NBA  > General NBA  > The Commish Called out
March 16, 2011, 11:24 AM
From Yahoo:

The commissioner???s office will never escape this truth: In so many ways, Donald Sterling has carried out the NBA ownership vision of David Stern.

Bully and mistreat your employees.

Treat the front office and coaches like necessary evils with bare minimum salaries and staffing.
NBA commissioner David Stern recently chastised Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.
(Getty Images)

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Stern has long preached that coaches are too expensive, scouts too plentiful and perhaps no one has heeded the commissioner???s words like the Los Angeles Clippers??? owner. He has a history of hiring them cheap, and refusing to honor contracts. The NBA has a history of letting it go without protests.

Yes, Stern???s silence and inaction on Sterling???s despicable behavior has to be considered as some level of approval. Now, Kim Hughes tells the story to the Racine (Wis.) Journal-Times about how Sterling didn???t pay for his prostate cancer surgery as a Clippers assistant coach several years ago. Clippers players contributed much of the $70,000 needed to take care of the costs that weren???t covered by Hughes??? medical insurance.

And once Sterling fires those coaches and scouts, he often stops paying the balance of their contracts. He dares them to sue. Some can, and do. Some can???t afford the legal fight and end up settling for pennies on the dollar.

This happened with scouts Scott Wissel and Jerry Holloway a year ago. They made less than six figures a year, and the Clippers simply stopped paying them. Essentially, Sterling was telling them, ???The season???s over, and so what if your deal runs October to October. It???s April, get lost and we aren???t paying you.???

Eventually, Holloway won a settlement, and Wissel had to fight more than a year to get part of his money. Where was the league office? Where was Stern???s indignity?

This has been going on for years, and the commissioner???s office has allowed it. Often the only injustices in the NBA are injustices directed at Stern. He saves his moral indignity for those daring to challenge him, like Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy late last week. For Stern, here was a crusade worthy of his ire.

Van Gundy tried to make sense of 593 foul calls without so much as a flagrant foul on Dwight Howard(notes). And after speaking the truest words of the season ??? saying that Stern doesn???t allow dissenting opinions in the NBA, that free speech is a scarce commodity on league issues ??? the commissioner reacted in a most predictable, childish way on state-run NBA radio. After refusing to confront Van Gundy directly and promising to take the matter to Magic ownership, Stern sounded like a power-drunk small-town mayor saying ?????? We won???t be hearing from him for the rest of the season.???
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