The Underlying Text of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion Is Revealed: The NBA Playing Games on Christmas

San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist Bruce Jenkins has uncovered the true Jewish War on Christmas–David Stern saving us all from the hell of spending time with our families by making us watch NBA games.

One of the most distasteful aspects of commissioner David Stern’s legacy – ruining Christmas for far too many people – comes into play again this year with five televised games scheduled. “It used to be two teams,” retired coach Phil Jackson said. “But I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day. Your little kids are putting batteries in their new toys, all kinds of family stuff going on, and now you’re supposed to get focused on a game in the middle of the afternoon?”

Jackson is among many observers who point out the obvious: that Stern, who celebrates Hanukkah, has no real feel for Christmas in the first place. “Here’s an idea,” scoffed former Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, always one of Stern’s most vocal critics. “Let’s play 10 games. Start at midnight on Christmas Eve and play them all through the next day, so there’s not a minute of Christmas when there’s not an NBA game on TV. Because it’s just so great. Christmas is the NBA, to me. It’s what it’s all about.”

As Isaac Rauch states:

Criticisms of David Stern, though certainly not all illegitimate, are often tinged with anti-semitism: the idea that he’s a schemer (the lottery is rigged every year, right?), that he’s greedy (other comissioners don’t fine their personnel for infractions?) or that he’s especially mendacious (because most league commissioners are consistently forthright?)—all of these play into old, negative tropes about Jews, and shouldn’t be the basis for reasoned critiques.

This particular criticism of Stern is not so much “tinged” with anti-semitism as it is basted in anti-semitism, and it breaks down under examination: Thanksgiving may not be a religious holiday, but it’s just as important a gathering for many people, and I’ve never seen anyone claim that the NFL ruined Thanksgiving “for far too many people,” except maybe Lions fans. And let’s not forget the years when Hanukkah, invoked here to mean “David Stern is Jewish,” has actually overlapped with Christmas. Such as last year.

My hatred of David Stern is hard to overestimate. I fully believe he personally intervenes in the league to ensure that the big market teams like the Lakers get calls at the right time to advance in the playoffs (see the 2000 Western Conference Finals that broke my heart against the Blazers) and trades that no one thought were possible to pull off (Gasol, Howard, etc). The league is fixed. Stern has basically destroyed my love for professional basketball, which was my sport bar none until I was about 25.

So there’s plenty to ways to say David Stern sucks without resorting to anti-Semitism.

Plus what the hell else I am supposed to do on Christmas after opening gifts? Now it’s time for 18 hours of chit-chat with the in-laws! Thanks Christians for eliminating unnecessary distractions to this great day!!!!

165 comments on this post.
  1. Tom:

    I also like the insinuation that you have to watch the games when they’re on:

    Your little kids are putting batteries in their new toys, all kinds of family stuff going on, and now you’re supposed to get focused on a game in the middle of the afternoon?

    I mean, I know everyone has different levels of commitment when it comes to their fandom, but this isn’t the post-season, or (as with the NFL) the last crucial weeks of the regular season. If you’re really too busy to watch a game on Christmas Day…just don’t watch it maybe?

  2. Erik Loomis:

    Of course we have to watch. Do you not understand the power the Jews have over the rest of us?

  3. Icarus Wright:

    Thanksgiving may not be a religious holiday, but it’s just as important a gathering for many people, and I’ve never seen anyone claim that the NFL ruined Thanksgiving “for far too many people,” except maybe Lions fans.

    Mr Rauch needs to get out of my head!!

  4. MAJeff:

    NBA games on Christmas day, just as NFL games on Thanksgiving, save us from the necessity of interacting with evil relatives. What are these people’s problems? It’s far worse to talk with fundamentalist relatives than watch sports under the influence of too much food and wine.

  5. Fritz:

    One point:

    1. The Lions have ruined Thanksgiving for Lions fans.

  6. elm:

    I assumed Jackson meant the players/coaches had to get focused for the game, otherwise it’s far too meaningless.

    Of course, 5 games means 10 teams, each with, let’s say 50 people who have to focus during the game. Heck, make it a 100 per team, and we’re only talking about a 1000 people, which ain’t all that many.

    Add in all the people working in the arenas and you might start getting to real numbers, but where’s Jackson’s concern for all the people working in gas stations, drug stores, movie theaters, and fast food places on Christmas? For some reason, I don’t think Jackson means the hot dog vendor when he’s complaining here.

  7. McKingford:

    Plus what the hell else I am supposed to do on Christmas after opening gifts?

    This is correct. Which is why bars on Ontario start opening again at about 8 p.m. on Christmas. And why they are well frequented. Including by yours truly…

  8. Richard Cobeen:

    I just wrote an email to the Chronicle asking if they actually have an editor who reads everything before it goes to print. This is the same Bruce Jenkins who once wrote that a Wimbledon quarterfinals had only Americans left that were not “true” Americans (i.e., of English descent).

  9. Hogan:

    Yeah, seems like once you’re a Lions fan that ship’s already sailed.

  10. elm:

    And by “its” in the first sentence, I mean Jackson’s complaint is far too meaningless. I suppose, if the players weren’t focused, the games would be meaningless, but, well, it’s NBA regular season, so the games are about as close to meaningless as you can get anyway.

  11. Erik Loomis:

    Wow.

    It’s not so often you get open racism in today’s newspaper columnists.

    Given that it’s San Francisco, I look forward to a future article on the Yellow Menace in sports. Or maybe he already wrote that when Michael Chang was at the top of his game.

  12. LeeEsq:

    Why is a basketball game on Christmas any worse than a football game on Thanksgiving. At least Thanksgiving is more ecumenical.

  13. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Yet another example of the persecution of America’s most marginalized minority. Consider this atheist/sportsfan unmoved.

    Stern’s desire to capitalize on the tv potential of a sacred day shows that he is a commissioner of a professional sports league. Show me any head of any pro/college league that wouldn’t jump at the chance to reap the benefit millions of Americans having the day off work and desperately wanting to find SOMETHING on the tv.

  14. MAJeff:

    Well, Chang only won the Freedom Open on the fake red clay surface….

  15. Thlayli:

    Once again, Loomis contends the NBA is rigged in favor of the “big markets”. And once again I respond by pointing out that the Knicks, who represent the biggest market, are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their last title.

