Friday , Oct , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Raja Bell is ‘mad’ at David Stern

“I am mad at the NBA machine right now because I think there is a deal to be made. I don’t mean to make it sound like I am just mad at David Stern. I am mad at all of us because I think we all play a hand in not getting a deal done. I think if it wasn’t such a personal thing in my mind. I feel like it is more personal than business at times with him [David Stern] and that’s just…I can’t help, but feel that way. I could be wrong.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Raja Bell doesn’t back down.

Years ago, as a member of the Phoenix Suns, he went back and forth with Los Angeles Lakers’ great Kobe Bryant. These two traded words, shots, and baskets.

Bell earned Bryant’s respect. In fact, The Black Mamba tried to recruit his former nemesis a few summers ago after the two established a d├ętente and mutual respect.

Now Bell is taking on the NBA’s biggest fish: Commissioner David Stern.

The veteran feels Stern’s personal agenda is an obstacle to the players and owners finding a resolution and reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.

For instance, Bell believes Stern is trying to make the players completely concede on all major issues in order to protect and preserve his legacy as league commissioner.

And this, Bell argues, comes before finding a fair and honourable solution for all stakeholders.

Perhaps.

It can also be argued that Stern’s hardline approach reflects the pinch small market owners are feeling in places like Charlotte, Milwaukee, and New Orleans, where they can’t compete with larger markets like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

The truth, as usual, is in the middle. And we will be without the NBA until the players and owners find it.

–O. Sandor.

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