David Stern says “Make my day”
Posted May 4, 2010on:
“Make my day.” Those were the exact words that David Stern made to NBA coaches and players who have been the grumpiest and whinest players the past couple of weeks. Complaints about referees and other players have been a sore subject for the commissioner and he is sick of it all. He finally came out against all of their accusations and stately said that if they don’t shut up and keep their opinions to themselves, he will not just fine them, he will suspend them for a day or two. Not only is he not taking any more crap from the players or coaches, but he is making them all regret ever opening their mouths.
First up on the commissioner’s hit list is the ever present and successful Phil Jackson. Known as the “Zen Master” it is actually surprising to hear that he is speaking out and causing controversy. Before the first round of the playoffs, Phil Jackson started going off on rants about how Kevin Durant, the star of the Oklahoma City Thunder who just happened to be the opponent of the Lakers in the first round, was favored by most referees and was sent to the line to shoot more foul shots than any other player in the NBA. Stern was not very happy and fined Jackson twice in the month of April. Stern also made the comments that if he had taken action earlier in his career, he would have fined Jackson and Pat Riley more money and maybe prevented some of this behavior. Jackson responded with comments that suggested that certain people’s gamemanship taints the game. Although Stern is ultimately the winner in this situation, Jackson will always be taking cheap shots.
Next up on Stern’s hit list is the next NBA superman, Dwight Howard. The Magic center was fined back in November for criticizing officials, but the $15,000 that Stern fined him was chump change now that the commissioner means serious business. Last week, Stern filed a $35,000 fine against Howard again for making comments on his blog again about recent officiating during a Magic playoff game. Howard should have taken the commissioner’s fine and warning a little more seriously in November because Stern was not messing around when he implemented a much heftier fine this time around. Howard needs to leave his comments about the referees to himself and off of the blogs.
As much as I can’t stand rich players who are privileged in every form of life complaining to no end, I do not blame them this time. After the Tim Donaghy scandal, I can see why players may complain about the officiating and always have that lingering thought in the back of their minds about whether or not they are being set up so that someone else can benefit from winning a bet. But, since the scandal, the NBA has worked hard to establish trustworthy referees who the players and coaches can depend on. Really, blaming the referees is the last thing these extremely rich athletes need to be doing. Let the game keep going and play with the talent you were born to produce. Once you stop worrying about the referees, I am sure the game will be the exact same.