    And in that time, they have been the beneficiaries of exactly one controversial playoff call. Which came at the expense of that tiny rural outpost, Chicago.

  16. MAJeff:

    Do you not understand the power the Jews have over the rest of us?

    Just look at our penises.

  17. Rob:

    This all goes back to journalists feeling sorry for all the “hard” work they do. This is basically Jenkins complaining that he’ll have to file something Christmas night.

  18. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Hmm…Li Na also won at Roland Garros. It’s only a short hop from France to our beloved shores. Get ready, Wolverines!!

  19. TT:

    As an aside, the French press was open in its racism when Chang made his run at the ’89 French Open, referring to him as “the Chink” and “slant eyes”. The American press is rarely so overt, but the phrase “Stern, who celebrates Hanukkah” is a bit more, shall we say, direct than calling this or that black athlete a “thug”.

  20. JKTHs:

    I fully believe he personally intervenes in the league to ensure that the big market teams like the Lakers get calls at the right time to advance in the playoffs (see the 2000 Western Conference Finals that broke my heart against the Blazers) and trades that no one thought were possible to pull off

    On that second part, I would like to point out that Chris Paul has played really well for the Lakers.

  21. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Not that it would ever happen, but could the coaches/players boycott the Xmas day games for the sake of baby jesus? Accept the lost salary and fines etc.

  22. Linnaeus:

    I remember Christmas night trips to Windsor for just that reason.

  23. Dr. Waffle:

    Here’s the evidence proving that the NBA isn’t fixed: the Spurs and Pistons won 4 combined championships in a 7-year span.

    Also: from 2002-2010, the Knicks missed the playoffs in every year except one. Guess how many times they finished in the top 3 of the draft lottery?

    Hint: 0

    My love for the NBA turns me into a unrepentant troll.

  24. James E. Powell:

    For some families, including mine, watching sports on TV is a family activity, one have enjoyed most of our lives. Now, we don’t watch the NBA on Christmas, but the NFL on Thanksgiving is as much a part of the day as two kinds of cranberry sauce. I’m sure that in some families the NBA on Christmas is the same thing.

    But in saying that I don’t want to be misunderstood as saying anything positive about David Stern.

  25. Jberardi:

    Criticisms of David Stern, though certainly not all illegitimate, are often tinged with anti-semitism: the idea that he’s a schemer (the lottery is rigged every year, right?), that he’s greedy (other comissioners don’t fine their personnel for infractions?) or that he’s especially mendacious (because most league commissioners are consistently forthright?)—all of these play into old, negative tropes about Jews, and shouldn’t be the basis for reasoned critiques.

    This reminds me of Dave Chappell’s joke about black people liking fried chicken and watermelon. Well of course black people love fried chicken and watermelon– everyone does! Fried chicken are watermelon are delicious. And of course Stern is a greedy motherfucker. People are greedy in general and the ones that aren’t don’t tend to end up in charge of running a billion dollar industry. Should Stern get a pass because the reality of the situation lines up with a stereotype in the case?

    Now, that said, I don’t actually have a sense of how much these criticisms get thrown on Stern relative to the other commissioners (I really only follow baseball). Does he get called greedy more than Selig or whoever the hell is screwing up Hockey right now? In general it seems to me that all of the commissioners are about as popular as your average STD, but that’s just anecdotal. Can we get Tom Tango on the case here and figure out if this is true or not?

  26. Semanticleo:

    I am so fucking tired of the luxury tax and Buss’s willingness to pay it.

    The NBA needs an Oakland A’s approach to bring the game back.

    Dwight Howard, indeed….

  27. Dr. Waffle:

    Your wish is the NBA’s command . . .

  28. Jberardi:

    The NBA needs an Oakland A’s approach to bring the game back.

    They need to be as cheap as possible, draw no fans, and then use that as the basis for demanding publicly funded stadiums?

  29. Hogan:

    Eh, I’ll take your word for it.

  30. Richard:

    And the fact that the best teams in the league so far this year seem to be Oklahoma City and San Antonio, Miami and the Clippers.

    If Stern manipulates the league so that the big market teams always win, he is doing one terrible job of it.

  31. Seitz:

    I used to work at a golf course that was open 365 days per year. We would have to work two of the three late year holidays. I gladly chose Thanksgiving and Christmas every year in order to get New Years Day off. Christmas was a particularly perfect day to work. Wake up, open presents, go to work and get the hell away from everyone for a while, then get home in time for dinner.

  32. StevenAttewell:

    “what the hell else I am supposed to do on Christmas after opening gifts?”

    Can’t you do what we Jews have been doing for a hundred years – go out for Chinese food and then see a movie?

  33. Bill Murray:

    No amount of rigging the game can overcome Isiah Thomas level incompetence

  34. Richard:

    Stern, Selig and Bettman are all Jewish so it really doesn’t prove much if Stern is called greedy more or less than them.

  35. Bill Murray:

    Shouldn’t there also be something about paying big bucks to your most injury prone players?

  36. Warren Terra:

    I for one deplore what the disintegration of the Family and the secularization of Christmas has done to our society. When i was a significantly younger Atheist Jew, Christmas was a glorious, restful day on which we hellbound sinners had privileged access to Dim Sum and the movie theaters. Nowadays, all those people who really ought to be gathered as a family roasting chestnuts and re-watching It’s A Wonderful Life – and most importantly to be doing all this at home – are busily venturing forth into the restaurants and theaters, spoiling it for the rest of us.

    I therefore hope that a few of these interlopers will be convinced by David Stern and the Elders Of Zion to stay home and watch the hoops. But I’m not optimistic.

  37. Colin:

    I know they’re not the Lakers, but it seems more than a little silly to suggest the Clippers are not in a major market.

  38. sparks:

    Re-watching It’s A Wonderful Life? I’m old enough to remember when surfing UHF was the only way to see that crappy film, and it wouldn’t be on Christmas, either.

  39. Joseph Slater:

    Laughing/crying at the truth of “except maybe Lions fans.”

  40. Joseph Slater:

    Maybe we could expand that to “ruined fall an early winter.”

  41. N__B:

    How many do you have?

  42. Warren Terra:

    I may have been indulging in presenting a factually poor stereotyped view of a culture that if it even exists is not my own. I’m guessing that only a limited amount of chestnut roasting happens, too.

