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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. Rico - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    As much as we’d like to think that people/companies give money without recognition, most people/companies want recognition for the gifts they give. Whether it be your name in a alumni newsletter, the amount of money raised for school cookie fundraisers, or having the name of your organization on a banner at the marathon, people/companies want recognition.

  2. Ron Brock - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Who cares? I am as worried about what James or any other millionare athelete premadonna does as they are worried about what I do. I do not wish him any bad fortune. I just don’t care. The fact that the news media followed says more about where we are as a country than anything else. As broke as the country is it is a great tribute to us as a society that we can still spend millions for entertainers (which is what these guys are)

  3. Misterbee - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Hold up a minute, people!!! Did anyone hear/read the comments of the C’land owner after the p’offs with Boston. He ripped Lebron. I am no King james fan, but I don’t blame him for NOT responding. He “needed” to reach out to the Cavs, my butt!! It’s all business!!! He’s only mad ’cause the value of HIS team is now minus 100 Mil. Now if Lebron was worth THAT much to Gilbert/local area, how much of a salary did he deserve??? Think about it. Did he attempt to get other quality players to compliment Lebron??? Quit worshipping these athletes. Corporate America has hooked the majority of us, knowing we will rush out and buy the latest. Stand in line to get the latest shoe, jersey, Iphone, whatever. Cleveland NEVER will be an NBA elite city. James realized that and headed South. Kobe controls Cali, he took the obvious route.

  4. josh - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    don’t be a crybaby. Stern is a tough lawyer, and he is just stating the obvious fact that the players can go wherever they want,and are perfectly free to talk to each other. *jeez* Crybaby cleveland fans (and owners) just need to get over the fact that they don’t have the Lebron gravy train to hang onto anymore. Get over it.

  5. jack - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    You forget that some of these guys (NBA stars) were once college players. So what happens is, they leave college, go to the NBA, earn a LOT of money and this is what spoils them. There are very few who don’t get sidetracked by all that dough. Yes, they jump at the chance to be in the NBA for this very reason.

  6. Mike - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Um… isn’t that exactly what the NBA is now? As least MLB teams have a CHANCE.

  7. verjenks - Jul 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    So far the best said about the whole mess. Listen to these three jerks. They have been planing this for years!!

  8. Captiosus - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    LeBron was within his rights to go where ever he wanted, so I can’t begrudge him for that. But the way he – and the media – turned it into this self-aggrandizing, ego-stroking spectacle was just atrocious.
    If I were a player on the Miami Heat other than these three, I’d be questioning why I’m playing since, clearly, I’m not going to be given as much consideration as these three self-appointed “greats”.
    This kind of display is the kind of thing that makes karma stand up and take notice. And, as we all know, karma is a bitch. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Heat either don’t make it to the playoffs (unlikely) or bomb in the first round (more likely than not). If Miami doesn’t bring home a title in the next two years, the media and fans are going to harangue Bosh, James, Wade and the entire Heat management.

  9. Had to pay for my college - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    …”and the players can’t even get peanuts.”… except for that free college degree….

  10. in FLORIDA - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    Stern didn’t like because Stern couldn’t CONTROL it. But here’s something he can, and will, control: hope all of you will enjoy watching the new Miami Heat, because that’s all that’ll be shown on TBS, TNT, NBC and ESPN. Better get used to it.

  11. nbahater - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    reaffirmed my feelings for the nba!!!!!!!!! bunch of thugs, hope the heat melt down, and another reason hate the so called “king”!!!!! None of them can hold MJ’s jock!!!!

  12. Jargon - Jul 13, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Go Back to school you Moron

  13. Kev - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    It’s so funny to hear how pissed people are at LeBron….A handful of you posters who explained it as ‘business is business’ have it right. Where’s the outcry when teams let players go, and the player learns about it watching himself on tv, or in the paper? Lebron gave what teams do on a regular basis.
    Stop letting your fake azz emotions describe with ignorance how you feel about someone who exercised his ‘FREE AGENT STATUS’…He owed Cleveland ZILCH, NADA, NOTHING…He thanked his fans and stated he wishes his team mates nothing but the best. What more do you want from him, a care package to every fan/team mate/owner? Grow up……..He gave 7 years of service and untold millions to the city of Cleveland, and the best Dan Gilbert could provide was: a 600lb Shaq, an empty suit come playoff time Mo Williams, and a Delonte West who was folding LeBron’s moms like a pretzel after games!!!
    I can also sense racial tones in threads (tatoo wearing thugs, etc), and that is to be expected. Hockey players can beat the hell out of each other, but that’s just part of the sport!?! Baseball has/had roids junkies (all races), and that still is America’s sport?!? Racism is here to stay, and with situations like what we’re discussing, they just can’t help themselves from making idiot comments. Basically all of you undercover/overt racist, can eat a D*#k (most of you probably already do and enjoy it)

