By: Dan Hauser
I’m sure by now all of you have either heard or heard about the altercation between the commissioner of the NBA David Stern and national syndicated radio host Jim Rome. For those of you still in the dark I will quickly recap it. Stern came on Rome’s radio show and was asked what seems like they yearly question, “Was the draft lottery fixed?” Stern responded by asking Rome if “he still beats his wife” and said he has made a career out of “cheap thrills”. Below is the entire radio conversation.
I’m sure most of you are thinking, “Was this the commissioner of a major sport in this country or just some idiot caller?” And to answer your question, no, that was not some hack trying to get his 15 seconds of fame. That was the commissioner of the National Basketball Association asking a member of the media if he still “beats his wife”. Yes, it was Stern using a loaded question to try and show that Rome had asked him a loaded question; however, that does not make it any more appropriate for him to act that way. Not to mention the fact that a lot of people thought he was seriously asking the question.
Stern has become that “grumpy old man” that we see portrayed in television and movies. Except in this case it is happening before all of our eyes and last week was just another example. He has done an amazing job over his career turning the NBA into a global entity and bringing excellent talent from all over the world to this country to play. He orchestrated the first, and arguably only “Dream Team,” and the league has been incredibly successful and profitable in large part because of him, but I think it is finally time for him to step down. Stern says that he has a few good years left in him but I think he needs to trust that he did a great job in training deputy commissioner Adam Silver and let him take over. No owner has come out and called for Stern to step down or question his actions as of late publicly, but you have to believe that there are some rumblings in the private sector of the front offices throughout the league.
Hopefully this whole situation with Jim Rome will not be a black eye for what has been a great career for the commissioner, but if he continues this “angry old man” act this might not even be the worst thing to happen before he steps down. I can only hope that he leaves on his own terms and doesn’t get forced out but things like this will not help.