December 21, 2011
Our friends at Sports Radio Interviews listen to the Colin Cowherd show every day, so you don't have to. And, usually, we wouldn't stoop to listen to David Stern explain himself away, but this little nugget from the NBA commissioner's Wednesday appearance on the show was so infuriating that we just had to pass it along.
Whether or not Dan Gilbert's email had any impact:
"I'm saying that I first learned about Gilbert's email to me the following morning. He didn't send it until late at night and I made the decision at 6 o'clock. It's a wonderful storm and it's great to say it but it had no influence. It just couldn't have and it wouldn't have. I think Mark Cuban said it well if I listened Gilbert or him it would be the first time. My job as set forth by Gilbert and other owners was to make the decision in the best interest of the Hornets."
Dan Gilbert's letter, if you'll recall, called the potential Chris Paul deal to the Los Angeles Lakers a "travesty," but as Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported, the time stamp on the email was for 10 in the evening, Eastern time. This means Stern is correct in pointing out that Gilbert had no influence.
What he's lying through his teeth about is the part about making a decision to put the kibosh on the deal at 6 p.m., that evening. Woj broke news about the deal at exactly that time, and Stern himself took part in a press conference a half-hour later (designed to announce the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement), and he professed to having no knowledge of any deal that would send Paul to the Lakers. That entire press conference, predictably, has been scrubbed from the NBA.com archives.
So either Stern was lying then, or he lied on the radio on Wednesday morning. If Stern had destroyed the deal within the framework of the timeline that he would like you to believe, then there would be no way sources from each of the three teams involved in the deal would confirm to various other outlets, as the night went on, about the agreement that was in place between Los Angeles, New Orleans and the Houston Rockets.
And while we can't prove that Stern didn't see Gilbert's letter until Friday morning, that he wasn't lording over his email account or his phone or both at 10 in the evening on one of the more impactful evenings in the NBA's history, well … we'll let you develop your own opinion of that claim.