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David Stern not a fan of "The Decision" but is fan of right of players to choose

Jul 12, 2010, 10:02 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for stern ASW.jpgIt wasn’t LeBron’s decision that bothered David Stern, it was “The Decision.”

In press conference in Las Vegas Monday, David Stern said LeBron James was more than free to make any decision he wanted, as were Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. He credited Miami with clearing the cap space to pull off the coup.

Tampering? Fugetaboutit.

“The 3 players are totally within their rights to talk to each other,” Stern said. “That is not tampering.”

Now, how LeBron James made his announcement… That’s another matter.

“The advice that he received on this was poor…” Stern said. “His honesty and his integrity, I think, shined through. But this decision was ill-conceived.”

Stern was in Vegas for a meeting of the owners. He said out of that that the owners and players are not as far apart on agreeing what the actual numbers are on basketball revenues as the players think.

He was asked about better revenue sharing between the teams to help even out the playing field, and he promised that will be “robust” in the future. It’s needed — the Lakers pull in about $2 million in gross revenue per game, the Memphis Grizzlies and others are at less than $400,000. Throw in the disparity of local television contracts and some teams can easily afford some luxury tax, while others cannot.

But Stern could look around the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas, see a sold out arena for a second night to watch John Wall and the other guys here, to watch a lot of guys just hoping to make an NBA roster, and realize business is pretty good.

  1. Larry Parker - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    Stern is just playing out the charade this was all planned by Big Time basketball Whoops I mean the NBA. This was one of the best promotional moves made by the NBA. The WWE would’ve been proud. This was all planned and orchstrated by the NBA. They want to get rid of their small market teams and go to Europe. You will see the consolidation of talent into the The large markets in the U.S.. Then Gilbert will be able to stock the London Cavaliers with exciting new rookies with all the draft picks for lebron. Jesse lebron walked on the heart of allot of Ohio children when he pulled this stunt. It’s not the move that upset us Ohioans, It’s the way he did It. The midwest continues to be marginalized as the recession marches on. All we needed was another kick in the face. Jesse instead of defending the billionaire maybe you should give him some advice about sensitivity. But I don’t expect that the Elitest movement marches on. Evryone in the NBA is Guilty.Watch and see, London Cavaliers,Barcelona Raptors, The Moscow Nets And Berlin Bucks .Cavalier fans don’t go to the games you’ve been had.

  2. reality - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    LeBron blew it. It was a PR disaster. Plain and simple. They were amateurs, they probably did “game the syatem”, probably did violate the intent of the no tampering, and in doing so they probably should be reprimanded. But the fact is people tuned in and watched and it sold advertisement so the viewers are the problem. Let’s face it, most of these athletes have limited mental capacity and would take off their shirt on dancing with the stars and embarrase themselves if paid the money. They go where the money is and viewers provide the money and viewers provided the foundation for the James insult to Cleveland. It is not about slave owners and Jackson is simply old and out of touch seeking some public light in any manner he can get it. Slave? Please! I must have missed the history class where slaves were paid 100 million and if they were paid like that I can assure you slavery would be a repobust industry to this day and they would be chaining themselves to the boat and smiling for the camera. The comment by Jackson was as racial comment designed cause a white team owner to cower back into the silence and not attack someone who strung along and betrayed a town that had invested so much hope and pride in a player. The folks who think Jackson was right, the people who have carried on the comments, they are incapable of an intellectual analysis of what really happened. A kid grew up in a town, became a superstar, brought the town recognition and pride, then strung it along in a circus and tore out it’s heart. The people and owner have every right to be angry, they had given him everything and they never dreamed he would actually leave.

  3. Jroll - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    Soon?….It has already happened. The lakers are the yankees of basketball. I don’t even watch basketball anymore because of the lakers.

  4. Curmudgeon - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    It will be amusing to see not one, not two, but three larger than life egos each trying to get his 30 per night. I’d hate to be a role player on such a team. I’d never get a touch. Not good for team chemistry.

  5. Li - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    Of course Stern doesn’t care whether the players colluded. He knows Miami will now generate huge $$$ for the NBA, and that’s all that matters to him. It’s a business, not a sport.

