David Stern ‘Protesting Too Much’ on LeBron James’ future with Cleveland Cavaliers
But this sentiment isn’t new. Conspiracy theorists think Stern and his cronies at league head office had a hand in the Knicks winning the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery, and the rights to super-center Patrick Ewing. And the same crowd has always been sceptical about the success of the Los Angeles Lakers. They’ll swear the fix was in for Kobe, Phil, and Shaq to get past the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings en route to three consecutive championships …
Breaking news mixed with analysis …
Their News: “None whatsoever, although I hope it is in Cleveland” (Commissioner David Stern’s thoughts on where LeBron James will finish his career).
My Quick Analysis: David, ‘thou protest too much’.
Forgive me for referencing William Shakespeare, but the ‘good’ commissioner has a credibility issue. There have always been rumors the NBA ‘tilts’ things in the direction of large markets -like the New York Knicks.
After all, the NBA is big business. And it’s good for big business to have their flagship franchises flourishing. Don’t kid yourself: the league wants its biggest name, James, in its biggest market, New York.
This sentiment isn’t new. Conspiracy theorists still think Stern and his cronies at league head office had a hand in the Knicks winning the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery, and the rights to super-center Patrick Ewing.
And the same crowd has always been skeptical about the success of the Los Angeles Lakers. They’ll swear the fix was in for Kobe, Phil, and Shaq to get past the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings en route to three consecutive championships.
I used to ignore these allegations, shrugging it off as hot noise from a bunch of die-hard Oliver Stone fans. After watching Sonicsgate, I’m not sure. Sonicsgate claims Clay Bennett and Stern conspired – or at a minimum, worked together – to move basketball out of Seattle and into Oklahoma City. Bottom line, I wouldn’t put anything past the NBA.
Stern also made a mistake saying he wishes James stays in Cleveland. Commissioners must remain impartial at all times, which means Stern shouldn’t publicly hope for anything other than the Collective Bargaining Agreement working fairly for all 30 owners that pay his salary.
If the free agent market decides that James re-signs with the Cavaliers, so be it. Conversely, if the free agent market decides that he leaves, so be it. The key word is ‘free’, as in the process must be (wait for it) ‘free’ of outside influence and intereference.
Owners, who invest hundreds of millions of dollars in their teams, deserve fairness and clarity. Most importantly, fans, who make an emotional investment in their team often beyond a quantifiable dollar value, also deserve fairness and clarity.
Instead of protesting and hoping, Commissioner Stern should make sure James’ future and ‘The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010’ is transparent and just.
Sound off: What do you think of Stern’s comments about James staying in Cleveland? Get at us in the comment box below and follow Oly on HoopsVibe and Twitter. Photo courtesy of firebrandal.