Bryant Gumbel Crosses the Line with his David Stern Comments

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Tuesday night on his “Real Sports” HBO show, Bryant Gumbel made some egregious comments about NBA commissioner David Stern.

“Finally tonight, if the NBA lockout is going to be resolved any time soon, it seems likely to be done in spite of David Stern, not because of him. I say that because the NBA’s infamously egocentric commissioner seems more hell-bent lately on demeaning the players than resolving his game’s labor impasse.

How else to explain Stern’s rants in recent days? To any and everyone who’d listen, he has alternately knocked union leader Billy Hunter, said the players were getting inaccurate information, and started sounding chicken-little claims about what games might be lost if the players didn’t soon see things his way.

Stern’s version of what’s been going on behind closed doors has, of course, been disputed. But his efforts were typical of a commissioner, who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O. Like his past self-serving edicts on dress code or the questioning of officials, his moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.

Some will, of course, cringe at that characterization, but Stern’s disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent. Yes, the NBA’s business model is broken, but to fix it, maybe the league’s commissioner should concern himself most with a solution, and stop being part of the problem.”

While David Stern is an infamously egocentric commissioner, Gumbel was completely out of line by bringing race into his argument. Though out of line, Gumbel’s statement should not come of surprise to anybody as he has made such blasphemous comments in the past.

In February of 2006, Gumbel said about the Winter Olympics:

“So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention”

In August of 2006, Gumbel kept the trend going when he directed these comments about then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to current NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell:

“Before he cleans out his office have Paul Tagliabue show you where he keeps Gene Upshaw’s leash. By making the docile head of the players union his personal pet, your predecessor has kept the peace without giving players the kind of guarantees other pros take for granted. Try to make sure no one competent ever replaces Upshaw on your watch.”

Now I have no bias against Bryant Gumbel, I think Real Sports is a great show and I enjoy lots of the investigative reporting done in that show. That being said, I have to completely disagree with this radical black apologist stance that Bryant Gumbel consistently takes. I respect everybody’s right to have an opinion but I think Gumbel crosses the line when he unnecessarily brings race into the conversation. While I am a fan of David Stern, I can see where Gumbel is coming from in terms of Stern’s egocentrics and his argument about Stern demeaning the players. However, Gumbel allows his radical racial opinions to cloud his vision when it comes to this lockout. It is not only David Stern demeaning the players. The players have put just as much effort into public relations as Stern has. And for the record, I listened to Stern speak last week when he was interviewed by both Darren Rovell and Mike Francesa and I would not necessarily say that Stern demeaned players. Stern told his side of the story as he would like the public to know it. Just as how the players have taken to twitter to try and show this image of solidarity and this illusion that they are victims of this lockout.

I believe the owners have made concessions. They have come off the hard cap. They have eased up on the BRI split. I believe the players are holding this agreement up with their unwillingness to give up money and change the system. What Gumbel fails to see is the other side of this lockout. He sees the players side but he does not see the owners side of the argument. Stern is trying to get the best deal for his owners. That is his job. That is what he is paid to do. He is no plantation owner. The NBA players are not being forced to take 5 million dollars a year. The NBA superstars are not being forced to take a BRI cut from 57 down to 53 or 50. Thats the whole reason we have this lockout is because the players have a 50/50 voice in this discussion.

Now how ridiculous is this “plantation owner” comment. Hell, if the NBA is a plantation and the players are slaves making an average of 5 million dollars a year, then sign me up. I would love to work on a plantation where I play basketball and make millions a year. How is David Stern trying to control “his boys”? By enforcing a dress code? People forget. The players are EMPLOYEES of the NBA. The players, while being the main attraction, do not run the NBA. If not for the owners, there would be NO NBA. How can you call the commissioner of the league a “plantation owner” when the league average salary is 5 million dollars a year. How can you call Stern a “plantation owner” when the league provides a forum for players to improve themselves on the court and off the court with community service opportunities and endorsement opportunities they would have otherwise not had? Gumbel is so wrong to bring race into this because race has nothing to do with this lockout. Stern isn’t lobbying for the white players to make 30 mil a year while the black players make minimum wage. Does Gumbel even realize that Stern works for the owners? If he was going to make this idiotic comment about somebody, he should have made it about the owners. Stern serves as their spokesman and fights for what they want.

