Bryant Gumbel of HBO calls David Stern a `plantation overseer`

Bryant Gumbel invoked images of slavery in a scathing attack on NBA Commissioner David Stern, saying he is acting like a “modern-day plantation overseer” in his treatment of players during the league’s lockout.

Gumbel, during a closing segment on HBO’s Real Sports, said Stern is standing in the way of a solution to the league’s labor dispute…

“His efforts are typical of a commissioner who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some king of modern-day plantation overseer, treating NBA men as if they were his boys. … His moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.”

He called Stern’s poor treatment of the players “palpable and pathetic.”

— Reported by Joel Provano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Video of Bryant Gumbel talking about David Stern editor says: This is absurd nonsense, and an unrealistic, crazed exaggeration by Bryant Gumbel. There certainly is some truth in suggesting that the men of the NBA do get treated like boys in some ways (dress code — though almost every company has dress codes one way or another — and some other stuff), but Gumbel went completely over the top with this. Pretty silly stuff. If getting $5 million USD a year to play basketball, travel and live the life of a rock star means sometimes having to not post on Twitter around game-time, dress a bit more corporate sometimes, and avoid bashing the refs and saying a few other things is the equivalent of being a “plantation worker,” then sign me up.

Author: Inside Hoops has been a world leader in NBA basketball coverage for over 20 years. Read our blog, but also be sure to read our main website on