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Stern slams New Jersey Governor Christie over sports betting

Dec 7, 2012, 6:53 PM EDT

David Stern AP

Professional sports leagues work at staying as far away from gambling as possible (unless it’s fantasy leagues, but they pretend you don’t put money into those). They don’t want the reality or perception of sports gambling leading to shaved points or game fixing.

So, not shockingly, NBA Commissioner David Stern — and the commissioners of the other major sports in the United States — does not like the idea that New Jersey wants to add sports gambling in Atlantic City and other spots in the state.

The leagues have filed a lawsuit to block the state from adding the ability to bet on the Packers or Dodgers or Knicks when you visit Atlantic City. In a deposition in that case released Friday and reported by the Associated Press, David Stern went hard at New Jersey and state governor Chris Christie.

“The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two, and they don’t care that it’s at our potential loss,” Stern said when asked how the advent of sports betting in New Jersey would harm the NBA.

“And wholly apart from the fact that a governor, who’s a former U.S. Attorney, has chosen to attack a federal law which causes me pause for completely different reasons since I’ve at times sworn to similar oaths about upholding the law of the United States,” Stern continued.

New Jersey is doing this for the same reason every state is scrambling to find revenue — they are hurting a lot from the recession. They are cutting jobs, they are cutting services and they are looking for more money — and tax on sports betting is easy revenue.

Stern is all about driving up revenue in for his owners and businesses — which is exactly what Christie is trying to do. It’s only a matter of what side of the table Stern is sitting on here.

Personally I have no issue with New Jersey doing this — if the state can grab some of the money that is currently being bet offshore and make a few bucks for their coffers (and the casinos that hire people here) then go for it. That said I get the concern of Stern and other owners, but there is nothing that someone would do to damage the integrity of the NBA just because there is sports betting in New Jersey that the same person wouldn’t do for betting overseas.

But I’d be shocked if this new law isn’t blocked, not because Stern or any other sports league wants it blocked, but because it does clash with federal law.

  1. kleahy82486 - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Lol much like the nba is all about making a buck even if its worse for its players just ask popovich.

  2. bobulated - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    And I’m sure Christie gives a **** about what Stern and the NBA thinks after letting the Nets and their associated revenues move to Brooklyn.

    • florida727 - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      Stern is pissed off because NJ will make money of the product that is the NBA, and Stern can’t figure out how to get a piece of the action. If Christie came to Stern and said, hey, when this goes through, you’ll get “x”, Stern wouldn’t say a freaking word.

      • mazblast - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        That’s the fact, Jack!

        Little Caesar’s NBA is not about the game. It’s about the Benjamins. If it doesn’t put money in the league’s coffers, directly or indirectly, if it doesn’t mean higher ratings or selling more crappy merchandise, he’s against it.

        I’m surprised The Troll hasn’t tried to take on Nevada’s sports books for not giving the league a piece of their action.

  3. kvanhorn87 - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    They have no team there any longer in nba or MLB, so there is no problem at least in those sports. The federal law is unconstitutional bc it allows sports gambling in one state and not others. Illegal gambling happens in every state and everyone knows it. Since this is a form of tax evasion, then legitimizing it is the right thing to do. We all know the federal and local govt don’t have the resources to hunt down all office pools, fantasy football and local bookies.

  4. lemfaxx - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    “Pop is always trying to do stuff to make sure our bench is performing” Parker
    “Stern is always trying to do stuff to make sure himself is performing” NBAnonymous

  5. prov1x - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM


  6. rgledz - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Doesn’t care….looking to make a buck or two…..sounds alot like the David Stern led NBA. Just ask Seattle, they’ll tell you… will Sacramento soon enough. Stern is a money hungry, agenda driven ego maniac who’s only concern is getting what he wants. Find a mirror Commissioner, that’s not the mayor of NJ…..that’s you.

  7. nderdog - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    “The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two, and they don’t care that it’s at our potential loss,” Stern said when asked how the advent of sports betting in New Jersey would harm the NBA.”

    So he completely and utterly avoided even attempting to answer the question that was asked. That couldn’t possibly be because he’s making crap up as he goes along, could it?

    • badintent - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      Bettman stole all the headlines yesterday so crybaby Stern has to get his 2 cents in . Pathetic, short , fat whining lawyer, bottom of the Barrel.
      Sucks being a lame duck commish , eh Davey ?
      Hope Jersey takes the Feds to the Supreme Court and wins.
      Feds just protecting the states lotteries for their own sandbox.

