Originally Published: Jul 13, 2010 9:5 AM CDT
I have never been afraid to interview anyone, but I think taking on NBA Commissioner David Stern might provoke a sliver of fear in my mind. Though he is only about 58", he has a Yoda-like quality and I fear that he might use some sort of Jedi mind trick to turn my vocal cords into Jell-O.
He rules with an iron fist and, most of the time, I agree with him. Take, for instance, Monday when he chastised both LeBron James and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for their handling of last weeks free agency fiasco.
Stern said James should have told the Cavaliers much sooner that he was leaving them for the Heat. He also called the LeBron-ESPN "The Decision" television special "ill-advised". Perfectly said.
The commissioner said Gilbert was "completely correct in expressing his disappointment." But he also said that he was fining the Cavaliers $100,000 for Gilberts comments ("cowardly behavior" and "narcissistic") about James. Stern understands that Gilbert administered self-inflicted damage to his franchise by acting as he did.
The thought occurred to me that both LeBron and Gilbert should have asked Sterns advice before either of them acted. They might have saved themselves some embarrassment, and some money too.