Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emperor Stern

I have read with great amusement the moaning, stomping, and wailing by various NBA writers, pundits, analysts and enthusiasts about David Stern's recent spiking of the Chris Paul to the LA Lakers trade.

It seems, for once in sports history, there is universal agreement on a subject.

Stern is out of control. This is unfair. The league is a joke.

Not just "consensus." But unanimity.

Given that I am in the business of arbitrating sports arguments about a wide variety of topics, I have rarely - if ever - seen a topic that has virtually nobody willing to take "the other side."

Not even Steven A. Smith or Skip Bayless seems to want to give Stern and the owners an "attaboy" on killing this trade.

So, allow me.

Good for David Stern.

Here's why.

The Players Association, had every chance to solve the issue of one team falling into ownership hands of the other 29 owners. They had this issue, and all others on the table this summer, and into the fall, when the league was in a lockout over a new CBA.

And guess what?

The players caved and settled, so they could have a season. They didn't address what to do about the New Orleans Hornets.

And now, what happened, has happened. And nobody can stop it.

Sure, they could sue. But I doubt they would win, or that it would yield a positive result in a timely fashion. You can scream about how the deal was fair, and that Stern and the owners reneged on their stated "plan" to let Dell Demps run the team "independently" within a set "budget".

Yeah, yeah, whatever.

In the end, you let the league hold this chess piece, and they are moving it around the board as they see fit. What, you didn't see this coming?

Geez. Wake up, people.

It's like the NFLPA is coming to realize on player conduct penalties as handed down by Roger GODdell. You had a chance to address this, and trim it into shape when you had the chance, and you passed.

So guess what?

You're screwed.

Now, all of this doesn't meant that I think what Stern and the owners did on the Paul trade was remotely "fair" or made sense. It was neither.

But it doesn't matter.

So stop bellyaching about not being able to cherry pick a star player from a league-owned basketball orphanage. Stern and company can lock the doors anytime they like, and they might even be doing all of this on purpose, to drive the Hornets into the ground and then contract them.

Hey, anything is possible.

Next time the league wants to take over a team and run it like a fantasy farm club, tell them "not so fast my friend."


  1. "It's good to be King". - Mel Brooks, History of The World - Part I.

  2. You'd argue Stern is out of control regardless of the decision Czabe. The fact is, had he let the trade go through you'd say it proves he's out of control because he's funneling the best players to the biggest market teams.

    Anyway, it's the NBA, lets talk about real sports.