David Stern says he regrets asking Jim Rome if he’s stopped beating his wife yet

David Stern is in all likelihood going to think a lot more carefully before he speaks the next time an interviewer’s question annoys him. When Jim Rome asked Stern about the NBA draft lottery being rigged a couple of weeks ago, Stern responded by asking Rome if he has stopped beating his wife yet. Stern didn’t actually mean Rome beats his wife, he was simply trying to make a point that the question was loaded and unfair. The way he went about it was extremely insensitive, and the commissioner expressed regret over it during a recent appearance on 106.7 The Fan with Mike Wise.

“I understand what’s happening,” Stern said according to D.C. Sports Bog. “My only objection at the time was, your question phrases it in a certain way. But if you said to me directly, ‘Is the lottery fixed?’, you would be implying that you believed it was fixed. Because you don’t need to make it part of the question. And so I sort of reacted, maybe overreacted. So I understand that. But a guy’s allowed to have some fun.

“You know, I would do it again differently if I were asked the question. What can I tell you? I’m like LeBron. You get a day older, and you hope you get wiser rather than just older.”

Stern has since loosened up about questions regarding the draft lottery, but it’s not his defensiveness that sent so many people into a frenzy. The fact that he attempted to prove a point by using an example about a man beating his wife is the part people take issue with. There are much better ways to show that you are sick of answering a question you feel is unfair.

Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

David Stern on NBA Draft Lottery fixing questions ‘bring it on’

NBA commissioner David Stern has a message for conspiracy theorists who believe the draft lottery is fixed: bring it on. The commish did an interview with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon during halftime of Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and Thunder on Sunday, and one of the first topics was about the lottery being fixed.

Questions about the legitimacy of the lottery have persisted since the league-owned Hornets won the top pick despite having the fourth-best odds.

“It makes for good copy, it makes for good questions, so … bring it on,” he said in response to the fixing questions. “I’ve been at this for a while. It happens, but I think the people that know the NBA and that know me know that we don’t take our responsibilities lightly. We do everything to make sure that not only we do it with integrity, but that we do it with transparency.”

Stern recognizes how much the lottery system is questioned, but he says the system won’t be changed.

“We look at it every year. It’s too delicious. If you want to go on YouTube, you can see the 1984 lottery where I supposedly had the frozen card. And it’s all too delightful, really.”

It’s pretty clear that Stern’s interview was done in response to his meltdown on The Jim Rome Show. Stern lost his cool after Rome questioned him about the lottery being fixed. This was a second chance for Stern to convey his message, and do it in a calm and controlled setting where he could come off looking much better.

For the record, as juicy as lottery fixing theories are (and I love a good conspiracy theory), I believe it’s all legitimate. My questions were put aside when Portland and Seattle won the top two spots in the 2007 draft despite having the 7th and 5th best odds respectably. If the league were trying to fix things, they would have given the Celtics the top pick. Boston is one of the NBA’s most valuable franchises, and the team was going through rough times. If the league wanted to help them out, they would have given them Greg Oden, who was expected to be a franchise center.

David Stern rips players for flopping, reiterates that NBA plans to look into it

Like all of the other years before it, the 2011-2012 NBA season was loaded with Academy Award-winning flopping. The art of the flop has been perfected by a number of players throughout the league, and it has often affected the outcome of games. Fans are calling for a rule that would discourage players from flopping, and David Stern insists the NBA is planning to look into it during the offseason.

“‘Flopping’ almost doesn’t do it justice,” Stern said Tuesday according to Pro Basketball Talk. “Trickery. Deceit. Designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits. We’ll be looking at that.”

Hahahahahahah. Did he just say, “designed to cause the game to be decided other than on its merits?” I won’t get into how incredibly hypocritical that particular statement is because I could ramble all day, but I’m sure you get the point. Anyway, onto the rest of Stern’s rant.

