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Old 01-02-2020, 09:43 AM   #4
Jack.Kerr
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From his NYTimes obituary:

Quote:
Mr. Stern’s success stemmed from a relentless focus and a hands-on style that he had learned from working weekend shifts at his father’s Manhattan delicatessen. Yet he earned his share of criticism along the way for what some saw as a dictatorial manner; he was prone to scream at the owners he was purportedly working for as well as N.B.A. employees, team officials, league partners, reporters, player agents — you name it.

Mr. Stern had no shortage of detractors and adversaries over the years. He may have labeled himself “Easy Dave” to the news media during labor talks in 1994, but behind closed doors he was known for his temper, and for an approach that some found tyrannical at times.

Entering the 2006-7 season, Mr. Stern sanctioned the introduction of a new microfiber basketball that was received so poorly by the players that the N.B.A. abruptly went back to the traditional leather ball on Jan. 1, 2007.

Soon after, Mr. Stern was dealing with one of the most difficult challenges of his stewardship, when an F.B.I. investigation revealed that the referee Tim Donaghy had bet on games at which he had officiated. Mr. Stern also remained a pariah in Seattle for his role in allowing the SuperSonics to relocate to Oklahoma City after the 2007-8 season.

Negative reviews began accumulating more frequently in his latter years as commissioner. In 2011, when the New Orleans franchise was placed under league control after the team owner, George Shinn, could no longer afford to operate the club, Mr. Stern refused to allow the team’s general manager, Dell Demps, to go ahead with a three-team trade. The trade would have sent the disgruntled All-Star guard Chris Paul to the Lakers.

“Basketball reasons” was the explanation given by the league office on Mr. Stern’s behalf — leading to numerous interviews in the succeeding years in which he continued to be asked for a more detailed explanation.

“I did it because I was protecting the then-Hornets,” Mr. Stern told Sports Illustrated in 2018. “No team sells or trades a future Hall of Famer without the owner signing off, and I was the owner’s rep.” He added that he “didn’t do a great job of explaining it at the time.”
When he retired, many, many fans felt like he'd stayed in the job too long, remained indifferent to criminally incompetent officiating for too long, perhaps dabbled in some refereeing-related retribution toward the Mavericks in 2006, and allowed Donald Sterling to fester as an NBA disgrace too long.

Odd how someone dying makes people forget.
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