Jim Rome asks David Stern if draft lottery was fixed, Stern asks Rome if he has stopped beating his wife (Audio)
Most people feel as though asking NBA commissioner David Stern if the draft lottery was fixed is a fair question. The Hornets did not have the odds in their favor before their ping-pong ball was selected, and conspiracy theorists feel as though it is not coincidence that New Orleans won the top pick and happens to be the only team owned by the league. When Stern made an appearance on the Jim Rome Show on Wednesday, Rome had no choice but to ask him the obvious question on everyone’s minds — including various league executives. Stern sounds like he is fed up with talking about it.
“I have two answers for that,” Stern said. “I’ll give you the easy one: No, and shame on you for asking.”
Rome then said he understood why Stern would say that to him but that it is his job to ask because people are wondering. Whether you like Rome or not, he’s right. Stern disagrees.
“Have you stopped beating you wife yet?” Stern then asked Rome, prompting Rome to tell him that’s not fair to say because people truly do believe the lottery was fixed. “They think it because people like you ask silly questions. I expect it to be written about.”
Stern didn’t actually mean Rome beats his wife, he was just trying to express that he felt it was a loaded question. He said people would have accused the lottery of being fixed had the Bobcats won because he’s friends with Michael Jordan, or if Brooklyn won because they just moved there from New Jersey. However, cynics have argued that the NBA used the top pick as a selling point for the league-owned Hornets. As in, “This is a great investment because you now have a phenomenal young talent to start with.”
Rome later addressed the tense interview on his CBS TV show “Rome,” and said he thought he was giving Stern a softball question.
“I was not looking to start anything,” Rome said, per Sherman Report. “I thought it was a softball question, to be honest. I thought it was an easy question. I thought he’d say, ‘Come on, are you kidding? Conspiracy theories? The only people who believe that are whack jobs and people that are out of hand.’”
Rome was surprised with the reaction he received.
“We’ve always had a very good relationship,” Rome said of his relationship with Stern. “It’s been kind of a contentious give-and-take at times, but always a fundamental level of respect. I did not expect that to go that way and that was certainly not my intent.
“My point is, I don’t think that it’s fixed (the NBA Draft). Even after that conversation, I don’t think that it’s fixed. But I thought the question was fair.”
Typically I don’t care for Rome because he’s willing to engage in nonsense like this, but he would not have been doing his job if he didn’t ask about the draft lottery. The speculation is out there, and it’s his job to ask his guests the questions listeners want to hear. Whether it was rigged or not, Stern’s defensiveness makes him sound more guilty.
Thanks to Faux John Madden for sharing the audio with us