When Baron Davis was dealt from Los Angeles to Cleveland, it came as a shock to no one. Donald Sterling had openly mocked his point guard from courtside about his conditioning. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports takes a look at Sterling’s handling of his coaches and the iron fist of David Stern.
I didn’t get a chance to expand on this save for a brief radio spot, but I’ll take this opportunity to agree completely with Wojnarowski’s take on the whole David Stern-Stan Van Gundy flap from last week. Forget about Van Gundy’s words to the media for a moment. Coaches looking for calls for their superstars is nothing new.
Stern’s response to Van Gundy’s read terribly and sounded worse. The line “We won’t be hearing from him for the rest of the season” was pathetic. Just add the “if he knows what’s good for him” and be done with it. They were the words of a bully. Notice that there was no fine attached to this episode. Van Gundy was merely mocked, rapped on the knuckles and reminded of his place in the grand NBA universe.
Commissioner Stern has bigger problems to address than Van Gundy’s line about fouls. Lost in the hype and hyperbole of the $9 billion NFL lockdown, the NBA’s own labor issues are bubbling to the surface. Relocation, contraction, super teams, franchise tags … and the list goes on.
Listen to any voice of sports talk radio. It’s a sea of voices talking about the 4-6 teams that will be truly competing for the NBA Championship when the playoffs start next month. Maybe you can expand the list of potential champions by one or two, but the overall tournament (expand it to get some 40%-ers in there?) is marred by the fact that few teams really have the depth to get to the title round.
Worry about the bigger picture. Let Van Gundy, Cuban and company talk in the Twitterverse and to the media. Fix the imbalance. The eighth-place team in the East is currently nine games under .500, although Indiana has beaten the Knicks in back-to-back games.
I know that the league can point to ratings and the excitement generated by the Heat and their roller-coaster ride to the playoffs. The numbers don’t lie.
Just don’t be short-sighted.