    Speaking of watching television on Christmas, it apparently is (or maybe was) a cliche that in the UK at least one TV channel runs James Bond films on Christmas. Make of that what you will.

  43. rea:

    “Thanksgiving” isn’t a religious holiday? Who exactly do you think we are thanking, anyway?

  44. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    I think the argument is that the big market teams get preferential treatment in A.) the league approving extremely lopsided trades and B.) favorable calls in close playoff games. I don’t know how much I buy into the latter. The studies I have read say that the only measurable bias that can be seen statistically is the tendency for refs to give close calls to the home team, slightly more often than the visiting team, regardless of the market for either team. On the former, I can only say that I can’t think of too many times in my lifetime that a trade coveted by a big market team was shot down by the NBA, but then again I don’t really pay that much attention to the trade rumors so perhaps someone more knowledgable can chime in.

  45. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Yeah, you have to actually make the playoffs and be in a close game to get the kind of hosing that I think Erik is referring to re: the Blazers. No amount of favorable trades allowed guarantees any big market team will find themselves in those circumstances. Trades don’t always work out as expected.

  46. James E. Powell:

    You’re way off, man. It’s A Christmas Story.

  47. Richard:

    For thirty years, they’ve been the worst franchise in the league. If Stern ever tried to help them,he was spectacularly incompetent. Is Erik arguing that the Clipper ‘s new found competence is the result of Stern pulling strings?

  48. Erik Loomis:

    Right–Stern isn’t making up for utter incompetence, at least in my conspiracy addled brain. But when an organization makes it possible, he clearly wants the big market teams to come out on top.

    Stern’s obvious vision is to turn the NBA into European style soccer with a few gigantic worldwide name brands (LA, Miami, New York, Brooklyn, Chicago) and 22-25 losers, which will always include Portland, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Utah, and other small market teams.

    And if a team like Oklahoma City catches fire and upturns this, well it provides Stern cover when he facilitates Howard to the Lakers when no one said it was possible.

  49. Jberardi:

    Oh. Well then what exactly is Rauch’s point then? If one Jewish commissioner is getting more flack for being greedy than other Jewish commissioners… isn’t that evidence that anti-semitic attitudes have nothing to do with this?

    And again, these guys ACTUALLY ARE greedy. Is it really off limits to say that just because they’re also Jewish?

  50. Erik Loomis:

    No one can help Donald Sterling out of incompetence.

    But there’s no way Stern isn’t actively rooting for a major market team like the Clippers to become a major force in the league.

  51. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Yikes. That’s pretty crazy. Although, imagine if Agassi had been raised in Iran rather than Vegas.

    Speaking of tennis, France and ill-advised statements.

    Maria Sharapova hit out at Gilles Simon as women tennis players cranked up the criticism of the Frenchman over his claim that men deserve to be paid more because their game is more entertaining.

    Simon caused outrage on Tuesday when he told a French radio station that he think men deserve bigger prizes for winning grand slams as their matches are far more interesting.
    The 27-year-old stood by his comments when quizzed about the matter for the first time since his interview, but there was growing condemnation from within the women’s game.

    Making a point: Maria Sharapova has hit back in the row over women’s pay. World No 1 Sharapova offered the coldest rebuke when, after beating Tsvetana Pironkova in three sets, she said: ‘I’m sure there are a few more people that watch my matches than his…

    Serena Williams, a four-time SW19 champion backed her rival’s claim, adding: ‘Definitely a lot more people are watching Maria than Simon. She’s way hotter than he is…

  52. Corporate America, the Gun Industry, and Other F’d up Stuff « UNREPENTANT HOMER:

    [...] David Stern! (In my outrage, I just googled his messed up article and I appreciate that Erik Loomis agrees that Bruce Jenkins is fucked up on this, and has already pointed this [...]

  53. Erik Loomis:

    If you haven’t visited the Christmas Story house in Cleveland, it’s a must do. You can buy a leg lamp in the gift shop. And the day I was there, the guy who played the brother stopped by. He was wearing a lot of cologne.

  54. Bitter Scribe:

    Is this Bruce Jenkins related to Dan Jenkins? If he is, that apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  55. Jberardi:

    Stern’s obvious vision is to turn the NBA into European style soccer with a few gigantic worldwide name brands (LA, Miami, New York, Brooklyn, Chicago) and 22-25 losers, which will always include Portland, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Utah, and other small market teams.

    Isn’t that an enormously stupid idea without a relegation system?

  56. Richard:

    The only trade I’m aware of that the league, within the last twenty years, has revoked after it was made is Chris Paul to the Lakers. Some trades are nixed because they don’t meet the salary cap rules but no one has ever claimed that those rules are enforced in such a way as to favor the big teams

    The Lakers have prospered for so long because their general managers (West and then Kupchak) have been great judges of talent ( drafting Kobe is the best example) and several talented big men wanted to come to LA (Kareem, Shaquille and now maybe Howard). Given free agency rules, talented basketball players are more likely to choose a big market team than a small market team

  57. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    The only upside to being bed-ridden with a terrible flu on New Years Eve about 5 years ago was that I discovered that Sci-Fi Channel runs a Twillight Zone marathon which has become a new tradition for me, ever since.

  58. Jberardi:

    There’s always someone showing The Godfather here in the USA. How do I know? Because my family watches it. And THAT is why we’re better than the rest of you.

  59. Richard:

    The fact that he is rooting for New York and the Clips to make the finals rather than Indianopiolis and Portland is just smart business sense. It doesn’t mean he’s pulling strings

  60. Warren Terra:

    On Thanksgiving, AMC was showing The Godfather and The Godfather Part II back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-etcetera, all day and night. Rumors that a third movie exists were not addressed on the channel.

  61. Richard:

    Rauch is just wrong and probably didn’t realize that three of the big four commissioners are Jewish. Calling the leagues and the commissioners greedy isn’t anti-Semitic. It’s what they are, almost by definition. The SF writer is antiSemitic but I simply haven’t seen antiSemitic insinuations directed to Stern (and I’m Jewish and attuned to such insinuations)

  62. Erik Loomis:

    Lakers didn’t draft Kobe.

  63. Rob:

    Not when you sell stars and not the game. Basically its come to the arena and see the traveling LeBron show! It’s barnstorming on a really high level.

  64. greylocks:

    Yeah, there’s nothing I find more entertaining than watching a pair of giants whiffing on each other’s 140mph serves for three hours. That and passing the fifth-set leg cramps off as a pulled muscle.

