David Stern's 30-year tenure as NBA commissioner wasn't flawless. Here are five of his more forgettable moments or ideas.
After decades of leather-covered basketballs, Stern announced the NBA would use new microfiber-composite-covered game balls for the 2006-07 season. They allegedly had better grip and a "truer bounce," and wouldn't need to be broken in. Just one problem: Players hated them.
They were difficult to control, players said, and they cut your hands. A study also found the new balls bounced more erratically and absorbed more moisture.
Stern said Spalding worked on the balls for 14 years. They lasted barely a month.
On Dec. 1, 2006, the players’ union filed unfair labor practice charges against the league for making the switch without consulting players. Ten days later, the NBA said the leather ball would return on Jan. 1, 2007, an in-season change unprecedented in major American sports. Player outcry and negative public sentiment had spurred Stern to reverse course, a rare case of concerted opposition impacting the often-dictatorial commish.
– Dan Devine
Mike: If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed. If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat. If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone. If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life. If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect. If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him. If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Democrats demand that those they don't like be shut down. If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.