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Friday, May 18, 2007

NBA Shooting Itself in the Foot

Reports are that no one is really watching the NBA playoffs, and the league seems to like it that way. It’s the only reason I can see that they decided to taint the best series they had going.

The “debate” over the suspensions handed down in the NBA this week is absurd. Anyone that doesn’t think commissioner David Stern absolutely screwed Phoenix in their playoff series against San Antonio needs to find a clue. Suspending Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for a game after they came off the bench when Robert Horry body checked Steve Nash was as dumb as it gets. Stern and his supporters are simply dead wrong on every count.

Stern followed the letter of the law, and had no choice: Really? Tim Duncan wasn’t suspended when he came on the court after a teammate was under cut early in the playoffs. And if the letter of the law allows a sub to pick a fight and have his team benefit, which is exactly where happened, the law stinks. In fact, if the commissioner isn’t empowered or able to over rule such a “law” when it is clearly doing more harm than good, it’s time for a new commissioner.

The players all know the rule: Legislating human instinct doesn’t work. If you don’t get up to defend your teammate in this situation, you’re a jerk. Besides, neither player raised the level of the confrontation, and that is what the rule is intended to avoid.

Stern’s running what is really a business, not just a sport: Fine. As a CEO, you don’t take your best product in the most important time of the year and screw it up. The series may be over before I post, and if it is the only thing anyone will remember is that the Sun’s got jobbed. Stoudemire is a 20-point a game guy; at this point in his career, Horry averages 3 points a game. The Sun’s already lost one game because their trainer couldn’t stop Nash’s nose from bleeding. It can easily be argued they lost the last game because they were short-handed. None of that will pull in viewers any time soon.

Stu Jackson was dumb enough to say the ruling “wasn’t about fairness.” Why he still has a job is beyond me. If the owners had a clue, they’d send Stern out the door along with him.

· I can’t read the Phillies at all. They’re pretty hot without Ryan Howard, yet still just don’t give fans reason to be confident. Despite beating up on Milwaukee, they seem to get their wins against the weaker teams despite themselves. They still don’t run the bases well, have a suspect bullpen, and get little timely hitting. That said, moving Brett Myers to the closer role looks like a great move, they throw more runners out from the outfield than I ever remember seeing, and their starting rotation has been pretty damn good lately. Overall, we’re probably being set-up for the same old same old, but I think you still just gotta watch.
· After not writing anything for almost two weeks, it occurs to me how much sports “news” is driven by the people who report it instead of those who play it. The New York Yankees sign Roger Clemens, and because everybody in the media wants to comment on the Yankees endless chatter over Clemens’ arrangement with the Bronx Bombers. Apparently, no one has noticed the Yanks stink. Besides that, of course this is bad for baseball. It’s just another level of obnoxiousness for already unbearable players to seek.

1 comment:

GM-Carson said...

screw the NBA...NFL and MLB are all that matter.