  65. Richard:

    Mostly wrong Erik. Although they technically didn’t draft him, they worked out a trade by which Charlotte drafted him at the Lakers behest and immediately traded him to the Lakers. Charlottes GM said that they had no intention of drafting him, wasnt even in their radar. And Charlotte was only told who to choose with the pick, the 13th, five minutes before the pick was made. West saw his potential and worked out the stratagem to get him, one of the best moves in NBA history

  66. John Glover:

    Wilt Chamberlain too….

  67. Richard:

    Yes. I forgot about Wilt

  68. Erik Loomis:

    Right, right.

    Admittedly, there’s no way for me to spin that one. They got really lucky.

  69. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Heh, I remember early in that first season when Kobe got into a couple games and was terrible. As a Laker-hater, I was so happy that he was obviously gonna be a big-time bust!

  70. Richard:

    Lucky? I really think it was incredible skill. They had worked Kobe out, West was convinced that he was going to be a star (and was only 17 years old) and thought he would not be around when the Lakers got their pick (which if memory serves me was about 24 or 25). So they worked out a strategy to get him. They had to give up Vlade Divac. Vlade was a good player and played for eight more years but Kobe is still in the league and still a star, 17 years later. Come on, Erik, give the Lakers some credit for some smart moves (even if you believe that Stern is somehow behind all their successes)

  71. Colin:

    I’m not saying Stern is pulling strings for the Clippers (though rejecting the Paul trade for the Lakers and then trying to save fact by accepting the Clippers trade is…curious). But you can’t say that the Clippers, even with a history of terrible ownership decisions, aren’t in a major market; it’s like saying the Mets under the Wilpons aren’t in a major market.

  72. Erik Loomis:

    Sure it’s a smart move. But no one could have predicted Kobe would become one of the top 10 players in NBA history.

  73. Joe:

    We have Chinese on Xmas too. Not Jewish. The big dinner is on Xmas Eve and there is nothing much open after we do that traditional Xmas movie at the multiplex. The proper Xmas film on t.v. btw is “Love Actually.”

  74. greylocks:

    The Great Pumpkin, of course.

  75. Jberardi:

    They’ll actually play the Godfather Saga (I and II recut in chronological order, with a ton of DiNiro stuff that got cut from II at the beginning) before they’ll play the third one. And thank White American Tebow Jesus for that.

  76. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Agreed. Those types of matches are the worst. And that was a big knock on the men’s game for a long time. Fortunately we’ve been pretty lucky that easy-hold service game matches are rarely seen, at least in the later rounds of majors during the past 10 years or so. Sure, you’ve got guys like Isner, Karlovitch, Raonic etc., whose serves scream past their opponents up until the quarter-finals, but then they inevitably meet someone like Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, Federer who has the ability to not only not-whiff, but to hit a return winner and make the mammoth servers actually have to play a point.

    On the flip side, alot of people feel like the women’s game is terrible currently due to the fact that aside from Serena and Sharapova (and to a lesser extent Azarenka), most of the rest of the field has severe consistency issues. Kvitova, Stosur, Ivanovic, Wozniaki, Li Na etc., can all be absolutely terrible on any given day. It’s a frequent refrain that the quality of women’s tennis is lower than it has been in decades (despite Serena playing better than almost anyone ever has.)

  77. Richard:

    Yes, they are in a major market. But for over thirty years being in a major market hasn’t got them any favors from the league. So is the argument that Stern wasn’t helping the Clippers for decades and then all of a sudden became aware that the Clippers were playing in Los Angeles and is now trying to pull strings for them?

    With regard to the Paul trade, it appears that a few team owners balked at the trade to the Lakers because they thought it showed too much favoritism to the Lakers and would guaranty several more championships to them (they were probably right). Stern then backed down (this was an unusual trade situation since the league owned the Hornets (about to become the Pelicans). A trade, however, had to be made because Paul had made clear he was going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Then the trade was made to the Clips. The Clips trade worked because they had some good talent to give up (Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman) and the Clips were willing to take Paul without any guarantee of a long term contract (just like the Lakers did this year with Howard). Its a trade that worked out incredibly well for the Clippers. Paul is just amazing, the smartest floor leader in the league, likes playing with the young talent the Clippers have (Griffin, Jordan, Bledsoe) and the older talent they acquired (particularly Billups) and is very, very likely to sign a long term contract next year. I dont think there is a more enjoyable team to watch in the league right now.

  78. Richard:

    Jerry West made that exact prediction when he engineered the move

  79. Bill Murray:

    as the giant names play in quite a few different leagues, relegation is immaterial in European soccer of the type mentioned

  80. John:

    I would say that super-WASP Goodell seems to come in for a lot less criticism than the other guys.

  81. Richard:

    Goodell has been in the job for a lot less time than the others and there hasn’t been a lockout or strike into the season under his reign. I dont think you can impute anti-Semitism to the fact that, as of now, Goodell has been subject to less criticism.

  82. Jberardi:

    I’ll agree that the Jenkins article is pretty bad, and it’s not like anti-semitic views aren’t out there*, but it’s also ridiculous to suggest that accusations of greed “shouldn’t be the basis for reasoned critiques” of a profoundly greedy man.

    *I fondly (“fondly”) remember a sports-fanatic cousin of mine telling me back in ’03 or so that Theo Epstein would be a disaster as Red Sox GM because as a Jew, he clearly wouldn’t spend any money.

  83. Jberardi:

    I wonder if that just has more to do with American football-worship. Same way it doesn’t matter how many bazzillions of dollars Baseball is making these days, we can’t have a World Series without a dozen articles about how bad it’s ratings are compared to some crappy NFL matchup. For whatever reason, the NFL is always deemed the league that all other leagues must strive to emulate in any way possible.

  84. Matt T. in New Orleans:

    Not in New Orleans, he don’t.

  85. calling all toasters:

    Nothing says Christmas like “Django Unchained.”

  86. Brien Jackson:

    Yeah, I mean, what in the actual fuck (even by Jenkins’ incredibly low standard). Unless I’m just totally blanking on things here, there isn’t a major holiday on the entire calendar that doesn’t have professional (or big time college, for New Year’s Day) sports being put front and center on television. This is just Americana.

