Friday, February 9, 2007

David Stern: Defender of Justice

David Stern has been busy righting wrongs in the NBA lately. First it was dumping the new synthetic ball for the classic leather, which admittedly was a wrong of his own creation. But, hey, there are other commissioners (Bettman comes to mind here) who don't bother cleaning up their own mess, so I give credit where credit is due.

Now Stern is correcting another misstep--All Star voting. And this time there are two guilty parties.

Mixing our sports metaphors, the fans were first up to the plate. Other than Shaq being named starter after only playing ten games at this point, not to mention only 14 ppg and 6 rpg, while Dwight Howard sits, they did fine in the East.

But the West? How can the fans leave off Carmelo Anthony, league leading scorer, and Josh 'Pippen of the Oughts' Howard?

Strike One.

Then the coaches, who should know better, had the opportunity to quickly correct this ridiculous oversight. Instead, they select, among others, Boozer and Marion, who are both fine players. Just fine players who happen to be inferior to Anthony and Howard.

Strike Two.

Here's where Stern steps in. Because of injuries to Ming and Boozer, two replacements must be named. Hmm. . . two replacements. . . two jilted players. . . I think this could work.

So today, Stern. . . well, not so much hits it out of the park as hits a line drive RBI game winner--Anthony and Howard are All Stars. Finally, there is joy in Mudville, or at least Denver and Dallas.

In fact, this might actually work in favor of both Denver and Dallas--their guy gets in the All Star game, plus gets to play the disrespect card the rest of the season. This might be enough to push the Mavs over the top.

Now the only question is who D'Antoni names to start in Ming's place? Does he go with Nowitzki, the player closest to the center position (Stoudamire hasn't earned the start) and perhaps best on the bench? Or does he go with Nash, his guy and perhaps best on the bench? I think it will end up being Nowitzki, and I think Nash will have a say in that happening.


rus said...

Actually, it only question is will he finally stop the fawning over the superstars and force people like Dewayne Wade play the game that everyone else has to play.

patrick said...

I feel that Nash should ask to sit as much as possible and if D'Antoni's smart he'll play his players the least in this game. Since D'Antoni only plays about three players from the bench, he should give them all the entire break off. Nash has got a bum shoulder right now and his legs aren't getting any younger as he averages a career high in minutes played. Marion has never had injury problems but he's got a nice knot above one of his eye's from an elbow the other night. Lastly, Stoudemire just had a major knee surgery on one knee and a minor knee surgery on the other. They could all use the break to recover or just plain kick their feet up and relax.

Chris said...

Don't hold your breath, Rus. The NBA, more than any other league, is driven by its stars.

rus said...

And that's why I'm like PJ. I can't watch the NBA. I can't watch college basketball because too much Dick Vitale causes high blood pressure. So basketball is almost on the same level as hockey. Not quite, but close.

Anonymous said...

Is there a pro league that's not star driven or at least player driven? Well, maybe that is what happened to ice hockey, and the owners decided that they had had enough.

Have a wonderful day,
Pessismist Sam

PJ said...

The NBA has always been star-driven. Just look back at replays of Michael Jordan pushing off (I think it was Byron Russell, but I might be mistaken) to score a game-winning shot against the Jazz. And I'm ok with taking care of your stars to a point, but last year's finals were a joke.