With David Stern's tenure at the helm of the NBA drawing to a close, the world is being given a chance to reflect on his time in office. We're now at the point where we can ponder the changes he's made, both positive and negative.
For the most part, feelings are fairly neutral.
Unless you're from Washington or Oklahoma. Then you're either going to blindly love or hate him, though not in that particular order:
Hmm...I wonder why this happened.
Could it be that Stern recently picked the Denver Broncos to beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl before dissing Richard Sherman and talking about how superior Michael Crabtree was on the football field? Could he have gone on a rant about Russell Westbrook and how he's the worst point guard in basketball, claiming he hopes Westbrook's knee never heals?
Nope and nope.
It's because this:
Turned into this:
Of course the state of Washington is still going to be upset Clay Bennett was allowed to steal the beloved Seattle SuperSonics right from under its nose.
And of course the state of Oklahoma is going to be inordinately grateful that Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder get to compete for titles in front of their new hometown fans.
What grade would you give David Stern for his tenure as NBA Commissioner?
As Jon Wertheim wrote during a roundtable for Sports Illustrated, "It's hard, for instance, to watch the "Save Our Sonics" documentary and not cringe at Stern's role and his imperious stance. He was simply on the wrong side of right."
Unless you're from Oklahoma, apparently.
Nothing about that map is even remotely illogical, though I'm still not sure whether I want to laugh or cry when I look at the color disparity.
Throughout Stern's time in charge, he did a fantastic job helping the NBA grow into a worldwide league. His impact on the game—as a whole—was certainly a positive one, but the debacle in Seattle is always going to remain an integral part of his legacy.