Will the NBA be in worse hands once Stern retires?
David Stern, October 27, 2011 (referring to what happened after he went home with the flu last week):
"I leave these guys alone for a little bit of time and all hell breaks loose."
David Stern just said this line as a joke after the 15 hour labor meeting ended with significant progress. This was in sharp contrast to last week, when Stern went home with the flu and under Adam Silver's lead, talks blew up. It has been reported that Stern wants a season to be played in order for him to not go out on a low note, while Adam Silver has been pushing the agenda for the NBA owners that want the season cancelled in order to install their own harsh system. Silver wants to get in good with the owners he will be serving.
While Stern's comment early this morning was a joke, it should be noted that Stern's eventual removal won't necessarily guarantee a better NBA. It could possibly cause more damage as the owners would get more of a yes man. This happened in Major League Baseball in the 1990's where the owners were tired of commissioners that didn't push their agenda completely and actually cared about the game. Baseball simply made one of their own (Brewers owner, Bud Selig) the commissioner. He was supposed to be interim, but has remained in that position now for 19 years. He was also the commissioner the year the World Series was cancelled and throughout the height of the steroids era.
While I'm no fan of David Stern, people just need to be weary what they wish for. Do fans know how Adam Silver would act as commissioner? All we know so far is that Silver has been angling for the cancellation of the 2011/2012 season, while Stern has been trying to save it. If NBA owners wanted a season then we'd have a new labor agreement by now. The commissioner only has the power that the owners allow him to have.
Based on the early results, I'm not confident in the Adam Silver era. Hopefully we don't end up longing for the days of David Stern.