Even though I like college basketball better, I do like the NBA, so I can't resist taking my turn among a million other people commenting on the lockout.
Even a little name dropping here, I have friends who were referees in NBA, a friend, who has a son coaching a prominent team and a friend who has a son that is one of the rising stars in the league. (I guess in reality, that makes me old).
Bottom line, I do care and I also care about all the economics and consequences this lockout brings. People forget how much sports does for the economy.
I fully realize that neither owners, general managers, coaches and players are not in need of someone throwing a benefit dinner for them. I do worry about other people who are affected by this lockout, all the way from people who cover the league in the media, to someone who works at games as second job after a long day at their first job and in doing so, they have to in order to make ends meet. They will suffer.
While any third grader fully realizes that the owners have the upper hand and eventually the players will have to give in, I really do not care who is right and who is wrong, I just want NBA basketball.
However, I do have an opinion about one of the main characters in this tragic event.
David Stern has been the commissioner of the NBA for a long time. I don't know David Stern and I am sure he could care less about myself. But what I do know, being a student of sports business, he is overrated as a sports commissioner, unless of course people ask him and you would think he is the greatest commissioner of all time.
It is actually time for David Stern to step aside as the head of the NBA. He has run his course, his act has become tired and it is time for fresh ideas and thoughts.
Not to blame him, there is plenty of blame to go around, but how in the world could he let this lockout happen if he is such a great commissioner. Leaders lead and others just act like they are the greatest and many just soak it all in and say, David, your correct.
In the heyday years of the early and mid 90s, the NBA could have been governed by a computer. It was great times for every single business in the world and if you were not succeeding, there was something wrong. Then came the first decade of the 2000s, times have become as tough as they have almost ever been outside of the Great Depression and the NBA has struggled. Was the GREAT DAVID, so great then?
Then in 2010-11, along comes the Miami Heat, the most polarizing team in sports history and things get good again. Ratings for TV go sky high, attendance increases and sponsorships start to come back. Once again DAVID you were not responsible, a guy named LeBron was, rightly or wrongly.
DAVID, you are also not responsible for saving the NBA back in your early days as commissioner as many have suggested.
After all, this is your second work stoppage/lockout/strike in the last 12 years by the NBA, when you were the leader. Most leaders with that record would get banished to the mail room. Wait a second, I have friends who work in the mail room, it might be too good to be banished too.
When you really go back and look at the history of the NBA Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar saved the NBA, directly and indirectly.
When Russell, felt dissed by Harlem Globetrotters owner Abe Saperstein and spurned his huge offer to join the Trotters and instead went into the NBA draft in 1955, he made the NBA legitimate and changed the direction of the league forever, with his exciting and dominant play for the Boston Celtics.
Same thing in 1975, when Jabbar was set to leave the Milwaukie Bucks and join the Trotters for more money than he could ever make in the NBA, at the last minute he helped force a trade to the Lakers, at a time when the league was taking another big downward trend and the Lakers alone helped the NBA out of some very rough times and economic disaster. Can you say, SHOWTIME.
Too many people, stay too long, in too many jobs, especially when they are overrated and have completely lost their touch, if they ever had one.
David Stern as an NBA commissioner is a perfect example, if for nothing else this lockout is a complete joke and never should have happened and if you want to take credit for successes as Stern always seems to do, you sure as heck better take credit for failures.
To succeed in life, you have to be able to adapt to change, change in the NBA is long overdue when it comes to a commissioner. David Stern is a wealthy and rich man, he will always land on his feet, but it is time for the feet to land somewhere else besides the NBA office.
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