  6. NBA Sucks - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Reality, very well done. It’s been interesting reading the comments from people who obviously live outside of northeast Ohio. They don’t realize the money spent going to Cavs’ games, the money spent buying LeBron and Cavs’ merchandise and how much he was adored in this area. I work in a sporting goods store located about two miles from his home, so I kinda know this for a fact. And I don’t think it was the fact that he left, because it was never certain he would stay, but the freak show that was on ESPN just to appease his own massive ego was the clincher. I thought before this fiasco that if he left, he would be disliked, but the amount of venom spewed by many people has shocked me. And to Jesse Jackson, STFU. Until he spoke, I had not heard any mention of race through this whole process. But good ol’ Jesse took care of that. BTW Jesse, white people go to Cavs’ games, too!! And regarding Dan Gilbert’s comments, it sounded like he had just had enough. Everything the Cavs’ organization did was run through LeBron. People say the Cavs’ did nothing the past seven years to improve the team- they brought in Williams, O’Neal, Jameson, gutted the team of draft picks. There’s only so much you can do. Gilbert’s comments reflected the frustration of most Cavs’ fans in the area.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    no but you do not need a narcicistic, self indulgent, egotistical dill weed thug to make a two second announcement into his own personal 1 hour “Hey look at me I’m the king” special. Small minds hold idiots like LBJ in high esteem. Didn’t see Wade or Bosh turn their decisions into a I love me spectacle.

  8. Junior - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    The pundits didn’t like “The Decision” so all we hear is how bad the show was. I was against the show before I actually saw it. “The Decision” was done nicely. JBJ came through as a considerate person and someone that understands the impact of his decision. This was a first. Get use to it. We will see more going forward.

  9. jdet - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    i dont watch much either. when the poster boy for the nba buys out of a rape charge and his sidekick chokes coaches for a hobby i think ill stick to college ball.

  10. Clevelander - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    Amen. Totally, absolutely agree with everything you said.

  11. neutral observer - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    All i hear is hate of of a black man, being independant, wise and rich. Lebron did everything perfectly and allowed no one to exploit him. lets talk about ben the rapist, oh he is white you understand. and no one is calling him a thug. let s talk about Manning pulling his pants down and sitting on a female doctor face while shes examining his injured foot, oh forgot he is an ALL american boy. A blackman wisely position himself to succeed breaking no moral, ethnical, league , civil or criminally rule or law, raise millions for kids and you all are in a uproar foaming at the mouth. And it not about race? The problem is Lebron knows how to get around , all the picks, screens bad refs and score. Take a good honest look at yourself you are the only who cant see you.

  12. Mari - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Learn how to spell! It’s tattoos and not everyone considers them disgusting, twit. Having tattoos doesn’t make you a thug, you idiot.

  13. john - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    stop whining white america, everytime a black athlete(s) makes a decision that you as a race can’t control , you try to use the media to try and couch him. listening to comments made about “the decision” over the last several days, you would have thought lebron broke some kind of law. listen, owners like dan gilbert have fed off of poor cities like cleveland for years. this owner was just not lashing out at the loss of lebron, but he knows that lebron was a life source for his(gilberts) own economic enrichment within the city of cleveland. cleveland is a fish bowl, full haves and have nots, i say this with great regret, i am a fellow ohioan and when i drive through cleveland i see so much plight in the inner city. with that choice, i too would have chosen the sunny peachy surroundings of south beach. lebron owes no apologies to no one. the nba is salivating at the thought of having these three stars playing together for the 2010-2011 season. it’s must see tv, and a ratings boom for the nba and david stern. mr. stern is a quisessential sports politician. notice how he denounced gilberts comments, lebrons tactic at how he came to make the decision, and he even threw in the jesse jackson comment, of which i agree was a little over the top. but he(stern) made it very clear that it was lebron’s right to choose what team he wanted to play for and that the collusion by the players prior to the free agency seaseon was not illegal. mr stern knows how to right the ship, he knows that lebron, wade, and bosh are butter for his bread.

  14. motrubl4u - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Only a complete tool would even remotely try and defend the spectacle of arrogance that was “The Decision” on ESPN.