Gumbel’s comments made me so angry because they are so untrue, out of line and unnecessary. There is no reason to bring race into this discussion. Nobody else has and probably nobody else will because there is no reason for it. Stern is no racist and he is no plantation owner. Just because he is fighting a PR battle with the union, and in my opinion is winning, that makes him a racist? Stern is doing what any person of power in a labor situation does. They fight for their side of the issue. In my opinion it is the players, such as Kevin Garnett that are holding up these discussions. I respect all people’s right to have their own opinions but when race is brought into it, that is when the line is crossed. Gumbel was flat out wrong in making racist statements about Commissioner Stern and I think there are few people that would debate that.

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Analysis of Charles Oakley’s Comments

 

This weekend at K1X in New York City, former Knick forward and fan favorite Charles Oakley introduced his new Vintage Oak Collection. In addition to showing off his clothing line, Oakley gave the media a few of his opinions on the Knicks:

On Stoudemire’s style of play: ”He’s good in his own way. He’s a West Coast player trying to translate to the East Coast. And the longer he plays in the East, the more his body’s gonna get damaged, because he’s got to take a beating now.”

On D’Antoni’s run-and-gun system: ”I don’t think [it can be successful], but that’s his coaching style. They knew when they signed him…When you go buy a Bentley, you know it’s not a Volkswagen. When they signed him, they knew what they were getting.”

On Thomas getting a gig with the Knicks: ”I don’t understand how he even got a job with management. He had nothing to do with the Knicks, then he talked bad about the Knicks…If I see him, he’d better turn around and go the other way.”

On the Knicks organization as a whole: ”[The Knicks] don’t want nothing to do with me. I don’t know why. I tried to deal with them on several occasions. I’m not gonna keep trying…They don’t like Patrick [Ewing], either. They won’t give Patrick a job, so I know they won’t give me a job…My door is always open to the Knicks. I tell them all the time. They said something about I told LeBron to go to Miami. I was like, ‘You all have to be one of the craziest organizations in the world.’”

Oakley on STAT. I am going to defend Oakley here. People are saying he ripped Amar’e Stoudemire. He did not rip Stoudemire, read what he said. Where in that does he rip Stoudemire. I agree with what he said and looking back on Oakley’s era of when he played, those comments make sense. Back when Oakley played, the eastern conference was filled with rough defensive teams. The Bucks of the 80′s, the Bad Boys Pistons, the Bulls, the Pacers with the Davis Brothers. Oakley’s Knicks were the epitome of the tough defensive team. The Western Conference had teams such as the Showtime Lakers and the Run TMC Warriors. While there were good defensive teams in the West, the Eastern Conference was a whole other game. Those Knicks-Bulls and Knicks-Pacers games in the 90′s were black and blue affairs. Oakley is saying that this eastern conference today with Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Atlanta and Boston (all great defensive teams) is a different game then playing the more run and gun style of the Western Conference. He did not tear into Stoudemire, he basically said Stoudemire must cope to the East Coast style of play. Stoudemire obviously can play, but the bigger concern is can he stay healthy? That is what Oakley was alluding to and I do not believe he was ripping Stoudemire.

Oakley on D’Antoni. Personally, I agree that the style D’Antoni ran in Phoenix will not be successful in the Eastern Conference. I do believe however that D’Antoni is a great enough coach to change his style and be successful. As we saw last season, the Knicks offense changed to a slower, half court pace after the Melo trade. Obviously a trade of that magnitude was going to force the team to adjust and adjustments take time. As we saw in the playoffs, in which we should have won both games 1 and 2, D’Antoni’s system can work. It can work. Had we not been injured, I believe we take that series to 6 or 7 games. Take LeBron and Bosh off of Miami and see how many playoff games they win. That is basically what the Knicks had to deal with. I think if D’Antoni was given a couple more bench guys and a center, he would be very successful in New York. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your stance, he may never get that chance.

