David Stern: Can Lakers’ Fans Trust Him Ever Again?

What has easily become one of the craziest sports stories in recent memory has not only been confusing but in many ways damaging to Stern and the NBA as a governing body.

Let me first start by explaining why this isn’t just “an owner nixing a trade” which has become the company line.

The NBA is a governing body. This means that they are in charge of enforcing rules and regulations as well as running things like the playoffs, the all-star game and the draft.

It is not the NBA’s job to influence any particular team’s personnel decisions. Ever.

When the NBA purchased the Hornets, it wasn’t because they thought it would be a good investment or that they could help turn the team around. They were placeholders. Their sole purpose was to provide the funds to keep the team afloat until a new owner came in. 

Here is the danger with allowing the NBA to make personnel decisions. Let’s say, hypothetically, there is another team that loses its owner. What would the NBA do then? Could they help bail out that team the same way they did with the Hornets?

Now that they’ve demonstrated that they have the power to make personnel decisions, no they cannot.

Had the NBA maintained their stance that they were simply monetary placeholders, they could have easily helped out another team that was struggling. However, by compromising that agreement and vetoing this trade, they limit what they can do as a governing body. 

Are we now supposed to look at the NBA and David Stern as just another owner?

What if this was the other way around? What would happen if David Stern were incapable of doing his job and stepped down?

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