October 27th, 2007
And something tells me that anyone who watched my press conference a few days ago knows it.
But can you blame me?
This past year wasn’t exactly my most triumphant as Commissioner of the NBA. Sure, I fed the press some hooey about the league's international success, but they knew what I was thinking:
“I’d happily give my left testicle to put the last ten months behind me.”
My troubles started in mid-February, when the NBA’s All-Star game was held in Las Vegas. We all thought it was a good idea at the time. It didn’t go so well.
Sin City was overrun by blunt-smoking rapper wannabes who turned the Strip into a Lil' John video.
Or at least that’s what my people told me. I was too scared to actually look out the window of my limo.
Things went okay once that fiasco was over. Until the postseason started, that is.
The Eastern Conference was so atrociously outclassed by the West that there were seemingly endless calls to reseed the playoffs. There may be some merit to the idea, but reseeding sounds like a lot of work.
Then I was roundly criticized for my letter-of-the-law suspensions of Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw for stepping onto the court after Robert Horry forearm-shivered Steve Nash into the scorer’s table in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Some critics thought the absence of leniency soured an otherwise exciting series. But the players know the rules: Step in the general direction of the court during an altercation, sit out a game.
They should just be happy we’re not waterboarding guys for breaking the dress code.
Speaking of torture, I got the impression that most Americans would’ve watched the public beatings of schoolchildren over last season’s NBA Finals. The ratings stunk. And what's worse, we were only able to milk those stinky numbers for four games because of how thoroughly the San Antonio Spurs trounced the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Perhaps people tuned out because they knew a team from Cleveland had about as much chance of winning a championship as the Knicks have of coming in under the salary cap.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t gripe about the Tim Donaghy fiasco. Oy veh.
I won’t rehash all the details, but suffice it to say that cheating, gambling referees aren’t good for a sports league—especially one that’s seen its fair share of conspiracy theories involving referees and the playoffs.
Then there are my buddies Isiah Thomas and James Dolan. It was bad enough when these two were simply making the Knicks the laughingstock of the NBA on the court. After last summer’s titillating sexual harassment trial, they’re now a laughingstock IN court too.
Thomas and Dolan lost their very public and very explicit sexual harassment suit to the tune of $10 million. But they're appealing. So I have that to look forward to.
And if all of this weren't enough, my arch-nemesis, Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban, appeared on Dancing with the Stars.
Fortunately, he didn’t win. If he had, I’m sure he wouldn’t have been able to shut up about it.
All in all, I’d have to say 2007 sucked. And 2008’s not going to be any picnic either.
The 2008 All-Star game is in New Orleans, for starters, and there are some who fear the city isn’t anywhere near ready to hold this kind of event.
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I’ll be too blitzed on Hurricanes to care.
The Seattle Supersonics are trying to get out of their lease in order to move to Oklahoma City. Sure, Oklahoma City did a nice job of hosting the Hornets when they needed a place to play, but I want to move one of my franchises from the 14th-biggest market into the 48th-biggest about as much as I want to listen to Ron Artest's rap albums.
And with my luck, San Antonio will make the Finals again—and they’ll end up facing some ill-prepared Eastern Conference team from a small market.
My only hope is that the Celtics really do get back to the top, or that the Lakers are stupid enough to trade Kobe Bryant to the Bulls.
God, my life sucks. If I were in prison, they’d take my shoelaces away from me.
I suppose things could be worse, though. I could be Gary Bettman.
Yup, I feel better already.