Bryant Gumbel Refers To NBA Commissioner David Stern As A Slave Overseer [Video]

Bryant Gumbel discussed the ongoing NBA lockout drama on his HBO show Tuesday evening. And while I believe he has a point about NBA Commissioner David Stern’s egotistical ways and demeaning antics with the players. However, dragging out the slavery adage when discussing guys that are multi millionaires never plays out well.

[Stern] has alternately knocked union leader Billy Hunter, said the players were getting inaccurate information, and started sounding chicken-little claims about what games might be lost if the players didn’t soon see things his way.

Stern’s version of what’s been going on behind closed doors has, of course, been disputed. But his efforts were typical of a commissioner, who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O. Like his past self-serving edicts on dress code or the questioning of officials, his moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.

Some will, of course, cringe at that characterization, but Stern’s disdain for the players is as palpable and pathetic as his motives are transparent. Yes, the NBA’s business model is broken, but to fix it, maybe the league’s commissioner should concern himself most with a solution, and stop being part of the problem.

Dictator, US Banks CEO, any of those terms could be compared to the NBA lockout situation and probably get the same point across. So while I applaud Gumbel’s efforts to show that the players aren’t the actual enemy. Sometimes you must use creative messaging to get your message to resonate and not just play out for shock value.

15 hours of mediation on Tuesday and a return to the meeting room this A.M., gives me hope.


Curtsy to I AM A GM for the video