Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Sad Day for the NBA

The NBA’s reaction to Robert Horry’s body check on Steve Nash, which momentarily pulled Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw off the Suns’ bench, has potentially derailed one of the best playoff series in recent NBA history. Stoudemire and Diaw will be forced to sit out Game 5 in Phoenix after leaving the “the immediate vicinity of the bench” toward what the league is calling an “altercation”. David Stern and his flunkies at the league office have made a mockery of the game and taken hypocrisy to embarrassing heights. After turning a blind eye to multiple cheap shots by Bruce (yes he is dirty!) Bowen, ignoring an identical transgression Tim Duncan and Bowen earlier in the SAME GAME and refusing to discipline the Spurs for abusing Nash in every way imaginable, the NBA has suspended two key members of the Suns who did nothing to escalate a testy situation and were simply reacting to seeing their team leader laid out on the floor.

This is one the few times I can remember actually being embarrassed to be an NBA fan! Listening to David Stern on ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick Show repeatedly brought one question to mind. Who the hell does this guy think he is? He refuses to answer direct questions and usually does not even wait for the interviewer to finish asking the question before giving his standard, nonsense company-line answers! His smug arrogance was sickening. Though he is a visionary and one of great minds in all of sports, with this ruling David Stern compromised the NBA’s integrity, disgracing the game and the league.

What is the league’s motivation in showing this kind of favoritism toward the Spurs? What could be the driving force behind such a nonsense decision? Maybe the Commish is truly smarter than everyone else! Ever since the break-up of the Shaq and Kobe, the league has not had a face or a central theme. In the past quarter century, the NBA has had the Lakers-Celtics (Magic v. Bird), the Bad Boys, the Jordan era (I and II) and the run of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers. Despite the league’s abundance of young stars and entertaining play from teams like the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, the league has not had an emerging dynasty or a single player than transcends all the others. So what has Stern done? He's taken a page out of Vince McMahon’s WWE playbook and created a villain that all NBA fans love to hate. The “Seemingly-Classy-but-Really-Dirty-Commissioner’s-Pet Spurs” are exceedingly hateable and have emerged as NBA fans’ public enemy #1. There is more hype surrounding this playoff series than any in the past three years. Casual fans are talking about this series! 10:30PM Eastern start time or not, Game 5 will pull a HUGE ratings number as even casual fans watch, waiting for a brawl to break out or to see Bruce Bowen take a forearm (or three or four) to the head.

Well played, Commish! One of the great PR tacticians of out time shows us that he is still on top of his game!

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