Originally Posted by EricForman
Stern has had PLENTY of chances to pull his usual "Vince McMahon" tactics lately but haven't, I almost feel he's purposely sitting quiet so he can shut the conspiracy theory up, catch us off guard, then pull a big one on us.
Think about it
the draft (oden and durant giong west to small markets )
the suspension (suns winning would have been better for league)
a bunch of calls that COULD have gone Lebron's way but didn't (rip's foul on lebron at the end of ECF game 2, Bowen's foul on Lebron at the end of game 3)
I'm shocked. This is DAvid Stern, who has always pulled out the "shady officials" in certain playoff games when a certain team needed a win to keep viewers interested, like the Lakers in game 6 2002 WCF, Knicks in game 5 ECF, Heat last year's finals game 4 and 5....
Not that I agree with you, I'm just not convinced that the commissioner has as much control as a lot of people think he does, nor does he manipulate things as much or as often as conspiracy theorists say he does, but I will say that there are also plenty of things that happen that are just too favorable to the situation to be a coincidence. I just don’t place Stern as the puppet master. Stern is a lawyer, and essentially a CEO. He really has better things to think about than whether your twelfth man deserves one or two games for elbowing that third-string point guard. He does seem to be a bit of a micro-manager though, so I doubt there’s much going on in the league that he doesn’t know about, but directly affect and manipulate? I just don’t think so.
For example, regarding the Phoenix suspensions this year, if Stern stepped in and pardoned the suspensions, people (specifically San Antonio fans) would be crying conspiracy. His hands were tied.
Once the wheels are set in motion, you’ve kinda let things run their course. Stern couldn’t do anything about Arenas and Butler going down, ensuring the Cavaliers a bye in the first round. Now, you can argue all day about who would’ve won that series had Arenas and Butler been healthy, but what you can’t argue about is how much better a competitive first round series between those two teams would’ve been for the ratings and for the league as a whole. Remember, this was a great matchup last year and has some great corresponding stories (Larry Hughes). Stern also couldn’t do anything about the defending champs getting swept out of the first round. Wade wasn’t 100%, the team was shaky all year, and the Bulls were clicking. Now, if the Bulls had continued playing this well with Detroit, the ratings might have been better, and the competition would’ve been better for the league, but Game 3 in Chicago pretty much killed the Bulls, even though they were in their death throes for three more games. Stern couldn’t do anything about the Bulls falling apart the way they did. Detroit’s collapse against Cleveland was also pretty lame to watch, and there was nothing Stern could’ve done about that. The Cavs getting into the Finals were definitely not a bad thing, and even though nobody watched, they got to establish LeBron’s name a little bit more in the non-basketball world.
On the west side of things, Stern couldn’t do anything about Golden State having Dallas’ number in the first round. Stern couldn’t do anything about the Kobes, I mean the Lakers and Denver just not having the firepower to advance. Utah had a great season and a solid playoffs, right up until they were just soundly beaten by the Spurs. And as mentioned above, his hands were pretty much died on the deciding factor between the Spurs and Suns.
If you believe the conspiracy theorists and believe that Stern manipulates things within the league for favorable results, then you should also believe that Stern must be somewhat intelligent in order to do all of that. And if so, at some point, he could’ve realized, “Well, we’re going to have a low ratings postseason, that’s all there is to it. Might as well just start getting things in motion for next year.”