David Stern, The “Soft” NBA, And The Long Shadow Of The Malice At The Palace

Image by Andrew Nicholson via Flickr

David Stern's comments that the Malice at the Palace was the low point of his tenure at commissioner should remind us all just why referees are so quick to call double technical and flagrant fouls. They never want to see a repeat of those events.


The Lockout Claims the First Two Weeks of the Season

Well, its official: David Stern has announced that he has officially cancelled the first two weeks of the NBA season. Raise your hand if you saw this coming

Despite meeting for about seven hours today, and a similar amount of time yesterday, the Union and the League’s representatives failed to reach an agreement with the beginning of the season on the line.

Following the meetings Stern simply stated that the “The gap is so significant that we just can’t bridge it at this time”. Continue Reading


Nets and Raptors to Play Two Games in London

For the first time ever, a regular-season NBA game will be played in Europe. In fact, the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors will play two games at the O2 Arena in London in March. From the AP:

LONDON — The NBA is taking regular-season games to Europe for the first time.

NBA commissioner David Stern announced Monday that the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets will play a pair of regular-season games in London this season.

The teams will face each other March 4 and 5 at the O2 Arena, the same venue that has hosted preseason games over the last several years.

Stern said on a conference call he wasn’t yet sure if the regular-season games would be an annual occurrence for the league.

“We’ll need to assess how we do in March,” Stern said. “It would not surprise me if this becomes an annual event. But I don’t want to make a commitment on it.”

The NBA has been looking to expand overseas for years, and Stern has said in the past he would like to play a meaningful game in London before the city hosts the Olympics in 2012.

It’s not surprising that the Nets — even coming off a very, very bad season — are one of the teams who will play these contests. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the league’s first foreign owner, has been persistent about his desire to make his new franchise a global icon for basketball. Playing games in Europe certainly isn’t a bad start.

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MVP selection to account for fan voting

The NBA’s MVP selection will now be partly selected by the fans. The player who garners the most fan votes will be awarded one vote in the selection process. I must say this is bad for the league.

I know what you’re thinking: it’s only one vote, so how can it make that much of a difference? It’s true that it probably won’t play much of a role in the crowning of an MVP this year, but it opens the door for fan voting to become increasingly integral in deciding the recipient of the league’s awards. And NBA fan voters are probably the most irresponsible of those of any of the other main professional leagues. So irresponsible are they, in fact, that they chose Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady to start in this year’s all-star game in Dallas.

Now, having fan votes determine all-star starters is all well and good — the all-star weekend is for the fans and has no impact on regular season or postseason play (the World Series representative of the league that wins the MLB all-star game is given home-field advantage in that final series). But to allow the fans input into deciding the MVP is a bad idea. If the fan influence expands, you’ll never see an MVP from a small market again, as too many casual fans will just vote for the stars and the headliners.

Honestly, if we’d had fan voting throughout this decade, Steve Nash probably wouldn’t have won either of his MVP awards and Dirk Nowitzki certainly wouldn’t have won his. It would have been a joke of an award going to Shaq, LeBron, or Kobe every year.

If you insist on hearing the fans’ voice, David Stern, please don’t give them any more than the one vote you just did. It’s only fair.

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