  8. lancer255 - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Hypocrisy at its finest

  9. xxakshunxx - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Why would Jersey be any different from Vegas.. NJ doesn’t have the license yet and we’ve already seen that some refs are already corrupt.. What change would NJ bring that isn’t already their? Except for adding more jobs to the state

  10. veinsofgod - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Can anyone read Stern’s comments about someone “just trying to make a buck” and keep a straight face? And didn’t the NBA just move a franchise out of NJ? I’m sure that had nothing to do with money. Stern lacks basic human traits.

  11. gabe77 - Dec 7, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    It’s time that Americans demand more from our government, in the form of interfering less in our lives. Especially the federal government. Let me decide for myself if I want to bet on a game. If I do and enough others do, then let companies compete for my business and create jobs in the process.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 8, 2012 at 7:10 AM

      All states with legalized kind herbals agree with you.

  12. manchestermiracle - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    A classic example of projection: Blaming others for doing what you are doing. Is the NBA PR dept. really this obtuse?

  13. clownsfan - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    STFU old man & go away. NOBODY wants to hear your mouth.

  14. pastabelly - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Now that the NBA no longer has a team in NJ, there is NO difference between NJ and NV.

  15. banggbiskit - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    WOW that that little dictator say that someone else is in it just to ‘make a buck or two”?

    You want to talk about dark colored kettles and pots, you have to look no further than David the Weasel Stern.

    As far as NJ “making a buck” at The NBA”s ‘expense’ i must be missing something because for generations, sports leagues have BENEFITTED (see: NFL) from sports betting. If people can bet the games, they’re more likely to watch, more likely to attend live games and just generally, more likely to be interested.

    Im not sure why Stern thinks that the state of NJ having sports betting will hurt the NBA, its not like there isnt already a state in the US who has betting on NBA games, if anyone knows how the NBA will suffer financially if NJ enacts sports betting or has ANY idea what Stern is talking about, please, clue me in, im all ears.

    • sdl65 - Dec 8, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      The risk lies with a scandal. The more mainstream (legal) gambling becomes the chances of the fix being on in some games increases. Money does crazy things to people. Not to say some of that hasn’t already gone on as the issue with that ref a few years back.
      If a scandal does takes place then the integrity of the game is at risk. When people watch , it will always be in there heads that the outcomes are already determined before the game is over. This would obviously be a bad thing.
      I personally think they should allow the gambling and just be diligent and have systems in place to monitor potential issues.

  16. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    I like how nearly every post above has a bunch of thumbs up and one thumb down. Nice try, David Stern, now log out and go back to fining coaches for, well, coaching.

  17. bradmoss1 - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    “…if the state can grab some of the money that is currently being bet offshore…”

    And in every bar in New Jersey.

  18. magicbucs - Dec 8, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    David stern must think we are all idiots. This Jew is all about making $ and he sticks his fat Jew head into NJ gambling laws. This governor is just trying to make $ for his state. Stay the F out Stern.

    Remember not many years back the nba had an official giving points to the lakers vs the kings in a playoff game?? Then he started calling out others.. he wasn’t the only one doing it. It’s funny how in the last 5 years all these new officials are popping up out of nowhere. Must of fired a good amount of those crooked officials…

    • mazblast - Dec 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Stern’s ethnicity has nothing to do with it. I suggest that you refrain from the “Jew” talk in the future.

  19. lfpmedia - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Reblogged this on indiesoulspokenword and commented:
    This is what we need more of Sports and Information to go along with the highlights and scores.

  20. jckid21 - Dec 8, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Mr. Stern goofs luck taking on Chris Christie. Christie after all was a Federal Prosecutor who knows a thing or two about the law and also is an individual who isn’t afraid of a public fight. Get ready for Christie to call Stern out like he does to everyone else. This might be must see tv

    • scalfor3 - Dec 8, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      oh god I hope so

  21. kavika6 - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    I couldn’t care less about what New Jersey does, but the furor David Stern seems a lot like Hitler in WW2. If he’s going down next year he’s taking the NBA with him.

  22. truthhurts19 - Dec 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    “The risk lies with scandal” is such a hollow argument. If sports betting was entirely above board, talked about in sports news frequently, and commonly accepted, the risk of scandal is lowered due to openness. Did New Jersey’s attempts to legalize gambling create the Tim Donaghy scandal?

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