NBA Commissioner David Stern, donned in a 1970s mustard colored plaid suit he dug out from the bottom of his closet, and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada today that was televised on NBA TV. The purpose of the press conference was to elaborate on what the NBA Board of Governors discussed in their meeting.
I’ll just highlight the interesting points since Stern mostly rambled incessantly about the collective bargaining agreement with no real point attached.
Stern said that LeBron James and the other free agents were “totally within their rights to seek employment with any other team. That’s something we agreed to, that’s something we embrace, and that’s our system.” Essentially, he’s saying that there was no tampering.
He even commended the Heat by saying, “Miami did a pretty good job of clearing out cap space and putting together a plan that would attract three free agents to Miami.”
As for James leaving Cleveland, Stern said, “He’s certainly entitled to do that.” However, Stern was disappointed with how James did it. Stern believed that James should have informed Cleveland at an earlier time “so we could’ve avoided that.” “That” is probably referring to owner Dan Gilbert’s open letter outburst.
In addition, Stern said he “would have advised him (LeBron) not to embark on what has become known as The Decision. I think that the advice that he received on this was poor.” In fact, Stern slammed The Decision as “ill-conceived, barely produced, and poorly executed.”
As for Gilbert, his “ill-advised and imprudent” letter to Cleveland fans earned him a $100,000 fine. Jesse Jackson’s “equally imprudent” comments about a slave master and runaway slave relationship “purport to make this into a racial matter and I (Stern) find that to be…mistaken.”
Stern went on to dawdle more about the collective bargaining agreement and revenue sharing. At one point, he said, “I think I’m finished.” I breathed a huge sigh of relief only to have Stern start back up again. If only the man weren’t so boring.