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David Stern talks World Peace suspension, strong season

Apr 25, 2012, 5:54 PM EDT


NBA Commissioner David Stern wanted to crow about how well this NBA season has gone — television ratings are up and there has not been a step back in fan interest following the lockout. That was a big fear in some quarters going into the season.

But instead, in his annual pre-playoffs conference call with the media, Stern got to explain and defend giving Metta World Peace a seven game suspension for his elbow thrown to the head of James Harden last Sunday.

Stern said he thought World Peace “recklessly” threw the elbow but would not speculate as to whether or not it was intentional. He said he didn’t want to get into the mind of World Peace. Few do.

So how did he arrive at seven games (with the tone of most questioners being how did he arrive at “only” seven games)?

“We look at previous penalties,” Stern said. “We look at who is involved in the altercation. We do take into account the seriousness of the injury, and a variety of whatever else is in the atmosphere, and then it just becomes my job to decide what it should be….

“I have to decide what’s justice here and what’s fairness here and we came to seven.”

Stern added that the fact that six of these games World Peace is suspended for are playoff games — more meaningful games — played into the decision.

But all the World Peace questions could not stop Stern from talking about that a great season it has been. There had not been a hit to the league, as had been seen in 1999 with the last lockout and was expected here but has not materialized.

“And we came off a season where there was enormous momentum and great enthusiasm, and somehow starting on Christmas Day, may have been the single most differentiating factor,” Stern said. “The fact that we were there; that we had a five game slate, and for those fans that don’t tune in until Christmas, maybe they thought the season was just beginning; that just got us off on the right foot and it built on itself off of last year’s exciting playoffs…

“And in some ways… the bloggers, the social media, everything that was going on, our fans were out there, whether they were saying we were stupid, bad, good, ignorant, blind, whatever they chose to say, they were talking. So in some ways, our community, through social media, was staying engaged, and that’s a big differentiator in the way the world currently exists.”

We will see how that builds into the playoffs. But you get the feeling if LeBron James and Kevin Durant are there playing late in May and into June, Stern will like the ratings and interest then, too.

  1. dawgpoundmember - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    So basically, he said it was all about ratings. You don’t have to worry Stern, you won’t lose me as a fan. I gave up on the NBA years ago so I will not care who wins this year, again. Just get the season over with already.

    • davidly - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:48 AM

      I’m putting together a pilot for GE called That mid-to-late ’80s Show and we need somebody to play Bernie Kosar. You interested?

  2. starks3 - Apr 25, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    really dude you hate the NBA and you are on a nba blog??? LOSER!!!

  3. ddtla - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    I agree how many losers get on a blog a day people like you ruin blogs doggpoomember you have disrespected the best rap group of all time by using their name

  4. davidly - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    In an alternate universe, it’s Stern throwing the elbows and World Peace pretending to care.

  5. gmsingh - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    The best thing that could ever happen to the NBA will be Stern’s exit.

  6. connaniii - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    I’d love to see Ibaka kick his ass!

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