David Stern

Former NBA commissioner David Stern passes away

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USATI

Former NBA commissioner David Stern passes away

Sad news out of the NBA today, as it has been reported that former commissioner David Stern has passed away. He was 77.

Stern suffered a brain hemorrhage on December 12. He underwent emergency surgery and would remain in the hospital in serious condition. 

After nearly a month fighting for life, Stern lost the battle. 

Stern was widely regarded as one of the best commissioners in sports and his time as the head of the NBA led the league to global heights it had never experienced before. He helped the league get its feet in Europe, leading to the influx of European players to the league. He helped create the WNBA, giving female basketball stars a chance to continue playing the game professionally, and truly took the NBA from a local game to a global game.

The NBA has offices all around the world, is televised and streamed in over 200 countries and territories in over 40 languages, and it was the first professional sports league in the United States to play a regular-season game outside North America. All thanks to Stern. 

During his tenure, six different teams relocated (Kings, Clippers, Sonics/Thunder, Hornets/Pelicans, Nets, and Grizzlies) while seven new teams joined the league via expansion (Timberwolves, Heat, Hornets, Raptors, Magic, Grizzlies, and Bobcats).   

All the accomplishments and growth of the game under his watch led to Stern being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Stern spent nearly 50 years associated with the NBA, 30 of those as the man in charge. He will be greatly missed. 

Cavs down 0-2, will the NBA decide games need to be officiated differently?

Cavs down 0-2, will the NBA decide games need to be officiated differently?

Last season, with the Golden State Warriors on the verge of a second consecutive NBA Finals win, the officiating of the series suddenly changed. Cleveland began holding and bumping Steph Curry as he attempted to move without the ball. The game got more ugly.

And not a lot of fouls were called.

I've seen this kind of thing before and it's about time to start bringing out the usual NBA Conspiracy Theories.

In the old days, the story was often told that David Stern would just send an officiating team of "fixers" out to manipulate the outcome of games in order to ensure a longer Finals (more games = more money for the league).  And, it was often said, the league had a desire for the large-market teams to win. And I have to admit I actually suspected some hanky-panky in those days regarding certain games.

But Stern is gone and Adam Silver is now in charge.

So I'm just asking, can we look forward to some radical change in how the rest of the Finals games are going to be called? Will the Cavs be able to wrestle the Warriors into submission?

Well, I'd guess not. I'm not sure Cleveland is close enough to Golden State that officials could actually do much to help.

The Warriors are good. REAL good. I've seen a lot of teams come and go and I think this is certainly at least among the best. This team is in that conversation. And just like the Trail Blazers, the Cavs need help to beat them. I said from the start the only way Portland could beat the Warriors is to play its best game and have the Dubs play their worst.

And it's not much different with the Cavaliers.