  15. toosano - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    One word for Gilbert; FAIL.

  16. motrubl4u - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    sounds to me like Adjua is a racist and needs to sit down and be quiet.

  17. NBA Sucks - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    Hey Laverne, if the Cavs’ had any inkling that LeBron was leaving, they quite possibly could have traded him and gotten something for him, although they ended up getting draft picks from Miami (which I don’t understand). I know when I have left jobs I had the decency to give them some sort of notice, not just said I’m leaving. Another interesting situation to keep an eye on- LeBron has his yearly bike-a-thon for his charity coming up next month in Akron. His charity gives away bikes to kids in the Akron area and rides through the streets of Akron with the kids and many adults, too. Some of his NBA buddies also participate in the event. Are we taking bets as to whether he shows up this year? There are already questions being raised concerning his safety. My guess is he won’t show for that exact reason. I guess we’ll see…..

  18. hjay5 - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    David Stern is upset because the league office didn’t get a cut of the revenue. Similar announcements will be commonplace. The league office will share revenue and the announcements will be broadcast exclusively over the NBA Network or ESPN.

  19. MilesJ - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Thee Ox, I agree.
    How bout dem YANKEES!!!!!

  20. alltimeballa - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    I find it completely hypocritical of Dan Gilbert to act as though what Lebron James did hurt Cleveland more than when he (Gilbert) was CEO of Quicken Loans and shelling out sub prime mortgages to citizens of Cleveland. He made millions of dollars capitalizing on others misfortune. What Lebron did was not illegal nor immoral. Lebron was a “free agent” which meant he owed Gilbert NOTHING! David Stern is also a hypocrite. This was going on during basketballs off season and it was talked about more than baseball and the world cup. Who does Stern think he is fooling here. As to Gilbert, he never once said “thank you” to Lebron for the multiple millions of dollars Lebron made for him. He never said anything about the 7 years of being a team that people watched both at the arena and on tv. He acted ads though Lebron stole something from him! Maybe Lebron shouldnt have made his decision on tv but maybe we shouldn’t have watched either. More people watched “the decision” than watched games of the finals. His decision also will cause all miami heat games to be sold out home and away. Lets see who plays on Christmas this year. When shaq and kobe were at it, Stern made sure that their teams played each other on holidays so that he would get great ratings. What do you want to bet that The Heat and Cavs are going to play on a holiday this year? Hypocrite!! Thats what stern is to me. I wish Lebron the best. He did what we say we wish athletes would do, he took less money in order to go after championships. The establishment is angry because the players played the system that the establishment created. KUDOS TO THE NEW BIG THREE!! THEY “JACKED” THE NBA!!! I love it!

  21. JoeSixPack - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    Hmmm – you know, Jesse may have a point…
    This was a sign and trade deal after all – meaning that LeBron himself was SOLD for other people!
    Indeed he was SOLD for the “rights” to future basketball players!!!!!
    Players who right now are probably UNDER the age of 18!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yay, I think we can all agree without hyperbole that Dan Gilbert is engaged in the HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN!!!!!

  22. Jim - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    I don’t think we need to turn this into a prejudicial discussion of race and religion. It is about people, remember??

  23. W.Castillo - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    The commissioner may not be a fan of how the announcement was handled but it was not his choice.Free country free man.The writer ,news people,our society as a hold has different standards if you are a person of color.You may say I am biased because I am a person of color but no I am not though society says I am black I am equally White,Indian,and African American I am more equipped to judge and pay attention to how we are portrayed in print.Think about what you print how others see it as a racist view in most cases it is racist.

  24. NBA Sucks - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    alltimeballa, not from NE Ohio, are you? What NBA city do you live near? As you say, regarding the many millions of dollars LeBron helped make for Dan Gilbert, Gilbert put back into the organization- paying the NBA luxury tax for, I believe, three years in a row, building a state of the art practice facility for the Cavs’, doing extensive renovations at Quicken Loans Arena. Plus he purchased an American Hockey League team and relocated it to Cleveland. The criticism of Dan Gilbert by people who don’t live in this area is a little off base.

  25. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Stern is a joke, just like the NBA.

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