I didn’t think it was possible to feel sorry for David Stern, certainly the most pompous commissioner in professional sports. But seeing him trying to explain official Tim Donaghy and his betting on NBA games, including ones in which he worked … sheesh!
Have you ever seen the commish so beaten down, so vulnerable? I thought he was going to cry, right up there on the stage. Suddenly, I quit wishing on him a pulled groin. The guy was suffering. And I don’t blame him.
Major League Baseball has Barry Bonds. The NFL has Michael Vick. But for the NBA to come out with a ref possibly on the take and in hot water with the mafia ,,, that’s the stuff of fiction!
If the corruption involves only Donaghy, as Stern told us roughly 17 times in a 13-minute address, the league can survive it. But do we really know he’s it? Remember the scandal a few years ago, when a few officials were caught abusing their travel stipends for cash? Maybe Donaghy is the only one. But for Stern to assert that Donaghy is a rogue referee is the same as President Bush declaring the end of American-military involvement in Iraq some 1,500 days ago. Let’s see what the investigation turns up, Dave, before we make that conclusion.