I used to love the NBA. Really. It didn’t matter that Herb Kohl is as incompetent an owner as he is corrupt of a senator (TELECOM IMMUNITY IS A NO-NO HERB). But there is one man who has ruined my love of the NBA more than anybody.
That man is David Stern. He commissionered the league in an Eric Bischoffian style. First it became the revolutionary force in sports entertainment. Then he got drunk on his own power. Now he is the reason why the league is regarded so poorly. Not Artest. Not J.R. Rider back in the day.
David Stern ruined it.
And you know how he did that? He destroyed the playoffs. (And today I’m not even going to mention how certain awful officials still seem to manage the highest of high profile games.) I’m going to talk about one of my favorite first round games of all time.
1994. Seattle. Denver had won the last two games of the series to tie it 2-2. But the Sonics had home court. The Sonics had the Glove and the Reign Man. But in a 98-94 Overtime Thriller, the Nuggets got to the second round. An 8 seed beat a 1 seed. At once dope and fresh.
But in Stern’s infinite wisdom, he tacked on two games of playoffs to the first round. Now the second round can’t begin until every team gets through the first round. Now the first round becomes a 15 day sissiphean epic of mediocre running and jumping where the only time you can find your way into upset talk you have to root for the city of confused boys, bad football, and political hypocrisy.
And for what does this occur? Does this get fans more hyped up? No. Do you really want to see the Cavaliers-Sixers series go six or seven? I don’t.
Does it get basketball out there? No. Like I said! If the Hawks and Celtics go six, who gives a fuck?
All this is is a cheap money grab. Stern wants advertisers to pay for extra space to air their shitty Ninja Gaiden and overdirected Speed Racer bullshit. It’s a move to dilute quality and oversaturate the interest.
And that is just one reason why David Stern is the devil.