Any goodwill that David Stern may have created in his decades-long stewardship of the NBA has been shot to hell over the last few months. Not only has his ego reached a breaking point in negotiations with both players and the NBA's referee union, but his rhetoric and lack of good-faith negotiating has led to a lockout that's course is straying far, far away from the course we saw in the 1998 lockout. That labor dispute included conditions and changes to the collective bargaining agreement that were much more significant to the admittedly myriad and complicated changes the sides are trying to agree on in 2011.
No, Stern has not come off well. And he never wanted to save the beginning of the 2011-12 NBA season. But he's also not a "plantation overseer," as HBO's Bryant Gumbel called him in an otherwise-sane monologue towards the end of his show on Tuesday: