What, is David Stern in his dotage bucking for the USATF CEO job now? Unbelievable. You’ve just come off a forced player lock-out which has already lopped 16 games off your NBA season. You’ve pissed off the fans royally, lost revenue and good will, and now, knowing full well that five marquee franchises have been working feverishly for months to secure the services of New Orleans Hornets all-star point guard Chris Paul – who is going to be a free-agent in seven months anyway – and after the Hornets, Lakers and Rockets publicly announce their multiple-player swap, you nix the deal ex-post-facto? And why? Cause the 29 NBA owners who collectively own the ownerless Hornets feel like Paul’s departure somehow lessens the franchises worth as they search for a new buyer? Wow!
Well, it’s good to know that even the major league sports can step in it. Ironic, cause no sport has been more sure-footed over the last 30 years than the NBA since Mr. Stern took over from Larry O’Brien, and Magic and Larry turned the league around leading to the rarified air of MJ himself.
Maybe it’s just these dislocated times in which we live. All moorings seem to have been cast free. I was kinda stunned when St. Louis Cardinal slugger supreme Albert Pujols chose to leave the friendly confines of Busch Stadium this week for the Orange County banality of the Anaheim Angels. And all for what, an extra $50 million and the chance to stretch his career via the American League’s “I-don’t-actually-have-to-play-baseball” designated hitter rule? I mean, Albert, you have the chance to be the modern-day Stan Musial, maybe even more, and you opt for Anaheim? What can you buy for $250 million that you can’t for $200 million, anyway? Certainly not loyalty.
Now, I feel sorry for my poor Laker-loving wife who, though disappointed by the seeming loss of petulant philanderer Pau Gasol and Kardashian B-teamer Lamar Odom, was eager to see how the Chris Paul/Kobe Bryant One-Ball-Two-Egos Challenge would work out this year. And me, the long-time Celtic fan who wondered what C’s G.M. Danny Ainge was thinking when he made his own fruitless attempt at Chris Paul – which only sullied the front-office relationship with their own All-Star point guard Rajon “I can’t shoot straight” Rondo.
Notwithstanding, that’s all behind us now, and the story is one of idiocy, greed, and - hell, and you’d think that the NBA would see the trade as a PR godsend, coming off the lock-out with a big-splash three-team reshuffle, thereby taking the focus off that billionaires’ blunder. Instead, once-genius David Stern has allowed the PR monkey to get out of its cage and start throwing poop on everybody. Well, all I can say is “bless your heart, Mr. Stern. Running welcomes you to the dunce-cap corner. Here’s spare roll of TP.”