  87. Gary:

    Yeah, the fix was in for Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. The master stroke was orchestrating the fix so beautifully that they let the Blazers charge out to a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to let the Lakers beat them in the end with officiating chicanery. The result had nothing to do with the Blazers pulling off one of the all-time greatest choke jobs in NBA history.

  88. M. Bouffant:

    I remember that, & it was the players he was referring to. Too lazy to look, but trust me.

  89. Brandon:

    Kids are putting batteries in their toys! And the nba wants to distract us from this true meaning of Christmas!

  90. Ken:

    Right. For the last several years, I have been bleakly amused by the number of movies that open on Christmas every year. And there always seems to be at least one horror movie.

  91. catclub:

    Aren’t there a kazillion College Bowl games on every day during the Christmas season, including Christmas Eve and Epiphany? Why aren’t those a problem. Shouldn’t those young college players (and the bands) be home with their families?

  92. BigHank53:

    Back when there were such things as video rental stores, you could always find a copy of Reservoir Dogs at Christmastime.

  93. Scott Lemieux:

    RIght. The officiating in that game — the last NBA game I watched most of — was appalling, but the Blazers choked plenty on their own. I would also say that the relevant bias isn’t so much “Stern wants the big markets to win” as “big stars play by a different set of rules.”

  94. Richard Cobeen:

    He’s the son of Gordon Jenkins, the worst arranger Sinatra had at Capitol.

  95. Erik Loomis:

    Let us also not forget the 2001 Western Conference finals with an eerily similar result between the Lakers and Kings.

  96. Pseudonym:

    I’m not sure what you mean here, how so? Professional leagues vs. national teams?

  97. Pseudonym:

    No one could have predicted that a statement starting out like “No one could have predicted” might be inaccurate.

  98. Pseudonym:

    I think there’s an obvious solution here staring us in the face but which nobody has yet suggested: let them play NBA games on Christmas Day, but only with Jewish players. Perhaps other non-Christians could be let in as a goodwill measure, if goodwill is even a concept that you heathens can understand. Just try telling me that that wouldn’t draw a few eyeballs.

  99. Pseudonym:

    Also, Erik, I noticed your subtle, insidious mention of the custom of “opening gifts” on Christmas Day. How does this fit in with #7 on your leftist manifesto, the instantiation of 100% estate taxes. Surely the purpose of that kind of estate tax is to prevent the intergenerational accumulation of wealth. Why should that only apply when one generation dies off though? Giving gifts to one’s heirs before death is an obvious loophole. Why shouldn’t there be a 100% gift tax as well?

  100. rea:

    So, see? It is religious!

  101. RhZ:

    That quote was regarding the players. Not the fans.

    And Loomis (you don’t mind if I call you Loomis, do you?) would be satisfied with two games like Jackson said, presumably.

    What it comes down to is Stern wants to make money and doesn’t care about the players whatsoever. Higher ratings on any given night of the year is much more important than the lives and families of the players to him, just as it was when he demanded that the starters of the Spurs play on one particular day because it was on the tv. Doesn’t matter if they get injured, or are exhausted after playing 3 games in 4 nights, he just wants the ratings. Oops I guess I am not allowed to say that!

    Stern is an evil human, let’s leave it at that. He has proven it again and again.

  102. RhZ:

    Oops Jackson said it used to be two teams, not two games as I stated. Still, I think we should compromise on two games.

  103. ajay:

    Who exactly do you think we are thanking, anyway?

    The Indians?

  104. ajay:

    That and passing the fifth-set leg cramps off as a pulled muscle.

    This never happens, ever, in women’s tennis, for one very obvious reason…

  105. RhZ:

    Your evidence for that argument is incorrect Thlayli, sorry.

    8 teams have one it all in the NBA since 1984. 8 teams.

    “the NBA is rigged in favor of the “big markets”” is not equal to “every big market will win”

    Plus, Stern rigged the draft so you could get Ewing, you should be happy. Then again, I am from Cleveland…oh wait that means I get to hate the guy.

  106. ajay:

    Speaking of watching television on Christmas, it apparently is (or maybe was) a cliche that in the UK at least one TV channel runs James Bond films on Christmas. Make of that what you will.

    The real Christmas cliche for British TV is, even more oddly, The Great Escape.

  107. ajay:

    There is a slight error here: the best Christmas film ever made is clearly Die Hard. Apart from that, good comment.

  108. arguingwithsignposts:

    Every weekend in football season is ruined for Lions fans.

  109. RhZ:

    Right. The trade that Stern canceled like a freaking monarch.

    ‘Basketball reasons’, you know.

  110. RhZ:

    You take Stern’s heavy-handed influence for the certainty of god’s own hand.

    The Knicks are bad because of stupid decisions for years and years. You want Stern to fix that? The Clippers are owned by a scumbag mega-slumlord who has no understanding for the game or in the industry. You want Stern to choose their GMs for them?

    OKC, by the way, stole the Sonics from Seattle after getting the ‘Stern Bump’ by way of Durant in the draft, which of course is how he always does it, to his new owner, Bennett, in order to buy his loyalty. Them Bennett, after swearing up and down he wouldn’t, stole the team and went running to OKC.

    Then they intentionally sucked for a couple more years (actually they already had in SEA for some time as well), made a couple of good picks, and now look at them.

    By the way Richard, I don’t know how much you know about NBA history and lore, but I will tell you this:

    If you point to the Thunder as evidence of a small market team doing well, you are making a bad argument if you know the real history and you will not look wiser for it.

  111. RhZ:

    Ha +10000

  112. Bill Murray:

    no, the major European teams have zero chance of relegation in their home leagues (barring something like what happened to Juventus with match fixing), or at least 5 years when they don’t play in the Champions League.

  113. djangermats:

    You really missed the point of that joke bro

  114. djangermats:

    Nowadays we just pirate some shit

    Santa may go around the world in one night but torrents do it all year long

  115. Bill Murray:

    We’ll NBA Christmas like it’s 1946 again

  116. Brien Jackson:

    “Then they intentionally sucked”

    Which, to be fair, is obviously the best thing you can do as an NBA franchise if you aren’t a legitimate championship contender.

  117. Brien Jackson:

    Plus, given that the ultimate authority in the league isn’t the commissioner, but the ownership collective, if the commissioner really was fixing games for the benefit of a few big market teams, it would take all of five minutes for the larger bloc of teams getting screwed to put an end to it/can his ass.

