Man, how many times have I said some variation on that in the last couple years?
Jason Whitlock with a long column today about the future of the NBPA and the game itself. He chose, in typical divisive and contrarian (and often right) Whitlock fashion, to focus on the transition to a new union head and how it coincides with the ushering in of the Silver Era, but what caught my eye is the larger point: That this game is way weaker than it should be in this American--and global--marketplace at this point it its evolution and history. It's the beautiful game. So why is it stuck in a perpetual slapfight with hockey for third place in the American sports landscape? Granted it is winning that fight...but would you be proud about beating your baby sister at arm wrestling? I wouldn't. It's not the fight you should be having...it's beneath you.
Anyway, I just thought it was nice (for me) to finally see someone touch on my broken record proclamations about this league being far less popular and successful than it should be at this point, even if we took way different paths to get to the conclusion. I'm going to shock you all and tell you I put 98% of it on Stern.
You make yourself the Emperor, then the BUCK STOPS on your GILDED, CROWNED HEAD. Unsurprisingly (to me), the one thing David Stern seems to be better at than anything else in the world is shirking responsibility for negative outcomes, i.e. any outcome that negatively (overall) affects HIS league.
So now it is time for David Silver to step in and help this game back to its Jordan-era trajectory, one it never should've left. Stern's now a lame duck Commish, and he's so far past any reasonable expectation of redemptive behavior that we really should be focused on how best to memorialize him as sports history's most prolific dictator, at least through the lens of our city.
Caption: Much has changed in the NBA. These days the refs have their heads up their own asses instead, and their performance, sadly, still has not improved.
For now, though, hope springs eternal in the land green and gold. What we have now is a chance for change, and we most definitely didn't have that even two short years ago. I'm going to continue to embrace hope and have faith in a new era of growth and prosperity for the NBA in the Stern-less 21st century...