April 16, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Hornets and Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle Benson and NBA commissioner David Stern hold Hornets jerseys at a press conference at the New Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Are We Done Overreacting to Stern vs. Rome?

Come on people, was it really that boring of a Wednesday?

Jim Rome had David Stern on his radio show and instigated an epic meltdown by the commissioner. (Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE)

The biggest news story up until around 10pm when Matt Cain threw the fifth perfect game in MLB history was surrounding comments made by David Stern on Jim Rome’s radio show earlier that afternoon.

Here’s the setup: a talk show host who likes to ask questions and cattle prod guests into awkward situations by “asking tough questions that need to be asked” and the dumbest commissioner among the four modern day commissioners of professional American sports. Add to this Emmy award winning mix the fact that the NBA Lottery was won by a team that needs to be rebuilt and was just sold by the NBA.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where this conversation would here.

Rome immediately questioned Stern about whether the Lottery was fixed which raises our first question: was that particular question fair and/or legitimate to ask?

Stern disagreed that it was and went on the attack, calling “shame on you” to Rome and then proceeded to ask a question that has become a McGuffin in this bamboozled mess of stupidity and ego.

Rome: “I know that you appreciate a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, was the fix in for the lottery?”

Stern: *sighs* “I have two answers for that. The simple easy one, no; the second, a statement, shame on you for asking.”

This is where things get interesting. Rome is in the position he wanted to be in, he has the Commissioner of the NBA flustered and balking at his questions in the ever so typical and condescending way Stern gets when he’s getting called on his questionable leadership of the sport.

This next part literally has nothing at all to do with anything whatsoever in the debate but it’s become the focal point to so many in this interview. Stern firers right back at Rome and asks him:

“Do you still beat your wife.”

There is about 5 seconds of radio silence where you can see into your radio or computer and see Jim Rome begin to smile ear to ear, wringing his hands together and prepping himself for the avalanche of news that will include his name.

I believe the term is: jackpot.

David Stern said stupid things on Jim Rome's show but it's what he didn't' say that proves he's professional sports worst commissioner.(Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

“I don’t think that’s fair” replies Rome, obviously but subtly tickled that he flustered Stern in record time this harshly. But the statement that most people are running with is a McGuffin.

Alred Hitchcock coined the term McGuffin to explain a plot device in his films that has absolutely nothing to do with the overall film itself or its resolution but it still drives the film forward to it’s next point.

Stern’s irrelevant yet still wildly moronic question to Rome is the mother of all McGuffin’s. Here’s a guy in Stern who we know is an idiot, that’s been preordained by basically everything Stern has done since he took over the league. Even Rome’s question about the lottery being fixed is a McGuffin.

The main thing that the interview proves, and the Hitchcock-esque tying of the knots, is that David Stern is oblivious to the world that exists around him.

Again, this isn’t a new thing, but the fact that Stern went on Jim Rome and basically orally flatulated the entire interview proves he’s incompetent.

Proof positive is this: put Roger Goodell, Garay Bettman or even Bud Selig in Stern’s position and they come off looking good. Put Stern in that spot and he looks and sounds like the man-child commissioner he really is.

Goodell would have given bullet points as to why it’s a stupid notion to think the lottery is fixed. Bettman would have audibly cross checked Rome though the radio dial and told him never to ask that question again because it’s so violently false it’s insulting to everyone’s intelligence. Even Selig who is historically a slimy, two faced and spineless commissioner would have laid into Rome with logic and reason.

But Stern — the genius that he is– actually left everyone listening, even those who didn’t really question the legitimacy of the lottery, convinced that there is something fishy going on in the NBA.

The saddest part is, Stern almost pulled it off. He brought up try valid points about the universal hatred of him saying that had Michael Jordan’s team won the lottery or had Brooklyn won the lottery that we would all be saying the same thing and would all be crying conspiracy.

Look, Jim Rome is a bully and David Stern is a kid who is so sick of getting picked on and is so timid and gun shy that the scenario couldn’t have played out any other way. Is the lottery fixed? Who cares, it’s a McGuffin and it’s distracting from the real point that Stern is an incompetent commissioner and his sport will never exorcise it’s Lockout demons as long as he’s in charge of it.

The NFL never lost money. Major League Baseball has endured a devastating drug scandal but it hasn’t left the public’s eye. Even the NHL, a niche sport as it is in America, endured a full season lockout and came out generally unscathed.

But when basketball went away, no one but the die hards cared. And when it came back it was interesting for about five seconds and then everyone remembered they didn’t really care that much about watching the Warriors play the Nuggets at 10pm at night.

Here’s the problem with Stern’s NBA: if it’s not the Heat, Lakers, Bulls, Knicks or Celtics than no one cares.

The NFL can schedule the Rams and the Seahawks on Monday Night Football and people will watch it. Baseball’s attendance is for the most part as good as it’s ever been and the NHL rarely sees a game that isn’t raved about by someone even if it’s the Hurricanes and the Islanders.

Football survives by creating individual markets and fan bases. Baseball thrives on the ability to live within it’s own history and the NHL makes it’s name on being a staple no matter where a team is located. And when a fan base stops caring about it’s team, they move it to a market that will.

Basketball lives on names, brands and face time. In football, every Raven’s fan knows the name of every defensive player on the roster, not just Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. In Miami, you can throw a tow truck and you won’t hit a person that can name more than five Heat players.

So if all you took out of the Jim Rome interview was “Do you still beat you wife” then please turn off the TV and find another hobby. The issue isn’t what Stern said it’s that he’s dumb enough to not answer a question. You know you have Stern pegged when he dodges questions and says he has more important people to call. When Stern is on the defensive, he’s basically slinging mudd to distract from the fact he doesn’t have a real answer.

The saddest part is, Stern almost pulled it off. He brought up try valid points about the universal hatred of him saying that had Michael Jordan’s team won the lottery or had Brooklyn won the lottery that we would all be saying the same thing and would all be crying conspiracy.

I had faith that Stern was actually going to take this one home and make himself look good. Then he kept talking (and then he kept not talking). If Stern shuts up and drops the mic after basically saying “Nothing would have made you all happy” he would have come off great. But he kept flapping his yap and tried to make the argument personal between him and Rome.

That’s the issue here. Stern, in less than five minutes and when his sports is actually fiercely relevant, managed to tear open old scab wounds from the Lockout and do what he does best: dedicate all over his brand and his sport.

But hey, give the man credit, at least he excels at something.

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