  118. rea:

    Why shouldn’t there be a 100% gift tax as well?

    Gifts over $1 million? Sure!

  119. quercus:

    Well, I half-disagree with Loomis. I don’t think Stern rigs the game for the big-market teams, I think he mostly-rigs the game for the big marketable star players. If James (you know he’s a big marketable star because we only need one name to refer to him)had a good enough supporting cast in Cleveland (especially another big marketable star)to, say, take the Celtics to six or seven games, I think we would have seen the same kind of, um, ideosyncratic calls that we saw this summer in the Celtics-Heat series*. Or that we saw in the final San Antonio-Oklahoma City game (Of course, there’s no one in the league more notorious for playing dirty, whining at officials and making excuses than Tim Duncan, so I guess we shouldn’t take his word for it).

    * Game seven really was brilliant on the NBA front-office’s part: emphasize calling offensive fouls on just the situation that the Celtics’ most valuable player is often in. He gets in foul trouble, can’t play as many minutes, and the Heat win, while the total foul numbers don’t have to be lopsided and the front office can say they were just being fair and making sure the rules were enforced.

  120. Richard:

    I know a fair amount of NBA history. I’ve been a fan since the Lakers moved here. Over the years I’ve had season tickets to the Lakers and the Clips. I was at the win over Portland, the Horry shot to beat the Kings, the game when Shaquille and Kobe won their first championship. I don’t think Stern rigs games .
    I

  121. Richard:

    Gordon was also the composer of Folsom Prison Blues

  122. Scott Lemieux:

    My problem with the excessive whining about what I’m sure was hideous officiating in 2001 is that it was a Game 6, and the Kings still had a Game 7. At home.

  123. rea:

    “I don’t think anybody should play on Christmas Day.:

    Jeez, nobody ought to fight in the War Room, either . . .

  124. Cheap Wino:

    The editor(s) should hang their head(s) in shame for this. The “. . . who celebrates Hanukkah” phrase so blatantly belies the anti-Semitism that it should never have seen print. Seriously, using that phrase renders the piece fit for Infowars, not a major city newspaper.

  125. Brien Jackson:

    “Game seven really was brilliant on the NBA front-office’s part: emphasize calling offensive fouls on just the situation that the Celtics’ most valuable player is often in. He gets in foul trouble, can’t play as many minutes, and the Heat win, while the total foul numbers don’t have to be lopsided and the front office can say they were just being fair and making sure the rules were enforced.”

    And this, incidentally, is how you know that there isn’t any actual game fixing going on. If it were really so prevalent that even a large market team like the Celtics was getting screwed out of a playoff series, the owners of the teams (i.e. the people who employ Stern) would put a stop to it really quickly. Contrary to popular belief, the commissioners aren’t actually the “owner of the league,” as it were, they’re an employee of the ownership collective paid to administrate central league business. That gives them a lot of power, but if they were actively screwing over the vast majority of teams every year they’d be gone in a heartbeat.

  126. Icarus Wright:

    Smallpox.
    :(

  127. Richard Cobeen:

    Johnny Cash is listed as the composer. Did I not get the joke?

  128. Richard:

    Its not a joke. Short history is that Jenkins had a huge selling album in the late 1940s called Manhattan Tower, a sort of concept album. He then released a follow-up called Seven Dreams. Not very good and sold very little. It had a song on it called Crescent City Blues.

    Cash heard it while in the Army in Germany and thought it was a folk song. He rewrote a few of the lyrics (Cash’s rewrite makes the song much better), used the melody note for note and released it on Sun as Folsom Prison Blues. It was a country hit but didn’t get pop airplay. Jenkins never heard it.

    It became a staple of Cash’s live set and years later was included on Live at Folsom Prison. The album was a massive hit and a highlight was the crowd reaction to “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die”. This time, Jenkins heard it and sued. Settlement eventually reached where money and half composing credit was given, rightfully, to Jenkins. Jenkins is supposed to be listed as co-composer but most records still reflect Cash as the only composer.

    Here’s a comparison of the two

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdCtc1WE3E0&feature=player_detailpage

  129. Monday Night Frotteur:

    You can tell Stern rigged the league because of all those titles the Big Market Spurs won. Also he rigged the draft lottery for Tim Duncan, so he’d go to the Big Market Spurs instead of the fly-by-night Celtics (who had a substantially better chance of getting him, too).

    Look how he rigged it to make sure that the Knicks are always one of the best teams in the league, while basically ruining Oklahoma City.

  130. Cody:

    Honestly, Lakers would’ve been waaaaaaaaaaay better off with CP3 than Howard and Nash.

    Howard is overrated and hurt still. Nash too old. And the two of them are taking up too much cap space.

    Poor Lakers (hah!)

  131. Cody:

    If your argument against a professional league commissioner starts with “he’s greedy”… you need a better argument.

    Obviously he is!

  132. RhZ:

    I was referring to your assertion that the Thunder are a small market team. You calling Seattle a small market? That’s where they are from.

    If there had been a team in Oklahoma already Stern would have been contemptuous of them. But as long as his good buddy bought a team, Stern is fine with moving them wherever, and throwing in the top pick in the draft to boot.

  133. RhZ:

    You are an idiot.

  134. RhZ:

    Welcome to meet Dan Gilbert, boy genius.

    Stern rules the owners with an iron fist, and you should know this.

    Owners and GMs were furious with Stern for interfering last year. So where is the resulting bloc to fight back?

    Stern just fined an owner a quarter mil because the coach rested his ageing players. Where’s that pushback you theorize?

  135. Fluffytuna:

    Well how about Memorial Day:)

    Just that little car thingie in Indie. Even predates TV

  136. RhZ:

    heh i have no idea what you are on about

  137. Richard:

    He did more than rest his ageing players. He didn’t have his three stars even show for the game – a nationally televised game against Miami – with no notice to the Miami fans. And in the first quarter of the season, not near the end of the year when the stars might actually be tired. Popovich and the team deserved the fine – you shouldn’t be allowed to treat the fans like this. There was no pushback because the other team owners obviously agreed.

    The idea that Stern rules the owners with an iron fist is just preposterous. What is to stop them from firing him if what he does is so onerous?

    And by the way, he’s already announced his own retirement at the end of next season so he’s a lame duck commissioner.