“Instant replay and elimination of tricks that are designed either to fool the ref or, if you don’t fool the ref, to make the fans think that the refs made a bad call by not calling it,” he said. “That shouldn’t have a place in our game….

“We don’t like to get into a situation where we tell the officials, ‘This is the rule but don’t call so many.’ If there’s a rule to be changed, then we’ll look at it, and I think there will be a robust discussion about an interpretation or an emphasis about how that should or shouldn’t be called.”

This isn’t the first time Stern has insisted the NBA will look into flopping, and with plays like these ones the league almost has no choice. The real debate is what the punishment should be, whether it be a technical foul, personal foul or fine. The problem with a fine is players like LeBron James who make $40 million a year (including endorsements) would gladly flop and pay the fine if they thought it would help their team. Some sort of foul has to be the way to go.

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.

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NBA execs complain about rigged lottery after league-owned Hornets win top pick

The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday night despite having the fourth-best odds with a 13.7% chance. The Bobcats, which had the worst record in the league, had a 25% chance of winning the lottery, but they ended up with the second pick. The Wizards, which had the second-best chance at 19.9%, got the third pick.

The Hornets’ surprising good fortune prompted several executives to complain to Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the lottery was fixed.

“The league still owns the Hornets,” a high-ranking exec told Woj. “Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. [The Hornets winning the lottery] is a joke.”

Many executives and fans who believe in conspiracies think Commissioner David Stern gave the Hornets the top pick in the draft in order to convince Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the NBA team and keep them in New Orleans.

Wojnarowski went on to write this particularly damning paragraph:

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David Stern says the NBA needs to start taking flopping more seriously

If NBA officials can go back and review plays to determine if a player deserves a technical, they need to be given the ability to penalize players for flopping. When someone falls to the floor like they’ve been shot in an attempt to draw a call, there should be consequences. According to David Stern, the NBA is finally beginning to look at the issue more seriously.

“It’s a legitimate concern,” Stern told ESPN’s Lisa Salters on Sunday according to the Sporting News. “Some years ago, I told the competition committee that we were going to start fining people for flopping and then suspend them—and I think they almost threw me out of the room (and told me), ‘No, let it be.’

“But I think it’s time to look at it a more serious way, because it’s only designed to fool the referee—it’s not a legitimate play in my judgment … Some of this is acting. We should give out Oscars rather than MVP trophies.”

The MVP trophy joke is particularly interesting since LeBron James — your 2011-2012 MVP — is widely considered to be one of the biggest floppers in the league. For those of you who don’t believe that’s true, look no further than these plays or the one below that took place while Stern was in the audience on Sunday.

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David Stern says the NBA will explore shortening the season permanently

For fans who like excitement rather than watching teams sleepwalk through the regular season, this past year in the NBA was a step in the right direction. While the season was only shortened because of a lockout and will go back to its normal 82-game length next year, many fans enjoyed having 16 less regular-season games. According to NBA commissioner David Stern, the league is going to at least explore the possibility of making the shorter season permanent.

“We’re going to certainly look at it and raise the issue with the owners,” Stern said during an interview with CBS Sports Network’s “Rome” Show. “The reason you don’t make it a shorter year is because of the infrastructure that’s been built. You have all of the buildings that have been selling an 82-game schedule. You have these local TV deals. You have these network TV deals. So, we’d have to negotiate with our players to take 20 percent less every year on the salaries that they’re getting. That is a problem.”

In other words, it’s not going to happen. Since the NBA’s TV ratings actually increased this year because a shorter season led to more drama and urgency, it’s possible the owners would agree to shortening the season to 66 games. Unless the owners could somehow find a way to funnel some of that money to the players, however, the players would never go for it.

The last thing the league wants is another labor dispute, so there’s not way this issue picks up any serious steam. There are simply too many variables between television deals, ticket and merchandise sales, concessions, and player salaries. Those of us who hate seeing star players miss a week with a hangnail will keep our fingers crossed, anyway.

Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE