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The NBA owned New Orleans Hornets had a previous deal for Chris Paul confirmed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Commissioner David Stern rejected the proposal that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers. The commissioner caught some heat from the media for imposing his will and having the last say of “his” franchise. It was not about stopping Lakers, it was about selling the Hornets. If the Hornets had an owner and independent staff I’m pretty sure the Lakers would have bullied them into making a trade, but the Commissioner put business first. Shots were fired at Stern during the NBA labor discussions portraying him as a “plantation” overseer. As much as I would love to agree %100… I’m at %75.
The %25 that disagrees with the mass public tributes to what he has brought to the business of professional basketball. Stern is responsible for bringing the league from tape delay to nationally broadcasted live games. He introduced the salary cap to sports to give the franchises a fair competitive edge to compete for championships. Adding lottery picks to the NBA draft was another tool used so NBA teams would stop “tanking” seasons in order to receive the top amateur prospect. Even that idea was questioned when the New York Knicks franchise was rejuvenated. The Knicks received the first pick in 1985 to select Patrick Ewing. The NBA began to expand beyond Stern’s imagination, in return the commish developed a sense of entitlement to the entire NBA.

Back to reality. What ever accolades David Stern gets from bringing the NBA to all it’s glory, he must split equally with Michael Jordan. Stern rode the Jordan brand as if he (Stern) created it. When MJ retired (2nd retirement) the commissioner found it hard to put the NBA brand on the image of Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson. To keep these two offensive juggernauts tamed, Stern integrated the zone defense in order turn the game away from it’s playground origins. What’s wrong with that idea? More inner city kids wanting to be like Mike? I mean Jordan fit the clean cut business professional look, and most inner city kids don’t fit that description.
In summary, I just don’t know how you tell your employees that they must cut their wages because their bosses can not get the company to where it needs to be. How would feel about that?

words by: Brandon Robinson
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