September 18, 2019

Giddy Stern’s State of the NBA

David Stern, NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA Commissioner

You could not tell by the wide grin on the face NBA Commissioner David Stern's face that the league had one of the nastiest and contentious lockouts in history. Stern was even giddy at times, laughing when his microphone malfunctioned blaming it on questions asked about Dwight Howard being traded and the state of the Sacramento Kings. Stern began the Q & A session by praising the city of Orlando and the Magic organization.

"The city of Orlando has done wonders working with us to make this a memorable All-Star event." Stern went as far as saying he is looking for the city to host the event again in the future. Stern recognized the world-wide appeal noting that "we have 215 countries and territories in 45 languages." With over 1,800 media credentials issued, 336 of them were from foreign countries.

With the Howard issue and his possible trade before the deadline, Stern did not think Orlando should get more compensation because of his superstar status.

"We have a system that has a draft that basically tells a player where he's going to play in this league when he's drafted and a further system that has a huge advantage to the team that has him. I'm sure Dwight will make a good and wise decision for him."
Teams like Sacramento, Minnesota, New Orleans, New Jersey, Portland and Cleveland have issues of their own, while Seattle is trying to put a team back in that city.

"We have several remaining points that will not necessarily be guaranteed to be bridged," said Stern referring to the team getting a new arena.

The Timberwolves are having a surprisingly good year with the addition of Ricky Rubio. The team has 3 representatives in the All- Star weekend.

"I just think it's spectacular when teams that have been down have the opportunity to turn it around."

New Orleans is still reeling from the trade that wasn't a trade and then became a trade after Stern vetoed the initial deal. It got a little testy between Stern and a veteran reporter when the question was broached.

When asked if it was the right thing to do, Stern responded: "You've been around too long to phrase the question that way. I didn't veto anything. We are acting on the behalf of the owner's rep. New Orleans decided not to make the trade."

Reporter: "Well, whose decision was it to stop the trade?"

Stern: "There's no superstar that gets traded in this league unless the owner says, go ahead with it. In the case of New Orleans, the representative of the owner said that's not a trade we're going to make."

Reporter: "But wasn't that representative you?"

Stern: "Correct." They both sparred for the next couple of questions before Stern finished with, "I have no further questions for the witness."

Stern is hoping to get another franchise in Seattle, thinks the Nets move to Brooklyn will benefit both them and the Knicks and wants Portland to host an All Star week. Even though Cleveland has a 13-18 record at the break, the guy they drafted as a result of losing Le Bron James to free agency, Kyrie Irving is having an outstanding year. He was their #1 draft pick and Saturday night he was named MVP in the Rising Stars Challenge. Irving finished with 34 points on 12 of 13 shooting, nailing all 8 of his 3 point attempts.

Said Stern on Kyrie's play, "it's beautiful."

Jeremy Lin-Sanity has even caught the attention of Stern. "I think it's great for the league and great for Jeremy."

The National Football League should take notice of the NBA's All Star weekend. The NFL's Pro Bowl should do away with that game which is played the week before the Super Bowl. Most of the NFL stars do not participate in the game, where no defense is played because no one wants to tackle. They should adopt similar Skills competitions so their Super Stars can compete. In the Haier Shooting Stars event, Team New York, led by former Knick Allan Houston, defeated Team Texas scoring in 37.3 seconds. Houston hit both shots from half court to secure the victory.

"I didn't make my first in warm-up said Houston. "Fortunately, everybody made their shots and it gave us enough time to do it."

Tony Parkerof the Spurs took the prize in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge racing past Celtics Rajon Rondo and Nets Deron Williams.

"For me the bounce pass is key," he said. Parker was the only player among the 6 who participated to break 30 seconds in the first round.

In a surprise result, Kevin Long won the Foot Locker Three-point Contest over Kevin Durant. They had to go an extra session as both tied with 16 points in the second round. Long scored 17 points to 14 points for Durant in the tie break round. James Jones scored 22 points in the first round to top all but dropped off to on 12 points in the second round getting bounced.

The Sprite Slam Dunk contest was a battle of relatively unknowns. Derrick Williams (Minnesota), Paul George (Indiana), Jeremy Evans (Utah) and Chase Boddinger (Houston) all tried to one up each other with creative slams.

Williams jumped over a Harley Davidson motorcycle missing his first 2 attempts before slamming the last. George jumped over 2 teammates (Dante Joned and Roy Hibbard) as he pushed off Hibbard's left shoulder for a one handed slam. Evans started his winning night with a "Eye Cam" before getting help from teammate Ricky Rubio who bound the ball off the side of the backboard before completing a 360 degree windmill slam. He iced the victory by jumping over a guy sitting in a chair as 2 balls were tossed. Evans slammed each ball with his right and then his left hand. Boddinger not only jumped over P-Diddy but took a page from Cedric Cebballos and dunked backwards blindfolded. More than 3 million people voted for Williams.

Said Williams after being announced the winner, "no way was this possible. I felt like I was still dreaming. Just to come out and compete is fun."

The best players in the world take center stage Sunday night at the Amway Center. The East will be coached by Tom Thibodeau and the West by Scott Brooks of Oklahoma.

Login to post comments
© 1993 - 2018 What's The 411 Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.