  14. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    @ nba hater
    My post was specifically aimed at ignorant dumb azz comments like what you posted.
    Why you mad at Lebron, because he stuck it to an owner of mortgage company who got even more stinking rich off the poor/middle class citizens of Cleveland thru sub-prime loans?
    I just want to hear the same outcry for that ‘supposed injustice’ as Lebron’s ‘supposed’ injustice, then we can have a fair and BALANCED discussion………….idiot

  15. Hayes - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Yeah, they get a free ride at school. But hell they can’t make barely minimum wage if thjey do decide to get a job. If they make too much they could lose they’re scholarship! All college sports players should be paid. Not only do they bring in tons of cash for the schools they play for which helps everyone attending the school.Everyone bitches about the athlete’s for no reason! All the time they sapend at practice, they don’t have time to get a job to help with living expences and go to class. The students love their college teams along with alumni andjust fans in general. It’s all for entertainment, and they should be paid!

  16. Dan - Jul 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    The NBA will NOT be going the way of MLB, with the best teams buying players. There is a little thing called SALARY CAP which prevents his from happening. The Heat may have those three guys, buy they are going to be surrounded by a bunch of scrubs due to the salary cap.

  17. BT - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    GolfinSailor,
    You nailed it. The NBA commissioner is too incompetent and/or cowardly to deal with the obvious corruption in the NBA and the press likewise to report it.

  18. slouch tomato - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Golfinsailor is right on. We’ll probably never know if James basically threw the playoffs to the Celtics this year, or if he acted similarly in the playoffs last year — this is surely conceivable if he wanted to build a “reason” to leave Cleveland for his “dream team” in Miami, a plan that appeared to be years in the making.
    Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert might have been more or less correct in his opinions, but he was terribly stupid to air them. What player really wants to go to Cleveland now, after that tirade? Stern fines Gilbert, but of course is afraid to admonish James who brings the NBA big bucks through renewed fan hype. Stern is also afraid to investigate if Heat personnel were involved in the years of planning for this “triple play”. If Stern would determine that the Heat of any of the 3 players were guilty, there’s no solution. It can’t reasonably be undone (especially not after Gilbert’s tirade!), and it would put mud on the NBA’s facade. (Instead, with the truth hidden and/or unknown, the mud is hidden behind the NBA’s facade.) It reminds me of some political capers — it’s generally easier to ignore ethical, legal, or leadership failures than it is to investigate them fully and convict (in whatever fashion) those who were guilty. On rare occasion we do it, but too often do we elect new faces and “let bygones be bygones”.
    The Cavs should get a new owner to work their way back to positivity. James, Bosh, & Wade will have to work if they are to earn back some lost dignity. Not only are the players overpaid, the really big bucks of endorsement contracts are now a “tail wags the dog” dynamic. The players want to keep hyping their public images and this “triple play” does more for the hype than any of the other options any of the 3 players had.

  19. slouch tomato - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM

    alltimeballa: Trusting your info about Dan Gilbert and subprime loans, I’ll agree that his basically taking people’s homes away from them through misleading loan conditions is much worse than what James might have done, namely he might have basically thrown the playoff series by not putting forth effort, such effort being something that he did “owe” Gilbert and his teammates and Clevelanders whose ticket purchases, etc., helped pay James’ contract. I distrust your claim that Dan Gilbert never told James “thank you” for his contributions to the team. And in the end it is not clear that James will take less money in Miami– with all the extra hype of the “dream trio”, the combination of James’ endorsement contracts and Florida’s absence of a state income tax might surpass the extra contract dollars he would have had had he stayed with the Cavaliers.

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