Bill Simmons and Doc Rivers Exchanged Verbal Jabs During the NBA Draft on ESPN Last Night (Videos)
David Stern Was a Great Sport During His Final NBA Draft (Videos)
In the world of pro sports, whatever the league, the fans are always going to hate the commissioner, just like grade school kids are always going to hate the principle, and America is always going to hate Congress. It’s nothing personal. It’s just part of the entertainment that sports provides, and it comes with the job.
Now, in baseball, nobody—and I mean nobody—really likes Bud Selig. However, for some reason baseball fans prefer to keep things classy, so they usually refrain from booing old Bud when he makes public appearances.
But hockey fans and basketball fans? They love to boo the commish. Just this week we saw NHL commissioner Gary Bettman get his usual welcome from Boston fans when presenting the Stanley Cup to the Blackhawks. And last night, at the 2013 NBA Draft, the fans at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn booed David Stern every time he opened his mouth.
Of course, there’s a pretty big difference between Stern and Bettman. The latter actually is a slimy little weasel with zero people skills who has almost killed the NHL on numerous occasions. And the former, while hardly perfect, is responsible for resurrecting the NBA and lifting it to greater heights…and he’s got a great sense of humor.
For his opening remarks at his 30th and final NBA Draft, Stern made it all the way through without a reference to the booing, though he did have a knowing smile on his face:
However, as the night went on, Stern got more and more playful with the crowd:
He even cracked some pretty great jokes:
Finally, by the end of the evening, the outgoing NBA Commissioner earned himself a standing ovation from the crown. And when he introduced his successor, Adam Silver, who won’t even take over until February 2014, the fans let him know that he’ll be in for the same exact treatment.
Then Hakeem Olajuwon came out:
That was some pretty great stuff, wasn’t it?