Oakley on Isiah. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I completely agree with what he said. Isiah had no ties to New York and should never have even been involved with the organization. I think the Oakman preached to the choir for most Knick fans when he said “he better turn around and walk the other way”. I hate Isiah Thomas. Most Knick fans hate Isiah Thomas. Not only was he disastrous on the basketball side but with the whole sexual assault case he was disastrous for the reputation of the organization. He was a joke, a clown, a buffoon. I am glad Oakley said that because that is what all Knick fans have been thinking for years.

Oakley on the organization. Once again I agree with the Oakman. Allan Houston is a part of the front office, why have Oakley and Ewing (assistant coaches for the Bobcats and Magic respectively) never been considered for a job? Like this offseason when the Knicks were looking for a defensive coach. Under what circumstances do Oakley and Ewing not even warrant an interview? Who better to coach defense then two of the best defenders in the history of the league. It is not like they are just on the street and doing nothing. They are assistants in the league today! Clearly they have some coaching ability. Why not consider bringing them back to the garden, where they made defensive basketball the trademark image of the 90′s Knicks,  to coach defense. I am not saying the Knicks have to hire them but at least give them an opportunity to interview. How badly could it hurt? C’mon Dolan. Pay some respect to old Knick legends that helped globalize the Knicks. You have already done all you can to ruin this organization, why not do something to try and help it? Mike Woodson is a great guy and is a good guy for this job but would it kill you to at least take a look at Oakley and Ewing?

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Stoudemire Takes Shots At Robert Sarver

 

I guess Amar’e Stoudemire is still bitter about his departure from the Phoenix Suns as Alan Hahn for newsday tweeted today.

I think this probably stems both from his frustration about the lockout and his disdain for Suns owner Robert Sarver. Remember, Amar’e did want to remain in Phoenix but was unable to get a 5th guaranteed year on his contract from them. Saver is one of the small market owners pushing for the lockout and it makes sense why. If the last CBA would have had the 5/4/3 contract model that is being proposed in these labor talks, Sarver would have been able to keep Stoudemire. Phoenix would have been in the playoffs and attendance would not have suffered for Phoenix last season. It completely makes sense why Stoudemire is bitter towards Sarver. As much as I think these guys make too much money as it is, I think it was insulting to Stoudemire to not get that 5 year offer. I think Stoudemire, after 8 years in Phoenix and after all he had done for that franchise, was hurt by not getting that deal and thus came to New York. Now I am happy as hell to have him, I love Stoudemire but if he had gotten that 5 year max offer, such as the offer he got from the Knicks, he would still be a Phoenix Sun today. Again, this is all lockout rhetoric that nobody will remember in two weeks but it is interesting that Stoudemire still thinks back to the Phoenix days.

 

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Hear David Stern’s Interview Here

Today, David Stern gave an interview with Mike Francesca on New York WFAN radio. In this interview he gave his side of the lockout as well as his threat that the league would probably cancel Christmas games if there is no deal reached by Tuesday.

Here is the link to his interview: http://cbsloc.al/pSUk19

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Amar’e Stoudemire on Dan LeBatard Highly Questionable

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Stoudemire was interviewed on Dan LeBatard’s new ESPN show. In my opinion the show sucks and is weird despite the fact that I like Dan LeBatard. Stoudemire shows a lot of class in this interview talking about education, his childhood, his son and his trip to China.

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Amar’e Stoudemire Dunks Over Cardboard Blake Griffin

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Amar’e made his way around ESPN yesterday and video has surfaced of this hilarious video of him dunking over a cardboard Blake Griffin cutout with a nurf basketball.

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Cameramen Fight Outside NBA Lockout

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See what the lockout does to people? I guess it is technically a fight but it looks like a couple 16 year old girls. Two cameramen decided to go out it after the NBA lockout meeting last night.

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Melo Shooting Left Handed

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Here is a link of a video Carmelo Anthony posted of himself shooting left handed. Enjoy.

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Amar’e Talks LeBron, Lockout on ESPN

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Always classy and always intelligent, Amar’e Stoudemire made appearances on ESPN First Take as well as Sportscenter.

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NBA First Two Weeks Canceled