    Is Stern greedy and autocratic? Sure, all commissioners, especially those of long standing and who have presided over an incredible rise in the finances and popularity of the league are (see Pete Rozelle). Is he evil and all powerful? Not by a long shot.

  138. Richard:

    Very incisive and intelligent response to someone who disagrees with your “Stern is an all powerful and evil man” thesis.

  139. Richard:

    I know that OKC came from Seattle. Yes, Seattle was a small market, certainly in comparison with NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago. It has about 600,000 residents, just slightly more than Portland and half the population of San Antonio. Are you possibly arguing with that? (Seattle’s greater metropolitan area population is about 1.4 million but even with that, it ranks 15th in the nation).

    And Oklahoma City is even smaller. I was not in favor of Seattle being allowed to move but OKC showed it could support an NBA franchise when it hosted New Orleans for the year after Katrina.

  140. Brien Jackson:

    “Owners and GMs were furious with Stern for interfering last year. So where is the resulting bloc to fight back?”

    Who was this?

    “Stern just fined an owner a quarter mil because the coach rested his ageing players. Where’s that pushback you theorize?”

    Well shit, since that’s exactly the same as having the referees actively screw a team out of the playoffs, I guess you really have totally shredded the idea that owners wouldn’t be okay with having their team screwed out of championships by the league front office.

  141. Brien Jackson:

    “He did more than rest his ageing players. He didn’t have his three stars even show for the game – a nationally televised game against Miami – with no notice to the Miami fans. And in the first quarter of the season, not near the end of the year when the stars might actually be tired. Popovich and the team deserved the fine – you shouldn’t be allowed to treat the fans like this. There was no pushback because the other team owners obviously agreed.”

    Well, he clearly shouldn’t have fined them, and the notion that the fine was good for business seems completely inaccurate to me, but it is true that a) fining teams for deactivating their best players is not the same thing as fixing playoff series and, b) the owners clearly did support the action, or at least decided that they didn’t have so much of a problem with it as to take their complaints public.

  142. Brien Jackson:

    “Plus, Stern rigged the draft so you could get Ewing…”

    Wait, my history is a little bit rusty here, but didn’t the Knicks have the worst record in the league that year, which was of course the first year of the draft lottery?

  143. daveNYC:

    You’re assuming that the owners of those teams actually give a damn about winning.

    *cough* New York Knicks *cough*

  144. Richard:

    I think they should have been fined for, at the least, not letting the fans know in advance that Parker, Ginobli and Duncan would’nt be playing. I no longer have season tickets but go to a few Laker and Clipper games a year. This year, I have the Lakers v. OKC, the Clips versus Boston and a couple Lakers-Clippers games. I usually choose good opponents and pay a premium for that. I would be very pissed off to show up in a couple weeks and find out that Garnett and Pierce were being rested.

  145. Richard:

    Actually the Knicks had third worst record and got the number one pick. Not by an stretch the biggest lottery upset (that going to Orlando, that huge big market team, in 1993).

  146. mpowell:

    Which is actually the argument the men should be making. They do actually put in a lot more work than the women! It’s actually kind of fascinating in a way.

  147. Green Caboose:

    And in that time, [the Knicks] have been the beneficiaries of exactly one controversial playoff call. Which came at the expense of that tiny rural outpost, Chicago.

    I think there are some fans in Indiana who would dispute that. Yes, the phantom foul (Davies was literally not close to being touched) that won game 5 for the Knicks over the Jordan-less Bulls was extremely horrible – much worse than non-calls for obvious fouls. But there were a number of crazy calls at the end of Pacer games – such as Ewing’s 5-step non-travel move in the paint.

    But of course if the league is going to fix a game they aren’t going to rely on a key call at the last second of a game – they aren’t going to let the game get close.

    Also, it’s an error to say that Stern favors big markets over small – he favors having marquis teams a la the Celtics/Lakers of the 1980s – and strives to keep the marquis teams going. Obviously he’s not omnipotent, but instead does what he can to create that situation. From apparently pushing Ewing to the Knicks in 1985 (at the time it was widely thought that whoever got Ewing would be dominant for the next decade … the dominant NBA thinking was that big men were key) to trying to turn Orlando into a dynasty (Shaq followed by the #1 which turned into Hardaway + 2 #1s) to helping the 92-94 Knicks by relaxing the foul rules in their games (at least until after the ’94 finals when Stern realized that thug-ball was turning non-NY fans away from the game) to helping his buddies in Chicago when they broke up the Bulls with the surprise #1 to the constant officiating help of the Lakers (floods of foul calls favoring the Lakers in a key late-in-series conference game against the Sonics, Blazer and Kings in different years).

    Oklahoma City might be one of those awkward situations that are out of Stern’s control or it MIGHT be a reward from Stern – remember that the move from Seattle was something he encouraged as a warning to any metropolis who didn’t pay the protection money in the form of a huge new stadium.

  148. Anonymous:

    Dude, a child putting batteries in toys and laughing and opening presents and running around and the family together for this tiny, fleeting bit of happiness was one of the nicest parts of my childhood. And, when my children were that age it was one of the sweetest, least spoiled moments of life. And it is fleeting: people age, or move away, families split up… and you don’t get do-overs, ’cause those times don’t come back and childhood is far too short.

    So, if somebody wants to actually enjoy that sweet, transitory moment instead of dunking basketballs or serving hot dogs or manning the broadcast booth on one, just one, damned day of the year but it isn’t Pure Holy Christmas enough for you then my reaction is a hearty fuck you and fuck Stern and fuck everybody who has ever known the pair of you but who hasn’t punched you in the face yet.

  149. Anonymous:

    Answer: they should. Even as a kid I could never figure out why those people weren’t allowed to have Christmas.

    But, hey, it’s NCAA and plantation owners probably didn’t the slaves Xmas off either.

  150. Anonymous:

    Does the NBA force other players to play (and staff to work) on their holy / holidays? If no then it seems a damned odd to only force the Christians.

  151. Uncle Ebeneezer:

    If I’m not mistaken, only the 4 majors and the Davis cup are best-of-5 set tournaments. That’s out of roughly 70 ATP tournaments per year. Yes, those are the most prestigious and highest paying tourneys, but for 93% of the year, there is no difference between the men’s/women’s format.

  152. RhZ:

    Richard, look there is logic and non-logic. Yes, I was a bit harsh and regretted the lack of an edit button for a moment afterwards.

