett, force the Yankees to start someone else, thus improving their chances of winning.
  • Exercise the Bartman Clause – Ever think back to the Bartman incident and think, “Hey, that would have been an out if it were the other team.”? Be it financial or something else, find a way to entice Detroit fans to reach over the wall. If they snag a ball out of play off a Tiger’s bat, then it’s an out. If a Yankee player hits it, give him a do over. This would really give New York a fair unfair advantage.
  • Humidor in the Yankee clubhouse – Oh man, this one makes David Stern drool! Unfortunately for him, it’d be impossible to make each team play with two different balls. Otherwise, he’d have done it in a heartbeat. In baseball, it can be pulled off. If I am Tigers player, I’m making sure to grab a ball while I’m at bat, and also grab one in the field, and then run scientific tests on it afterward. No big league player is going to do that though, so this move could be easily pulled off undetected.
  • Call more fouls – I know there’s no fouls in baseball (aside from foul balls), but one thing the NBA is really good at is star treatment. Fouls on Lebron James aren’t fouls on Lou Amundson. Let’s do the same thing in Major League Baseball. It’s true that supertstars already get special treatment. Look no further than Derek Jeter’s final at-bat last night in the 9th inning. Valvered threw a pitch for a ball that would have undoubtedly been called strike three against 99% of player. But let’s take it a step further. Let’s penalize other players for imeding the stars’ performance. Remember when A’s pitcher Dallas Braden told Alex Rodriguez to stay the f*** off his mound? Toss him! It’s the postseason now. The stakes are higher. If Porcello comes inside on Cano, throw him out of the game! There’s a good chance you can get Leyland out of there too.

Stern’s Letter To Sacramento

As much as I wanted to talk about how much I love Derrick Rose and the Bulls right now, I’m sure you’re all aware already of how Chicago fared against Miami last night. What you may not have seen in your usual news outlets is a letter written to Sacramento from NBA Commissioner David Stern. I usually will take the first opportunity I can to jump all over Stern, but this letter impressed me…. the first time I read it, at least. He talks about how support from everyone from Mayor Kevin Johnson, to other state politicians, to local businesses, to of course the fans, was “a phenomenon unlike any other (he) has seen in almost three decades as NBA commissioner.” Just when Sacramento seemed all but certainly to be the next Seattle, too many people stepped up to say, NOT SO FAST. Even Seattle fans, who are forced to endure the Oklahoma City franchise’s run deep into the NBA playoffs, lent their support to the cause. Anyone with any knowledge whatsoever of the situation who didn’t think a month ago that the team was moving for sure is lying. I sure did.

Though as nice as the concept of the letter is, a second read opened my eyes to how – well, “Stern” this letter really is. No matter how much the commissioner tries to sugar-coat it, the message, I believe, is simple. “You better pony up for a new arena. You need it. It’s in your best interests.”

TO READ THE LETTER, CLICK HERE


Spoof NBA Lockout Ads

Last off-season in the NBA it was all about the big time free agents, and where will they land. This off-season will be all about Billy Hunter vs. David Stern, and how long the lockout will last. It seems like it could get even uglier than the NFL’s lockout and probably will miss more games. As I’ve said before with the NFL lockout, I’m all for it if they lose some fans and some revenue. Nothing puts a billion dollar league in their place like losing fans. I ran across this video of a few spoof lockout ads that we could see in the near future when the war really heats up. Ok, probably not, but we know it’s going to get ugly. The ad that had Stern saying “he knew where the bodies are buried” had a very interesting story to it during all-star weekend and this article by Adrian Wojnarowski is a must read if you haven’t heard the story.


Things I’m Tired Of Hearing About This NBA Season

Anything Heat Related – There might have been one or two Miami Heat squads I actually liked during their entire existence. I can’t name any off the top of my head, but I’d guess that Glen Rice was on the team. To this day, when I think of the Heat, I think of guys like Kevin Edwards, Jon Sundvold, and Rony Seikaly. No matter how much the NBA is trying to shove this Heat team down my throat, I’m not gonna budge. But it’s like Stan Van Gundy said, when you hold the championship celebration in August, the scrutiny will come. I can barely even watch Heat games anymore. If they didn’t have Erick Dampier, they wouldn’t be worth watching at all.

David Stern Still Being David Stern – Seriously, how has this guy not been fired, sued, or bitch-slapped yet?! He’s by far the most arrogant commissioner in the sport with the biggest egos. How is he still in control? (I know, the answer is obvious… money) He has pretty much single-handedly destroyed my favorite sport. I love basketball, but I can barely tolerate the NBA anymore. The officiating has blatantly become just a means of manipulating  the outcome of games. It’s like recess was in elementary school: just as you started breaking a sweat and having fun, some asshole blows a whistle and everyone has to go back in the classroom. Or in this case, stand around and watch one guy shoot a ten foot set shot. Add to that the special treatment various players get no matter how obvious, and it just makes me wanna text Rasheed Wallace and say “look at this sh!t NOW, record hater.” I think I’m even more peeved than usual after reading Stern’s cocky-ass comments about SVG today.

