Howard Bryant, who normally writes about baseball for ESPN, wrote a pretty damn good column ripping NBA commish David Stern to shreds over the lockout. Someone tweeted the link and did a good job teasing it, but forget to open a window on my computer to read it later. So I went to ESPN to look for it.
Quite a challenge. They kind of buried it. Because of ESPN’s cozy relationship with the NBA, the rumor has long been that ESPN doesn’t promote David Stern bashing (or referee bashing). Yes, writers will take occasional shots at the NBA commish or refs (Bill Simmons does plenty of the latter), but you don’t often see entire columns devoted to trashing David Stern.
On the homepage, the big picture is NFL-related (Suh). My next stop was the right rail. I figured since Things Are Happening on the NBA lockout front today, perhaps there would be a link to that, and then a link to his column. Nope. So then I went to the center of the page, under the Suh photo: College football, auto racing, baseball, Big East. This is what I saw at 1:52 pm.
If you go to the ESPN.com NBA page, there’s plenty of hype about the Central Division (the season, of course, is four months away; are people really breaking down NBA divisions right now?) in the middle of the page with a massive photo. Under it, there’s a Kobe/LeBron link, something about player rankings (?), the 2012 draft and … oh, there it is, last in line: “Lockout Logic.” No exactly a great tease … how many readers will gloss over that boring promotion? I would have tried to pluck something from this paragraph:
Stern has benefited from a disturbing lack of accountability, a familiar blueprint the powerful have used throughout history to justify incorrect political positions, unnecessary wars, greed and corruption with the often-successful hope that the public will lack the interest and stamina to call them out.
How about: Is Stern to Blame? or … Blame Stern? If you’re an NBA fan, I suggest reading it.
David Stern’s flawed NBA lockout logic [ESPN]