    But this guy walks into a long thread and says what about 8 other people said too. And these statements were dumb every time they were written.

    Look, let’s be logical. ‘Stern rigs the league’ is not equal to ‘Stern controls every outcome’. Nor is it equal to ‘Stern guarantees that every large market has a great team’. And its absurd to read it that way.

    Can we go at least that far? We don’t have to get into favoritism of star players (yes, Stern directed LBJ to Cleveland, he is from that area and it was a great story for the press, same exact thing that happened to the Knicks with Ewing. And you can note how loyal Stern was to the Cavs later when he happily looked away while LBJ colluded with Bosh to make their little superteam in Miami), or favoritism to owners who recently bought NBA teams rather than slavish devotion to larger markets. For example, the above mentioned Seattle Sonics, who got the best player in the game, Kevin Durant as a present for their new owner. And how, magically just this year New Orleans which was just bought…got the top pick in the draft this year. Wow its such a coincidence! How very surprising!

    Apparently, if one good player goes to a small market team, that is absolute proof that Stern doesn’t rig the game or rig the draft, ever, for ever and ever amen!

    Finally, after the draft this year David Kahn, the owner of the Minnisota T-wolves complained…that the draft was rigged.

    What more do you want??

  153. RhZ:

    Oh I am sorry, the fact that the owner and GM of the SA Spurs are deeply steeped in the game, same for the GM of the Thunder, and the fact that the Clippers and the Knicks have dysfunctional organizations negates all of the above. Oh and plus, one time a small market team got the first pick in the draft so there.

    Oh, and Richard, upthread you argue that Stern only canceled one little trade, therefore its all ok. That’s some weak sauce there.

    He also punished only one little organization for resting their tired players, to the tune of one little quarter million fine. So that’s ok too.

  154. witless chum:

    Actaully, not on X-mas itself. They seem to not play them on Christmas, probably as some sort of conspiracy with Stern and ESPN.

  155. witless chum:

    I’d actually be okay with a draconian federal law that said nobody’s allowed to work on federal holidays. Police, fire, etc, but that’s it. A holiday’s supposed to be a holiday.

  156. Solon:

    Seriously, I am so sick of all of the whinging about that Game 6 between the Lakers and the Kings.

    If you add up the measurables in Games 5 and 6 – total fouls, and FTA – they are pretty much level, when accounting for 6 Laker FTA at the end of Game 6 when the Kings were intentionally fouling.

    The strangest thing about all of it is the absence of a single discernibly bad call from Game 6 – the argument just seems to be “look at all the Laker free throws!” – while the pick that Webber set to free up Bibby for the Game winner in Game 5 was, undoubtedly, a bad call.

  157. RhZ:

    Liberal Fascist!

  158. RhZ:

    Lottery is still the lottery, Brien. Worst record does not get the first pick by any means. It is *supposed* to be random. I am no mathematical genius, but the chance of the worst record getting the first pick is not substantially higher than for the second and third worst teams.

    Sure, not every suspicious result is necessarily rigging by Stern. But when you have quite a few suspicious results, you should be asking questions.

    Richard, again, you try to disprove rigging with inadequate evidence, which is the whole point that I tried but failed to convey, which is my fault not yours.

  159. RhZ:

    Green Caboose, you are a voice of reason and sense. Thank you for this assessment, and please comment more!

  160. RhZ:

    The fact that he directed one of the top young guards to the Clippers (that trade happened because he ordered it) would undercut your argument, slightly.

  161. RhZ:

    Brien: Yes, you are right, today this is considered the only viable means of building a championship team. There is no other way unless you are in the major markets or among one of Stern’s favored teams, like Miami.

  162. RhZ:

    Richard, here I was basically complaining that you were using Oklahoma as evidence of a lack of rigging by Stern, when in fact it is one data point in the indictment.

    And, I was complaining that, defending Stern by using OKC, when so many Sonics fans are pissed off royally by Stern’s blase attitude to the game and its traditions, is in very poor form.

    I will not argue that Seattle, number 15 by your assessment, is ‘major market’, although I suppose that is debatable. Cleveland has something like 3.8 million, would you consider that a more ‘major’ market? Stern doesn’t, fairly obviously.

    Anyway, we have established that Stern’s interference is not precisely focused on boosting major markets to the detriment of every other consideration. Obviously its more complicated than that. And your argument fails to acknowledge that.

  163. RhZ:

    And again, these guys ACTUALLY ARE greedy. Is it really off limits to say that just because they’re also Jewish?

    Umm, yes it is! They are greedy because they are horrible human beings. Whether the population of horrible human beings skews one way or another, you don’t know. And to say they are greedy because they are Jewish is totally racist and stupid!

  164. RhZ:

    Richard:

    Sigh. I am really trying here.

    Is he evil and all powerful? Not by a long shot.

    Yes. And therefore, the fact that he can’t fix the deep-seeded problems in the crazed organizations of El Clippers and Los Knicks does not prove that he is not corrupt and gaming playoffs and drafts for his benefit (i.e. short term gains without giving a rat’s ass about the long-term damage to the game and to the league).

    Did you notice that the Spurs almost won that game, and it went down to the wire? The fans that wanted to watch basketball, instead of a media frenzy, got their investment paid back multiple times over. Basketball fans would have gone to that game anyway and would have/did have a great time.

    And if 38 year old Tony Parker gets injured in that game due to being tired and strained? Well some fans will obviously suffer, and man they will be mad that you are so selfish and more concerned about yourself than another’s well-being. You got what you wanted, and deprived them of what they wanted. Congrats on that.

    Its early in the season but in fact its a long slog to the playoffs. Are you going to be the trainer making the decision about whether he should rest tonight or not? Because you want to let Stern make this decision.

    Dance for me, knave! Or I shall fine you 250K!!

    Yes, of course Pops stuck it in Stern’s eye, and he should have.

    Both of you, the fact that there have been no complaints from other owners is most certainly not evidence of anything. Sorry but you are both living in fantasy land to construe a lack of action in the face of (with the very real potential, meaning definite) punishment for any action whatsoever. Do you realize that any critical comments will be met with major fines for ‘conduct unbecoming the NBA’?

  165. BooHooBobby:

    I feel so bad for everyone who has to work on Christmas…. and make millions of dollars.

    And of course it’s all fixed, and you are all suckers.

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