The Spurs – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sacramento Kings: Will They or Won’t They? I know… no one outside of Sacramento really has to put up with this news, but there is literally a new story about whether or not the Kings plan to leave town after this season, and more often than not, it’s not even news. For example, today’s biggest story is that fans are trying to sell out the second to last home game of the season, fittingly against the team formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics. Look, few people spent as much time at Arco Arena as I did growing up (not Power Balance Pavilion, not the Livestrong Center, not the Tiffany Dome, and not the Friendship Bracelet Fieldhouse. Sorry, I’ll stop), but at this point, I feel so alienated by this franchise, I don’t even feel like they’re my home team anymore. This is a city that sold out every game for the first 13 years here, and then after a few down months, the next 7 or 8 again. It’s not the city that’s the problem. I love the movie Major League, but I hate seeing the same strategy being employed in real life. At least the movie had two things the Kings don’t: Charlie Sheen, and duh – winning!


Athletes With Guns? Who Cares?

Who ride, I ride, hands on my 4-5. Yeah, I just quoted a Silkk the Shocker song. Not sure if many NBA players are old enough to remember that one, but they may as well be bumpin it in their cars as they ride to the arena. By this point, we all know Gilbert Arenas stored his unloaded guns at the arena. I do agree that is wrong, but this has opened up a whole new discussion about athletes with weapons, especially once Devin Harris publicly estimated that 75% of NBA players carry guns. It got me thinking, do I really care if professional athletes worth millions and millions of dollars carry guns? Not really. I don’t think someone like Gilbert Arenas is really a public threat. Broke people buy guns to commit crimes. Millionaire athletes buy guns for protection. Off the top of my head, I think of examples like Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce, and I’m more upset about that than any athlete carrying a gun. Let’s think about this. How often do we hear about athletes actually committing crimes with their weapons? Are you done? Let’s see what you’ve come up with. Plaxico Burress. Sure, he shot someone, but it was himself. I’d say karma handled that situation. Jayson Williams. Sure, he shot and killed someone, but after his recent car crash, something tells me he would’ve found another way to kill someone anyway. Oh yeah, then there’s Stephen Jackson, who shot some air. Unless I’m forgetting someone, the only other athletes who get busted for guns is for simply having them. So go ahead Stern, do what you do best and make an example of Arenas, but make it about bringing guns to the arena, not a witch hunt about athletes who own guns.


5 Things That Need To Happen In Sports

Consider this my Christmas wish list for the world of sports. Here’s a few things I’d like to see happen. They’re not necessarily the most pressing issues, but they just seem to make sense in my head.

College Football Playoff System – Let’s start with the obvious. This topic has been beaten to death, and is destined to sit at its current impasse. 95% of the population wants a playoff, while the BCS and a few others do not. It’s been said that the point of the BCS is only to ensure the top two teams are playing for the National Championship. However, this year, we’ve got an unprecedented THREE undefeated teams NOT playing for the Title. If Cincinnati beats Florida, they’ll have a pretty convincing argument. At the same time, the winner of the Fiesta Bowl, either TCU or Boise State, will also have the right to consider themselves co-champions.

Likelihood of this happening: Slim to none.

Realignment of MLB Divisions – It’s been 12 years since the Milwaukee Brewers jumped to the National League, yet we’re still sitting here with 6 teams in the NL Central and 4 teams in the AL West. The solution is simple, click here for my proposal.

Likelihood of this happening: Doubtful, at least as far as my plan specifically. Realignment as a result of expansion or contraction might be a more likely scenario.

Eliminate NBA Referees’ Biases – Even though the NBA has been in denial for years, we all know they have a problem. Over the course of the last 15 years, the game has evolved into a whistle blowing exhibition. Either cut the crap or start selling referees’ jerseys at the NBA Team Store. I can’t stand watching my favorite sport get ruined more and more each year.

Likelihood of this happening: Not on Stern’s watch.

Chris Cohan To Sell The Warriors – I’m not entirely convinced it’s this guy’s fault. I’m pretty sure it’s a collective effort driving the franchise into the ground. If I had to choose someone to blame, it’d be team President, Bobby Rowell. However, since he appears married to Cohan, it’s going to take a change in ownership to revive this thing. The W’s fan base is the best in basketball; they need an owner who shares the same sentiment.

Likelihood of this happening: It’s probably more a matter of a buyer willing to spend the money than Cohan’s willingness to sell.

Sacramento to Build and Arena HERE – I know there’s a lot more to it – for example, money – but sometimes logic only slaps you in the face so often. The downtown railyards are just sitting there, practically begging for an arena. Meanwhile, the more favored location is not. If money is such an issue, why not scale back arena plans a little? Basketball in Sacramento has never been about the amenities, just build an arena that keeps up with the Joneses, put a quality team on the floor, and watch your money grow.

Likelihood of this happening: Wake me when it’s over.


Sonicsgate, A Good Reminder of an Ugly Chapter in the NBA’s History

I hope Durant and Westbrook leave when their contracts are up, it's hard for me not to root for them.

I hope Durant and Westbrook leave when their contracts are up, it's hard for me to NOT to root for them.

Sonicsgate: Requim For a Team is a great documentary for any true NBA fan! I found myself locked in within the first 10-15 minutes. It was a great recount of everything that was the Seattle SuperSonics, and the second half of the documentary is the final season and a horrific way to end a 41 year old franchise. It’s been little while since it happened, and my memories of it were starting to get a little foggy, so I’m glad this little refresher came out. It’s depressing for any fan of the NBA to see just how powerless we are over the future of our teams. It’s also very frightening how easily any owner like Clay Bennet can come in and hi-jack a team like the Sonics and transplant them in Oklahoma City.

Save your time, Commissioner Stern and Clay Bennet weren't going to listen.

Save your time, Commissioner Stern and Clay Bennet weren't going to listen.

It just shows you how a few retards that have way too much money can ruin years and years of history in a great sports city. The league pretty much proved that it doesn’t even care what the fans want, which is even more sad. Not that I’m an expert about rooting for teams with competent management, but I couldn’t imagine going through an ordeal like they did, and hope I never have to.

Here are a couple of things from the video I forgot about;

  • Stern’s homo erotic sounding e-mails to Bennet (about the 7:10 mark on part 2). It’s amazing that these two actually can say they cherish each other! I wish there were more owners that had a relationship with Stern that mirrored his and Mark Cubans.
  • David Stern’s comically awkward answers after announcing the Sonics would move to Oaklahoma City. I remember seeing the interview, and not thinking much of it at the time. Stern really did avoid every question they threw at him which only made him look more guilty.
  • Mark Cuban (Mavericks Owner) and Paul Allen (Blazers Owner) were the only two that voted against letting the Sonics relocate to Oklahoma City. It’s good at least two guys had the balls to see that this was a jack move, too bad the other revenue sharing money grubbers wouldn’t do the same.
Too bad they had to reign in the Jordan era, they were a great duo.

Too bad they had to reign in the Jordan era, they were a great duo.

  • How bad the deal was that the city of Seattle took before the ruling was read by the judge(36 minutes in part 2)! I can’t believe a Sonics fan didn’t assassinate him.
  • My one lingering question at the end of this video is will Gary Payton allow Oklahoma City put his jersey in the rafters? Of all the players that seemed to stand up for keeping the team there The Glove was on the front line leading the charge. I’d love to see him snub them in OKC on his jersey retirement night! That might be the last possible jab the Sonics have left to throw at the Thunder.

The Always Bad NBA Referees Are Asking for Too Much!

NBA RefereesIf there’s one thing that has been a constant in the NBA over the past couple decades, it has to be the very bad officiating. Not even Bill Walton can convince me otherwise. I wrote about ways to change the referee system awhile back, which included forcing the geezers off the court and into retirement. Alas, the NBA hasn’t addressed one of these issues, but it looks like one might finally be under consideration. The NBA desperately needs to have guys in their physical prime running around with these tremendous athletes to make sure that they are getting calls right. The NBA is set to start its preseason games in a few weeks (October 1st), it has been reported that the NBRA (National Basketball Referees Association) will be locking out unless a new agreement is reached as the old one expired at the beginning of September. Apparently the NBRA proposed to take about $2.5 million (10%) off of last season’s budget. This wasn’t convincing enough as Stern rejected the proposal, and the two sides haven’t set a new time to meet since the deal was rejected. The NBA is facing the most problems it has since the Flint Tropics ABA/NBA merger days, and needs the refs to suck it up if they want to work. Larnell McMorris, the head NBRA representative says that Stern’s actions are childish, and feels that the league is trying to push the “old guys” out.

This is the first time in a long time that I might actually be on Commissioner Stern’s side for any issue that has come up in recent memory! I hope they lock out, and I hope Stern holds firm on his stance. If he truly is using this as a reason to get the “old guys” out I applaud it 100%. It’s really the first action I’ve seen him take since he became commissioner that moves towards correcting an obvious problem that is revisited year after year with each bad call made. Sadly I’ve actually watched some D-League games, and the ones that I have watched I noticed their refs actually do call pretty good games. Guess what, most of them look young and don’t give the players as much attitude as the pro refs which I like. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the refs were there just to call the game instead of settling the score with some superstar that showed them up by barking at them!?! I’m crossing my fingers that the officiating will better during this October 1st lockout then I could see the NBRA folding to whatever the NBA’s demands are. I wouldn’t mind if they locked our for the season, and we could try out these younger refs that might actually make the right call or non-call during the pivotal playoff games. For the first time since 95-96 the league will set up a training camp for replacement refs, so lets hope they find some good ones!